South African defence major, Denel is delivering the 100th modular turret for AV8 armoured vehicles used by the Malaysian Army under a multi-million rand export contract.
“This is a historic and significant achievement which again demonstrates our leadership role in landward defence and Denel’s capacity to produce advanced technology systems for both the local and international markets,” says Mxolisi Makhatini, the CEO of Denel Landward.
The Euro 342-million contract is the largest export contract in Denel’s history. South Africa’s small and medium defence manufacturers have been amongst the largest beneficiaries of the contract, as Denel has had to procure millions of rands worth of equipment and services from domestic suppliers in order to meet its contractual obligations. At a time when the local economy has been contracting, the direct benefit to the local defence industry underlies Denel’s importance to the South African manufacturing industry and its position as a productive national asset, which contributes to generating export revenue and jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in Malaysia. Despite Denel’s constrained liquidity position and significant changes that the organisation is undergoing, we have managed to stay focused and deliver the 100th turret out 122 to our client as per specification and schedule and to execute almost 98% of our Offset obligation to date. Not only this, but we have built an excellent working relationship with our Malaysian partners and we intend to build on this as we explore further export opportunities in emerging markets,” he says.
In terms of the contract, Denel Land Systems supplies 177 modular turrets in four variants that are fitted onto the Malaysian AV8 vehicles as well as 216 laser-guided Ingwe anti-tank missiles.
The contract deliverables consist of:
-69 armoured fighting vehicle turrets fitted with GI30 30mm cannons
-54 missile turrets with combined GI30 cannons and Ingwe missiles
-54 remotely-operated weapon systems
Makhatini says the Malaysian contract has been a breakthrough for Denel as it established turret manufacturing outside of the country based on South African design and intellectual property. The variants were developed to meet the specific requirements of the client, which needs the product to be utilised in tropical and jungle conditions.
The contract requires the integration of products from some 13 different original equipment manufacturers to ensure seamless functionality. This is achieved through solid project management and sound governance in line with international best practice.
“Denel has contributed to technology transfer, capability and vendor development as well as skills transfer to ensure that it is able to meet its contractual obligations.
“Throughout the delivery process we have been able to uphold the high standards, product quality and professionalism that Denel is renowned for,” he says.
Makhatini says he is confident that successes achieved on the AV8-project will raise Denel’s profile in international defence markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, and will strengthen its ability to win new contracts for landward defence products.