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Defence & Aerospace

A400M reportedly wins second export order

By: Keith Campbell     20th January 2017 French aerospace journal “Air et Cosmos” and British defence media group Jane’s have both reported that the Indonesian government has approved the purchase of five Airbus A400M military airlifter aircraft. Both cite local Indonesian media as the source of the information. According to the French... 

Denel meeting mine-resistant vehicle contract from Namibia

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2017 South African defence group Denel reported on Thursday that its subsidiary, Denel Vehicle Systems, was on track to complete an export order to Namibia by the end of March. The order is for eight RG32M vehicles and four Self Defence Remotely Operated Weapon (SDROW) stations. The group described... 

Denel meeting mine-resistant vehicle contract from Namibia
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An RG32M

SAAF swoops in as Cape Town firefighters stretched to limit

By: African News Agency      17th January 2017 The South African Air Force (SAAF) has been brought in to assist firefighters who have been stretched to the limit as at least 19 fires rage across the Western Cape. In a statement on Tuesday, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said a fire in Paarl... 

Finland considering updated South African missiles for fleet modernisation

By: Keith Campbell     16th January 2017 Last week a senior officer of the Finnish Navy indicated that his service was interested in acquiring an improved version of the South African Umkhonto naval surface-to-air missile (SAM). Commodore (Cdre) Veli-Pekka Heinonen, was talking to the journal “IHS Jane’s Navy International”. Cdre... 

Finland considering updated South African missiles for fleet modernisation
Photo by MKFI/Public Domain
FNS Tornio, a Hamina-class missile boat of the Finnish Navy

South African National Space Agency announces its new CEO 

By: Keith Campbell     12th January 2017 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) announced on Thursday that its new CEO is Dr Valanathan Munsami. His appointment took effect on January 3. He has replaced Sansa’s first CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga, who resigned last August after five years in the office. (Potlaki Maine acted as... 

South African National Space Agency announces its new CEO
Photo by South African National Space Agency
Dr Valanathan Munsami

Airbus very happy with its 2016 production and delivery results

By: Keith Campbell     11th January 2017 Despite 2016 being an “unusually difficult year from a production perspective”, European airliner manufacturer Airbus Commercial Aircraft met all its delivery targets for the year, company president Fabrice Brégier told journalists worldwide on Wednesday. “I’m very proud to tell you we have... 

Airbus very happy with its 2016 production and delivery results
Photo by Airbus Commercial Aircraft
Airbus A330 (rear), A350-900 (foreground) and A380 (in the lead) airliners fly in formation

CSG strengthens security portfolio with R57m purchase of Stallion Reaction

By: Ilan Solomons     20th December 2016 Strategic outsourcing company CSG Holdings, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Invictus Risk, will purchase the armed response and monitoring division of Stallion Reaction as a going concern for about R57-million.   The transaction includes individual client and commercial contracts, the armed... 

CSG strengthens security portfolio with R57m purchase of Stallion Reaction

Engineering solutions provider showcases manufacturing capabilities

By: David Oliveira     16th December 2016 Engineering solutions provider Ansys earlier this month hosted investors and media on a tour of its technology investment business unit Parsec’s manufacturing facility, in Irene, Gauteng. Ansys CEO Rynier van der Watt highlighted that the facility is dedicated to the manufacture of high-end... 

Umkhonto missile export programme now in its final stages

By: Keith Campbell     16th December 2016 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced at the end of last month that extensive testing of the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto (“Spear”, in English) naval surface-to-air missile, for an export customer, would take place early next year. The Umkhonto forms part of the armament... 

SA foundation’s helicopter to help Gabon combat forest elephant poaching

By: Dylan Slater     9th December 2016 As part of its ongoing contribution to combat wildlife poaching, Johannesburg-based societal upliftment organisation the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, donated a Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopter as part of a package to assist Gabon in fighting a poaching epidemic destroying the country’s forest... 

SA foundation’s helicopter to help Gabon combat  forest elephant poaching
EYE IN THE SKY The newly donated Gazelle helicopter is a highly valuable asset for the National Parks Agency of Gabon, Parcs Gabon, to combat forest elephant poaching

Intercontinental hybrid air race raises awareness of unique technology, design

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2016 Earlier this week Canada-based hybrid airship manufacturer Solar Ship challenged US aerospace, defence and security technologies company Lockheed Martin to undertake an intercontinental friendly air race to raise international awareness about hybrid aircraft and renewable-energy technologies in... 

Defence group Denel unveils new version of 20 mm semiautomatic weapon

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2016 South African defence company Denel PMP, part of the State-owned Denel group, highlighted on Thursday the latest version of its iNkunzi PAW semiautomatic weapon, the iNkunzi PAW A2 (iNkunzi means Bull). The iNkunzi PAW (the acronym stands for Personal Area Weapon) fires 20 mm bursting ammunition... 

Ansys showcases manufacturing capabilities

By: David Oliveira     1st December 2016 Engineering solutions provider Ansys on Wednesday hosted investors and media on a tour of its technology investment business unit Parsec’s manufacturing facility, in Irene, Gauteng. Ansys CEO Rynier van der Watt highlighted that the facility was dedicated to the manufacture of high-end technology... 

Denel reports Umkhonto missile export programme now in its final stages

By: Keith Campbell     30th November 2016 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Wednesday that extensive testing of the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto (“Spear”, in English) naval surface-to-air missile, for an export customer, will take place early next year. The Umkhonto forms part of the armament of two... 

Denel reports Umkhonto missile export programme now in its final stages
Photo by Denel
A warship of the Finnish Navy launches an Umkhonto missile

New South African nanosatellite to participate in international project

By: Keith Campbell     18th November 2016 A South African nanosatellite will be launched into space from the International Space Station (ISS) during the first quarter of next year, as part of an international research project under the European Commission’s Seventh (Research) Framework Programme (better known as FP7). The project is... 

Crawford Browne loses ConCourt bid to set aside arms deal commission finding 

By: News24Wire      16th November 2016 Arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne has lost his Constitutional Court bid to have the arms deal commission, which found no evidence of corruption, set aside. The Constitutional Court ruled that his application is not in the interest of justice. 

Crawford Browne loses ConCourt bid to set aside arms deal commission finding

Defence charter draft released for public comment

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th November 2016 The Department of Defence and its acquisition vehicle Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) has released a draft of the Defence Sector Charter for public comment. The charter aims to accelerate black-economic empowerment in the defence industry over three years, setting an ownership... 

Local air travel maintains positive growth trajectory year-on-year

By: Samantha Herbst     15th November 2016 Air passenger numbers climbed steady year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, according to Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) latest Aviation Barometer for the three months to September 30. ACSA recorded a 4.4% year-on-year increase in total arrivals and departures, compared with the... 

Local air travel maintains positive growth trajectory year-on-year

Test flying in South Africa at a critical crossroads

By: Keith Campbell     11th November 2016 It is generally, if not universally, accepted, that the height of flying skill is embodied in the test pilot and the apex of air engineering ability in the flight test engineer. Despite huge advances in computer modelling and simulation, test pilots and flight test engineers still have a crucial... 

Test flying in South Africa at a critical crossroads

New South African nanosatellite to participate in international project

By: Keith Campbell     8th November 2016 A South African nanosatellite will be launched into space from the International Space Station (ISS) during the first quarter of next year, as part of an international research project under the European Commission’s Seventh (Research) Framework Programme (better known as FP7). The project is... 

New South African nanosatellite to participate in international project
Photo by SCS Aerospace Group
The nSight1 nanosatellite

Armscor cancels intercontinental jet tender for Air Force

By: Keith Campbell     4th November 2016 South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor has announced that it had cancelled the tender “for the lease of an intercontinental aircraft” for the South African Air Force (SAAF). This probably refers to the project to obtain a new Presidential VIP... 

CSIR considering flight test and research UAV project

By: Keith Campbell     4th November 2016 One of the projects currently being developed by the Aeronautics Competency of the Defence, Peace, Safety and Security unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a Modular Transonic Research Platform (MTRP). A preliminary feasibility study has been completed and is now... 

Jet fighter programmes stimulate South Africa’s aerospace sector

By: Keith Campbell     4th November 2016 In the 70 years since the South African Air Force (SAAF) first flew a jet fighter, the country has gone from importing complete aircraft with no technology transfer, to developing a highly sophisticated and capable local industry capable of adapting advanced aircraft to local conditions and... 

Armscor cancels intercontinental jet tender for South African Air Force 

By: Keith Campbell     25th October 2016 South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor on Tuesday announced that it had cancelled the tender “for the lease of an intercontinental aircraft” for the South African Air Force. This probably refers to the project to obtain a new Presidential VIP... 

Armscor cancels intercontinental jet tender for South African Air Force

CSIR considering research UAV programme

By: Keith Campbell     21st October 2016 One of the projects currently being developed by the Aeronautics Competency of the Defence, Peace, Safety and Security unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a Modular Transonic Research Platform (MTRP). A preliminary feasibility study has been completed and is now... 

SA manufacturer eyes growth in aerospace composites market

By: Dylan Slater     21st October 2016 Somerset West-based aircraft and automotive component manufacturer AAT Composites is increasing its reach into the aerospace component industry by producing specialist parts that are lighter and less costly than conventional metal or plastic parts.  

SA manufacturer eyes growth  in aerospace composites market
HELICOPTER SEATS Seats made by AAT Composites installed in an Airbus Helicopters H130 helicopter

South Africa's fighter programmes have developed the local aerospace sector

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2016 In the 70 years since the South African Air Force (SAAF) first flew a jet fighter, the country has gone from importing complete aircraft with no technology transfer, to developing a highly sophisticated and capable local industry capable of adapting advanced aircraft to local conditions and... 

Local munitions company working on export orders, new products

By: Keith Campbell     14th October 2016 South African grenade, artillery ammunition, rocket propellant and warhead manufacturer Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) hopes to conclude more than one new order before the end of this year. “This includes a significant export contract, about which we cannot reveal any details yet,” says RDM CEO... 

Lockheed Martin emphasises advantages to South Africa of its C-130J Super Hercules

By: Keith Campbell     7th October 2016 Large orders from the US government for Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport and multimission aircraft are helping the manufacturer keep down the acquisition costs for the aircraft for all customers. At the end of last year, Washington placed a multi year contract for 78 C-130Js, plus... 

Production of Ahrlac aircraft set to begin in early 2017

By: Dylan Slater     7th October 2016 The South African-designed, -developed and -built Advanced, High-performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (Ahrlac) is due to enter line production in early 2017, with the construction of a purpose-built factory at Wonderboom Airport, north of Pretoria.  

Production of Ahrlac aircraft set to begin in early 2017

UK enterprise interested in building relationships with SA companies

By: Keith Campbell     7th October 2016 British science and high-technology company QinetiQ used this year’s recent Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition to investigate the local market. QinetiQ is a technology development, technology services and niche manufacturing company predominantly but not exclusively operating in the... 

Airbus to assist with Rooivalk upgrade, as it reaffirms Africa commitment

By: Keith Campbell     30th September 2016 The Airbus Group (parent of Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters) is committed to help develop aeronautical industries in Africa, because it believes that this makes good business sense. For the Group, Africa is defined as sub-Saharan Africa plus Moroco (with Egypt, Libya,... 

Denel Land Systems unveils new, improved weapons

By: Keith Campbell     30th September 2016 Denel Land Systems (DLS) unveiled the lightest 7.62 mm calibre general purpose machine gun (GPMG) in the world at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence 2016 exhibition. It also revealed improved versions of other infantry support weapons. "You get belt-fed assault rifles that are lighter, but... 

UK committed to increasing defence and wider business with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     30th September 2016 Trade in the defence and security sector between the UK and South Africa is increasingly significant, British High Commissioner to South Africa Dame Judith Macgregor told Engineering News at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence 2016 exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion, just... 

Local unit of global defence group enjoying significant success

By: Keith Campbell     23rd September 2016 South African private-sector defence company Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) is enjoying such success that it has had to recruit 198 new staff since January 2015, taking its work force up to 719 people. The company, 75%-owned by Sweden’s Saab and 25% by black South African investors, now has customers... 

SA government to lease, then buy, VIP aircraft

By: Keith Campbell     23rd September 2016 The South African Air Force (SAAF) will acquire a VIP aircraft for Presidential travel, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula affirmed last week, reported specialist news website Defenceweb. While this acquisition process is under way, an aircraft will be leased to... 

Saab, Denel create joint air defence system from their products

By: Keith Campbell     23rd September 2016 Swedish security and defence group Saab has revealed that it and South African Defence group Denel have cooperated to integrate the former's Giraffe radar with the latter's Umkhonto surface-to-air missile. "It's producing a system that's going to be very hard to beat," affirmed Saab Country Unit... 

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