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Defence & Aerospace

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up 

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is, on average, 225-million km away.  

New air and ground urban transport concept pops up

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled at the recent 87th Geneva... 

Weapon system controlled from vehicle 

By: Victor Moolman     17th March 2017 Defence vehicle manufacturer Denel Vehicle Systems will deliver four Self Defence Remotely Operated Weapons (SD-ROW) systems and eight RG32M defence vehicles to the Namibian government by the end of this month for defence purposes and tactical observation. 

Weapon system controlled from vehicle
Denel Vehicle Systems executive for programmes and engineering Abri du Plessis and business development manager Gerrie van der Merwe explain the precision engineering in the SD-ROW system and the RG32M vehicles. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Denel signs agreement with German shipbuilding group

By: Keith Campbell     13th March 2017 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). This agreement will allow Denel’s Maritime division to take responsibility for the maintenance of, and upgrades to, the South... 

Denel signs agreement with German shipbuilding group
Photo by South African Navy
The Valour-class frigate SAS Amatola

South African defence company unveils increased range artillery round 

By: Keith Campbell     10th March 2017 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegaai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification... 

South African defence company unveils increased range artillery round
Photo by Rheinmetall Denel Munition
An RDM M2005 VLAP shell

Norwegian company to design the South African Navy’s new survey ship

By: Keith Campbell     10th March 2017 Norwegian ship design and shipbuilding company Vard Marine, a subsidiary of Italy’s Fincantiere group (which holds 55.63% of the Norwegian enterprise), has confirmed that its VARD 9 105 hydrographic/oceanographic ship design is the one offered to the South African Navy (SAN) by Southern African... 

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept

By: Keith Campbell     8th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled on Tuesday at the... 

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept
Photo by Airbus
This image shows a passenger capsule coupled to a ground module and a second passenger capsule coupled to an air module

Potchefstroom brothers continue aviation development with launch of new glider 

By: Dylan Slater     7th March 2017 Following in the tradition of brothers making their mark in the aviation industry, Potchefstroom brothers Professor Attie Jonker and Uys Jonker have launched a new addition to the domestic glider industry – the JS3.  

Potchefstroom brothers continue aviation development with launch of new glider
Jonker Sailplanes’ new JS3 is smaller than previous models, weighing 266 kg and reaching speeds of 290 km/h

Armscor announces preferred bidders for new Navy ship projects

By: Keith Campbell     3rd March 2017 South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor announced late last month the preferred bidders to supply ships for the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) Projects Biro and Hotel. They are Damen Shipyards Cape Town and South African Shipyards. Project Biro is... 

Brexit set to change SA’s bilateral economic relationship with the UK

By: Keith Campbell     3rd March 2017 Last month, during the debate regarding the 2017 State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Cape Town, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies highlighted that “[a]s the UK Government prepares to trigger exit negotiations from the EU [European Union], we need to prepare for a new trade... 

Brexit set to change SA’s bilateral economic relationship with the UK

Paramount Group unveils new version of Mwari aircraft

By: Dylan Slater     3rd March 2017 Following a “large increase in customer demand” for the South African-designed, -developed and -built Advanced, High-performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (Ahrlac), South African defence platforms company Paramount Group announced the unveiling of a new version of the aircraft – the Mwari... 

Public Works implements remedial plan at Bluff Naval base 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th February 2017 The Department of Public Works (DPW) has appointed a team to prepare a remedial plan for the faulty pump station at the Bluff Naval base, in Durban, following an incident last week in which six people died. The deceased, three contract workers and three South African National Defence Force... 

Design for the South African Navy’s new survey ship confirmed

By: Keith Campbell     24th February 2017 Norwegian ship design and shipbuilding company Vard Marine, a subsidiary of Italy’s Fincantiere group (which holds 55.63% of the Norwegian enterprise), has confirmed that its VARD 9 105 hydrographic/oceanographic ship design is the one offered to the South African Navy (SAN) by Southern African... 

Design for the South African Navy’s new survey ship confirmed
Photo by Vard Marine
The VARD 9 105 survey ship, depicted in the traditional South African Navy hydrographic ship paint scheme

Air force base sends 60 cadets for training

     24th February 2017 From next year, the South Africa Air Force (SAAF) will send 60 cadets to a military academy in Saldanha in the Western Cape each year to pursue their first degree in their chosen fields. This will include future pilots, navigators, engineers, technicians and other support mustering. 

Air force base sends 60 cadets for training
Photo by Dylan Slater
ROOIVALK HELICOPTER The Rooivalk helicopter has recently shown its effectiveness in combat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

MENA region to account for big proportion of 3% growth

     24th February 2017 Last month, international consultancy company Deloitte projected a growth of more than 3% in global defence spending in 2017 after years of declining budgets. 

MENA region  to account for  big proportion  of 3% growth
Photo by Duane Daws
RG32M VEHICLE Eight RG32M vehicles will be supplied from Denel to Namibia by March this year

US group unveils its new-generation oversized cargo aircraft

By: Keith Campbell     24th February 2017 US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first example of the commercial version of its C-130J Super Hercules military airlifter. The civilian model is designated the LM-100J and it was built, and the roll-out ceremony took place at, the company’s plant at Marietta in the US State of... 

SANDF members died trying to help 'screaming' contract workers

By: News24Wire      17th February 2017 The three South African Defence Force members who died in a "freak accident" at the army’s naval base in Durban, were trying to rescue three contract workers screaming for help at the bottom of a sewage pit after a gas leak, says the SANDF. The SANDF's Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi said contract... 

Armscor announces preferred bidders for new Navy ship projects 

By: Keith Campbell     16th February 2017 South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor announced on Thursday the preferred bidders to supply ships for the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) projects Biro and Hotel. They are Damen Shipyards Cape Town and South African Shipyards. Project Biro is for... 

Armscor announces preferred bidders for new Navy ship projects
Photo by Damen
A Damen Stan Patrol 4207 IPV of the Mexican Navy. It is not known what IPV design the company has offered South Africa. This picture merely gives an idea of what Damen can offer

Sector charter for the defence industry agreed

By: Keith Campbell     10th February 2017 Stakeholders in the country’s defence industry have adopted the Defence Sector Charter, which is intended to promote black economic empowerment (BEE) in the sector. The decision was taken at a recent stakeholder consultation session, which was attended by industry experts, suppliers, trade union... 

Airbus A400M may have won $2bn Indonesian order – reports

By: Keith Campbell     3rd February 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... 

Defence industry sector charter approved

By: Keith Campbell     1st February 2017 Stakeholders in the country’s defence industry adopted the Defence Sector Charter, which is intended to promote black economic empowerment in the sector, on Tuesday. The decision was taken at a stakeholder consultation session, which was attended by industry experts, suppliers, trade union... 

Finland thinking of new version of South African missile to equip its ships 

By: Keith Campbell     27th January 2017 Earlier this month 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”.... 

New Sansa head looking at new opportunities for the agency

By: Keith Campbell     27th January 2017 Newly appointed CEO of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa), Dr Val Munsami, will be actively seeking to identify and exploit potential areas in which to grow the activities and income of the organisation. “Our baseline budget is constrained,” he points out. “We are matching inflation.... 

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... 

A400M reportedly wins second export order
Photo by Airbus
An Airbus A400M

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

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