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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel reported on Tuesday that it is in advanced discussions with the Department of Defence and the South African Air Force (SAAF) for upgrading the latter’s Denel Aviation Rooivalk attack helicopters. The upgrade would increase the operational effectiveness of the machine. The group is also confident that the upgrade will, in turn, lead to the development of a Mark (Mk) 2 version of the Rooivalk, which would also be available for export. The current operation version of the Rooivalk is the Mk 1F, which is categorised as the baseline and was released for front-line service in 2011.

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    The Acting CEO of South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, is “delighted” at his company’s role in helping prepare young South Africans to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He was speaking at the group’s recent annual Young Achievers Awards ceremony in Pretoria. He defined the First Industrial Revolution as the invention of machines and the ending of humanity’s dependence on animal power, the Second as being the invention of mass production and the third as being the development of digital technology. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will see the fusion of the physical, biological and digital worlds.

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    Technology and manufacturing solutions provider RocTool last month launched its RocTool Performance Cooling (RPC) unit to complement its induction heating process for plastic injection and composites processes. “This is in keeping with the work that has been done by RocTool systems and engineering teams in developing a wide range of new performance cooling units to meet the manufacturer’s growing demand for our heating and cooling technologies in production globally,” says RocTool systems and peripherals manager Jean-François Martinez.

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    The Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) took delivery on Wednesday of three RG-12 Nyala armoured internal security vehicles from manufacturer Denel Land Systems. The ceremony took place at TMPD headquarters in Pretoria West. (The metropolitan city of Tshwane includes Pretoria.) The Nyalas cost R2.3-million each. Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa highlighted in his address that the acquisition of the vehicles was part of the plan to strengthen the TMPD. This included the graduation of 2 000 new TMPD officers last year. "Whatever we do, it must show signs of excellence," he stressed. "We will be able to fight crime in all its manifestations ....in all corners of the city."

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    Trade union Solidarity on Wednesday called on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel’s new joint venture (JV) Denel Asia’s link to the Gupta family. The JV, established in Hong Kong in partnership with South African private-sector company VR Laser, was aimed at providing Denel with a firm foothold in Asia.

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    South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel is in advanced discussions with the Department of Defence and the South African Air Force (SAAF) for upgrading the latter’s Denel Aviation Rooivalk attack helicopters. The upgrade would increase the operational effectiveness of the machine. The group is also confident that the upgrade will, in turn, lead to the development of a Mark (Mk) 2 version of the Rooivalk, which would also be available for export.

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    South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group, Denel, has set up another international partnership, based in Hong Kong. This new subsidiary is Denel Asia and it is a joint venture (JV) with South African private sector company VR Laser.

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    A joint venture with Denel which has attracted controversy because of its links to the influential Gupta family is not yet a done deal, the Department of Public Enterprises said on Tuesday. “There are still other conditions to be met before final approval can be granted,” Colin Cruywagen, spokesperson for Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, told Fin24.

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    Denel’s top management insisted on Wednesday that no law has been broken and that all its decisions and activities on the controversial VR Laser joint venture deal took place within the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Denel chairperson Daniel Mantsha told MPs in the Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises that Denel would meet with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to discuss its failure to secure a Section 54 application for a joint venture.

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    South African missile, unmanned air vehicle and space company Denel Dynamics held its annual intern project presentation at its main facility in Centurion, south of Pretoria, on Thursday. For some years now the company has designated young, newly recruited, engineers and technologists as interns during their first year of employment and has assigned these interns projects to develop, with the help of mentors and technology demonstrators. These projects serve to introduce the new recruits to the company’s ethos, capabilities and way of doing things. “This programme is extremely valuable to Denel Dynamics,” said company deputy CEO Denise Wilson in her closing remarks at the event. “I know our interns have learned a lot during the past year.”

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    Simulator-based training systems designer ThoroughTec Simulation has begun the delivery of its Tactical Crew Training Simulators from its Cyberwar range, for the South African Army’s Badger Infantry Combat Vehicles. ThoroughTec Simulation military business manager David Cooke says the army will use the simulators to maintain its conventional, mechanised warfare skills despite the prevailing emphasis on low intensity, infantry-focused peace support operations.

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    South African defence equipment and logistics company Twiga Services is building Mamba-class armoured personnel carrier vehicles for a client in East Africa. Twiga CEO Damien de Lange says the vehicles are due for completion by the end of the year.

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    Demining and clearance company Mechem, which is part of defence products and solutions company Denel, was called in to inspect vacant land next to Loftus Gardens in Pretoria that has been earmarked for a new housing development. Denel acting group CE Zwelakhe Ntshepe says the land was used as a military training ground by the South African Defence Force more than 60 years ago.

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    Precision rifles designer and manufacturer Truvelo believes that manufacturing its rifles locally encourages foreign currency influx and alleviates unemployment. “We contribute to job creation and skills development by offering training to our staff and, as the majority of our products are exported, this also leads to more investment from foreign countries,” says Truvelo international sales and marketing manager Alexa Gerrard.

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  • 02/19/16--09:10: Denel
  • Established in April 1992, State-owned aerospace and defence technology group Denel continues to provide turnkey defence equipment solutions to its clients by designing, developing, integrating and supporting aerospace and defence technology.

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    Now that the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) has taken delivery of three RG-12 Nyala armoured internal security vehicles from Denel Land Systems, finalising its acquisition of riot control equipment, the organisation is considering the next step in dealing with violent unrest. “We want to make sure, in violent situations, we will be able to identify those engaged in violence and vandalising property and arrest them and have them successfully prosecuted,” says Chief of the TMPD KS Ngobeni. “But, in terms of riot control, we’re already there.”

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    State-owned aerospace and defence technology group Denel has modified its Casspir mine-protected vehicles to accommodate clients’ varying firepower requirements. Clients would be able to select the type and range of firepower that they required, which would serve as platforms for 81 mm mortar systems, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. Further, the Plofadder mine-clearing system, developed by Rheinmetall Denel Munitions, could now be fitted onto the Casspir’s hull.

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    A South African Air Force (SAAF) Caravan aircraft crash landed on a private farm in the early hours of Thusrday while on a routine night flying exercise at Air Force Base Langebaanweg. “The pilots were recovered by the Base Rescue Capability. Both pilots sustained varying degrees of injuries and they are currently hospitalised,” said the terse statement issued by the defence corporate communications in Pretoria.

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    South Africa’s National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) was formally launched by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula on Thursday. “Today marks an historic day in the existence of the South African defence industry and its relationship with the South African government and the DoD [Department of Defence] as the lead department,” she said in her keynote address. The NDIC was created, she pointed out, because it was realised that the local defence industry needed the “targetted support and direction” of the government and DoD in order to survive and develop. Consequently, “the NDIC will not only ensure the directed development of the South African defence industry and its support by the government but will also ensure that we align the implementation of the mandates of the various government departments in this regard – hence, the composition of the NDIC will be as inclusive as possible.”

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    The National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) should have its strategy for the sector completed by the last day of November, Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube stated on Thursday. He was speaking at the official launch of the Council. This strategy will be the result of the efforts of a number of committees that will undertake different “work streams” over three phases, or “waves”, during the course of this year. To meet the final and the intermediate deadlines, these committees will have to be appointed by the end of this month. They will report to Dr Gulube. “We foresee the NDIC as meeting every three months,” he said. Wave 1 will encompass most of the work streams. The list is long. He divided them into a number of sets. The first of these is: support to industry. This includes government to government agreements; guarantees; assistance in financing (including the possible facilitation of barter agreements to allow foreign countries to pay for South African defence exports in kind); consideration of the application of, or exemption from, legislation, for the defence industry; the centralised provision of services that the defence industry may require, such as legal services; the streamlining of export approvals; access to South African National Defence Force (SANDF) stocks for exports; the implications of collaborative or competitive acquisition; and the fact that the SANDF is “a constrained client”.

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