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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    The South African defence industry is “at a critical crossroads”, says Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Speaking at the fourth iteration of the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence (AMD) Conference, in Pretoria, on Tuesday, she said this was as a result of the many challenges facing the industry, including a reduced defence force budget.

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    A strong, well-led and legitimate defence force, which is underpinned by scientific defence industries, will be vital to ensuring peace on the continent that is the foundation of economic and social development, says Western Cape University research dean Professor Renfrew Christie. To provide the 2.5-billion people in Africa with a safe and secure environment in which they can prosper, will require strong defence, police, justice and political resources, as well as advanced science and technology, he told delegates at the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference, in Pretoria, on Tuesday.

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    President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday paid tribute to South Africa's massive defence industry for creating much needed jobs and bringing in foreign currency. "For both security and developmental reasons, South Africa is looking after its defence industry, which is not only viewed as a department of defence asset. It is a national asset that has value for many departments and agencies of government," said Ramaphosa as he officially opened the 10th Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

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    Government is looking at reducing the dependency of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on direct funding by the State, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday. He was delivering the opening address for the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria.

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    The South African defence industry will need to pilot new projects and adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to grow the defence sector and create jobs in the process. To do this, however, Engineers Without Borders founder and CEO Wiebke Toussaint suggested the industry adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), machinery, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data for the defence industry to create opportunities in the sector.

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    State-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is seeking very close relationships with South African defence companies. "We are ready to invest in the South African defence industry and fund local research and development (R&D)," SAMI CEO Dr Andreas Schwer told Engineering News Online at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 show, at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria. "The idea is to jointly develop intellectual property, and open the Saudi Arabian defence market for South African companies," he said. "Saudi Arabia is the number two importer of defence equipment in the world."

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    South Africa's largest commercial aerospace manufacturing company, Aerosud Aviation, announced at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition on Thursday that it was offering its business solutions capabilities to other companies. This formed part of the company's new Growth Strategy, stated Aerosud Aviation MD Johan Steyn. The company originally developed its business solutions capabilities to meet its own in-house requirements, which included the need to manage long and complex supply chains on the one hand, and to fit into, and coordinate effectively with, the supply chains of global major aerospace groups, in particular Airbus and Boeing.

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    Britain was committed to further developing and strengthening partnerships with South Africa in the defence and security sectors, and not least with the South African defence industry. "The Prime Minister's [Theresa May's] recent visit here highlighted the importance the UK places on its defence relationship with South Africa," UK Department for International Trade Defence & Security Organisation (DSO) senior spokesperson Adam Thomas told Engineering News Online at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 show on Friday. "We have a high regard for the South African defence industry and for what it has achieved," he highlighted. "We are here [AAD] to promote partnerships between South African and British defence and security companies."

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    Swedish aerospace and defence group Saab has proposed to the South African Air Force (SAAF) than it adopt the latest incremental update developed for the JAS39C and JAS39D Gripen fighter. The update is designated MS 20. "The Gripen was developed with the concept of continuous upgrades – small upgrades every second or third year," explained Saab Senior Marketing Executive: Middle East and Africa Mats Lundberg to Engineering News Online at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition. "This was a requirement of the Swedish Air Force. They want to be ahead of the threats and have the latest technology. We believe we can do this best through continuous small upgrades."

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  • 09/28/18--17:19: Highlights from AAD 2018
  • Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media's Senior Deputy Editor Rebecca Campbell about the highlights of this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition.

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    Last week saw the latest edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence, still the continent’s premier exhibition in this sector, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. And, naturally, drawing one’s thoughts to the state of the closely related but not identical aerospace and defence industries in South Africa.

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    South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced the successful completion of the guided missile qualification test series for the A-Darter infrared (IR) homing short range air-to-air missile system. The A-Darter is a fifth generation missile that uses an imaging IR seeker system. The weapon was conceived in South Africa and jointly developed by South Africa and Brazil. It will be employed by both the South African Air Force (SAAF) and the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira – FAB).

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    South African State-owned arms manufacturer Denel did not pay senior staff their salaries in full this month, the company said, in a setback for President Cyril Ramaphosa's drive to turnaround struggling state companies. Ramaphosa has made improving governance and stabilising the finances of state firms a priority since replacing Jacob Zuma as head of state in February. South Africa's economy fell into recession this month.

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    Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will, this week, co-chair the eighth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC), in Saudi Arabia, while simultaneously following up on Saudi Arabia’s $10-billion investment pledge to South Africa. This session of the JEC will assess the progress made, as well as the implementation of the commitments of the previous session, and will seek ways to further deepen trade, as well as economic and social cooperation.

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    The Department of Defence (DoD) will, on Friday, host a supplier day in Centurion, during which the department aims to build relationships with small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs). The department will also be sharing details of its procurement processes with SMMEs.

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    Aerospace and defence company Paramount Group has appointed Mike Ramagoma CEO of its new subsidiary, Paramount South Africa.   Paramount South Africa was founded to bolster the capacity of South African end-users by providing advanced technologies and solutions that form part of Paramount Group’s comprehensive global capability. Paramount South Africa will serve the requirements of the South African National Defence Force, the South African Police Service and the Department of Home Affairs, as  well as customs and excise, border security, intelligence services, peacekeeping and anti-poaching forces.   Paramount Group says Ramagoma's appointment brings decades of experience and public policy leadership to Paramount South Africa. Ramagoma previously served as former head of ministerial services at the Department of Defence and as special policy adviser in three Ministries within the Security Cluster of Defence and Military Veterans, Correctional Services and Home Affairs.

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    President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that the Government was looking at reducing the dependency of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on direct funding by the State. He was delivering the opening address for the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria. "Several ideas are being explored to modernise the funding model of defence and reduce its dependency on the fiscus," he said. "The leveraging of the economic value of many types of assets of the defence force is under development, alongside improvements in the efficiency of the defence force and the rejuvenation of the defence human resources component."

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    Swedish aerospace and defence group Saab has proposed to the South African Air Force (SAAF) than it adopt the latest incremental update developed for the JAS39C and JAS39D Gripen fighter. The update is designated MS 20. "The Gripen was developed with the concept of continuous upgrades – small upgrades every second or third year," explained Saab Senior Marketing Executive: Middle East and Africa Mats Lundberg to "Engineering News Online" at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition. "This was a requirement of the Swedish Air Force. They want to be ahead of the threats and have the latest technology. We believe we can do this best through continuous small upgrades."

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    State-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is seeking very close relationships with South African defence companies. "We are ready to invest in the South African defence industry and fund local research and development (R&D)," SAMI CEO Dr Andreas Schwer told "Engineering News" at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 show, at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria. "The idea is to jointly develop intellectual property, and open the Saudi Arabian defence market for South African companies," he said. "Saudi Arabia is the number two importer of defence equipment in the world."

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    Britain was committed to further developing and strengthening partnerships with South Africa in the defence and security sectors, and not least with the South African defence industry. "The Prime Minister's [Theresa May's] recent visit here highlighted the importance the UK places on its defence relationship with South Africa," UK Department for International Trade Defence & Security Organisation (DSO) Senior Spokesman Adam Thomas told "Engineering News" at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 show.

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