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Defence & Aerospace

Lost in space?

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2018 Analysts say that the planet Earth’s rapidly-growing space economy could hit $600-billion by 2030 and $1-trillion by 2040. Clearly, the space economy, worth some $350-billion today, is growing rapidly.  

Denel CEO resigns with immediate effect

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2018 State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on May 15 that its Group CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, had resigned. The resignation was with effect from that same day. He had been appointed Group CEO only six months ago, following two years in which he had been acting in that capacity. Ntshepe had... 

Gordhan appoints new Denel, Transnet, SA Express boards; Hadebe appointed Eskom CEO

By: Anine Kilian     24th May 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has appointed Phakamani Hadebe as Eskom CEO. Hadebe has been acting CEO of the power utility since January. 

Gordhan appoints new Denel, Transnet, SA Express boards; Hadebe appointed Eskom CEO
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe

Half of Ramaphosa’s SoE council to be made up of people from outside of government

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the composition of the Presidential State-owned Enterprise (SoE) Council, whose establishment has been approved by Cabinet, will be split between Ministers, as well as business people, experts and stakeholders. Speaking in Parliament during the debate... 

Half of Ramaphosa’s SoE council to be made up of people from outside of government
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Denel's rescue plan must be fast-tracked – Minister

By: African News Agency      18th May 2018 A rescue plan for South Africa's state-owned arms manufacturer Denel needed to be sped up so it did not negatively affect the capability of the army, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday. Speaking after delivering her department's budget vote, Mapisa-Nqakula said the... 

VVIP presidential jet still an option even though defence's budget is cut by billions

By: News24Wire      18th May 2018 Despite a budget cut amounting to billions, the purchase of a VVIP presidential jet by the South African Defence Force is not off the table. In her speech in the debate about the South African Defence Force budget on Friday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said:  "I must now report to... 

Union welcomes departure of Denel Group CEO

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2018 The Solidarity trade union on Tuesday welcomed the resignation of Denel Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe that same day. It also expressed its support for recently appointed board chairperson (Ms) Monhla Hlahla, complimenting her for the changes she has already made at the State-owned defence industrial... 

Union welcomes departure of Denel Group CEO
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Zwelakhe Ntshepe

Denel Group CEO resigns

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2018 State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Tuesday that its Group CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, had resigned. The resignation was also with effect from Tuesday. He had been appointed Group CEO only six months ago, following two years in which he had been acting in that capacity. Ntshepe... 

Denel Group CEO resigns
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Michael Kgobe

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Ramping up production in the automotive sector, resuscitating the ailing tooling industry and boosting the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear industries are among successes the government has listed in its review of ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). Despite a... 

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

Drone industry to expand in 2018

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     11th May 2018 Any sector has the potential to adapt drones to its purposes, owing to drones being versatile, relatively low cost and on an upward trajectory in terms of technological development, says United Drone Holdings CEO Sean Reitz. “Mines have adopted drones for aerial surveys, which is a cheaper,... 

Drone industry to expand in 2018
YEAR OF THE DRONE The versatility of drones make them adaptable for a variety of industries

Paramount in talks to boost Saudi arms industry

By: Reuters     2nd May 2018 South African defence company Paramount Group is in talks with the Saudi Arabia government to establish production facilities in the kingdom, its chairman said on Monday. Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest arms buyers, is seeking international partners to develop its manufacturing... 

Syrian storm puts SA in uncomfortable company

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th April 2018 On April 7, Douma, in Syria, was subject to what appears to have been a chemical weapons attack. The Syrian Government has an independently-established (by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW) record of using chemical weapons in the current civil war, and against... 

Cape institution uses space to train students and benefit country at same time

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2018 Engineers and researchers at the French South African Institute of Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) are in an advanced stage of developing the institution’s second nanosatellite, designated ZACube-2. “CPUT has used CubeSat programmes to encourage students to train... 

New Denel board faces tough turnaround task as financial pressure mounts

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan recently announced the completely new, high-powered, Board to turn-around beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel. Technically, it is currently an interim Board, he explained, because it had not yet been approved by the Cabinet. He... 

Solidarity alleges mismanagement of funds at Denel

By: Simone Liedtke     19th April 2018 Trade union Solidarity on Thursday alleged in a report titled ‘Denel Dossier’ that State-owned aerospace and defence group Denel’s top management received increases of up to 60% in their salaries, as well as 100% performance bonuses last year, while there were insufficient funds to pay employees... 

Solidarity alleges mismanagement of funds at Denel
Photo by Simone Liedtke
Trade union Solidarity on Thursday made several allegations in a report titled 'Denel Dossier' on the mismanagement of funds

St Helena's cherished lifeline ship to return as anti-piracy armoury

By: Reuters     18th April 2018 The RMS St Helena, Britain's last working postal ship, was for nearly three decades the main source of contact between one of humanity's remotest islands and the outside world. Now the ship, cherished by the 4 500 residents of British-ruled St. Helena, will start a new life as a floating armoury,... 

St Helena's cherished lifeline ship to return as anti-piracy armoury
Photo by Reuters
RMS St Helena

UK project could halve titanium parts production costs

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th April 2018 The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced late last month that its Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (officially abbreviated to Dstl) had, in cooperation with the University of Sheffield, developed of a radical new method of producing titanium parts. Dstl has so far invested almost... 

Security drones taking off, but SA restrictions limit adoption

By: Dylan Slater     13th April 2018 Drones, otherwise known as remotely piloted aircraft systems, continue to gain footholds in an increasing number of industries, with adoption rates in safety and security industry growing worldwide. In fact, safety and security drone sales totalled $145-million in 2016, according to a market... 

Security drones taking off, but SA restrictions limit adoption

New interim Denel board appointed 

12th April 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Rebecca Campbell about the appointment of a new interim board of directors at State-owned Denel and how this might help turn things around at the embattled group. 

New interim Denel board appointed
New interim Denel board appointed

Gordhan appoints new Denel interim board

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday announced a completely new, high-powered, board to turn around beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel. Technically, it is currently an interim board, he explained, because it had not yet been approved by the Cabinet. He... 

Gordhan appoints new Denel interim board
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Future of SA space industry lies in collaborations and constellations

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th April 2018 International collaboration is essential for a successful South African space programme. “The future of the South African space industry lies in international collaboration in satellite constellations,” affirms South African private-sector space enterprise SCS Aerospace Group Executive Chairman... 

Next-generation Boeing jets to lower costs for local airline group

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2018 The entry into service of eight next generation Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with South Africa’s private-sector Comair airline group will cut the airline’s fuel expenditure per seat by 15%. This was highlighted by Comair CEO Erik Venter at a press conference on Thursday. (This assumes that the fuel... 

Space essential for meeting South Africa’s economic and social development goals

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2018 In August last year, the US-based Space Foundation reported that the worldwide space economy had been worth $329-billion in 2016, up from $323-billion in 2015. The Foundation noted that the rise had been due to the increase in commercial space activities (there had been tiny declines in... 

Space essential for meeting South Africa’s economic and social development goals

Earth observation satellite programme still not fully funded

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2018 South Africa's current Earth observation satellite programme, presently known as EO-Sat1, is still not fully funded, South African National Space Agency (Sansa) Executive Director: Space Programme Amal Khatri told "Engineering News". He was speaking on the sidelines of the recent Sansa Space for... 

Ghanaians protest over expanded military co-operation deal with US

By: Reuters     28th March 2018 Thousands of people protested in Ghana's capital Accra on Wednesday against the expansion of its defence cooperation with the United States, in a rare public display of opposition to the growing foreign military presence in West Africa. Demonstrators blowing vuvuzelas and beating drums filled... 

Burger resigns as CEO of Denel Land Systems

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th March 2018 Stephan Burger has resigned as CEO of Denel Land Systems (DLS). Burger, who is one of the longest-serving members of the Denel group, was appointed CEO of DLS in 2004. 

UK defence technology breakthrough could cut titanium parts production costs by half

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2018 The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Monday that its Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (officially abbreviated to Dstl) had, in cooperation with the University of Sheffield, developed of a radical new method of producing titanium parts. Dstl has so far invested almost £30... 

UK defence technology breakthrough could cut titanium parts production costs by half
Photo by Crown Copyright (UK)
The FAST-forge technology demonstration unit at the University of Sheffield

The challenges and opportunities facing South Africa’s space sector 

23rd March 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Rebecca Campbell about the key themes discussed at the recent South African National Space Agency for National Development Conference, including funding constrains and growth opportunities for the South African space... 

The challenges and opportunities facing South Africa’s space sector
The challenges and opportunities facing South Africa’s space sector

Aerosud Aviation warns of tough times for the South African aerospace industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th March 2018 South Africa’s largest private-sector commercial aviation aerostructures manufacturing company, Aerosud Aviation (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aerosud Holdings), warns that the local aerospace industry is going through tough times and is not receiving the kind of support that competitors in other... 

New Boeing jets will bring lower costs for local airline group

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th March 2018 The entry into service of eight next generation Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with South Africa’s private-sector Comair airline group will cut the airline’s fuel expenditure per seat by 15%. This was highlighted by Comair CEO Erik Venter at a press conference on Thursday. (This assumes that the fuel... 

New Boeing jets will bring lower costs for local airline group
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight test development aircraft

Comair announces selection of Honeywell avionics for its new airliners

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2018 South Africa’s second largest airline company, Comair, and American software-industrial group Honeywell announced on Friday that the airline has chosen the US group’s advanced cockpit technologies suite to equip the Boeing 737-800 MAX 8 airliners that it is acquiring. The suite will include a... 

Comair announces selection of Honeywell avionics for its new airliners
Photo by Honeywell
An IntuVue RDR-4000 radar in the nose of Honeywell’s Convair 580 flying test bed

Cape Town shipbuilder gets order for new Navy patrol vessels

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2018 Local shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT), part of the global Netherlands-based Damen Group, announced at the end of February that it had received an order to build three inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) for the South African Navy (SAN). The order was placed by South African defence... 

SANDF revises presidential flight procedures after Ramaphosa's Moti flight

By: News24Wire      8th March 2018 Internal processes around the procurement of private aircraft for presidential flights have been revised following news reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa flew on an aircraft owned by the Moti company. Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was grilled in the National Assembly on Wednesday... 

SANDF revises presidential flight procedures after Ramaphosa's Moti flight
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Undoing State capture in South Africa will face stiff resistance, sabotage – Gordhan 

By: African News Agency      6th March 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday said the new political dispensation in South Africa and the reversal of the “bad things” which led to the capture of key state institutions by private interests will be regularly opposed by the beneficiaries of the corruption. “I think we all... 

Undoing State capture in South Africa will face stiff resistance, sabotage – Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Order placed for new Navy patrol vessels

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th February 2018 Local shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT), part of the global Netherlands-based Damen Group, announced on Monday that it had received an order to build three inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) for the South African Navy (SAN). The order was placed by South African defence acquisitions,... 

Order placed for new Navy patrol vessels
Photo by Damen
A computer-generated image of one of the Damen IPVs in South African Navy service

Alaris posts promising interim results; focuses on organic growth, US opportunities

By: Schalk Burger     26th February 2018 AltX-listed specialist antenna firm Alaris Holdings has posted a 67% year-on-year increase in profit after tax to R21.6-million for the six months ended December 31. Revenue increased by 21% to R102.6-million, headline earnings a share from continuing operations increased by 125% to 18.62c and... 

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel 

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 Trade union Solidarity warned on Friday that its members at State-owned defence industrial group Denel were ready to start protesting at the company. This follows the response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to a recent urgent letter to her from Solidarity about, in the union’s words,... 

Union threatens protest action at defence group Denel
Photo by Keith Campbell/Creamer Media
Various Denel products on display at the Group’s Head Office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. From front to rear, a portable launcher for the Ingwe missile, an Ingwe missile, a Badger infantry fighting vehicle, a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle (largely obscured), and a Casspir mine protected vehicle.
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