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8 novembre 2013 5 08 /11 /novembre /2013 17:45
A Rippel Effect grenade launcher and grenades - photo Guy Martin

A Rippel Effect grenade launcher and grenades - photo Guy Martin

 

08 November 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

Germany company Diehl Defence has signed an agreement with Rippel Effect to jointly market the South African company’s 40 mm grenade launchers.

 

Diehl and Rippel Effect Systems (RES) will qualify Diehl’s 40 mm medium-velocity ammunition for Rippel Effect’s XRGL40 and UBL40 grenade launchers, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Industry. This was confirmed by Rippel Effect, but no further details were forthcoming.

 

RES manufactures 40 mm multi-shot grenade launchers, certified to fire both low and medium velocity rounds. Its XRGL40 extended grenade launcher also fires less-than-lethal riot/crowd control ammunition, including rubber, ball, soft-nose, illuminating and smoke grenades.

 

The company also offers its UBL40 under-barrel grenade launcher for assault rifles and its GR40 electronically programmable sighting system, able to distinguish between the use of low- and medium velocity ammunition.

 

Rippel Effect says it has exported thousands of 40 mm grenade launchers to more than 30 countries around the world.

 

Diehl is involved in South Africa through the supply of IRIS-T air-to-air missiles for the South African Air Force’s 26 Gripen fighter jets. The first missiles were delivered in 2009. Diehl has also test-fired its missiles (including the IRIS-T Surface Launch) at Denel’s Overberg Test Range in the southern Cape.

 

According to Jane’s, Diehl has previously partnered with Denel over artillery ammunition.

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7 novembre 2013 4 07 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
AgustaWestland A109 Light Utility Helicopter

AgustaWestland A109 Light Utility Helicopter

 

06 November 2013 by Dean Wingrin - defenceWeb

 

After five months of not flying, the South African Air Force’s (SAAF) fleet of Agusta A109 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) are back in the air again and converting new pilots.

 

The current conversion course for new A109 pilots has finally resumed at 87 Helicopter Flying School, AFB Bloemspruit, near Bloemfontein. The other two squadrons equipped with the type, 15 Squadron (Durban) and 17 Squadron (Swartkop) are also flying again, with the type appearing at the SAAF Air Capability Demonstration held at the Roodewal bombing range at the end of October.

 

The latest grounding followed the March crash of an A109 on aerial patrol in the Kruger National Park, which flew into ground, killing all five on board. As a result, the course converting existing helicopter pilots to the A109 was temporarily stopped, pending the investigation. The course pupils were sent on leave and thereafter back to their previous home squadrons, but as they had already started their conversion, they were not allowed to fly the Oryx helicopters that they were previously qualified on.

 

After some months of inactivity, the severe budgetary constraints affecting the SAAF resulted in a shortage of funds to keep the A109 fleet flying. Ground running the engines and infrequent flights was all that could be done, with the course pupils still sitting idly at their previous home squadrons.

 

At the same time, it is rumoured that certain tail rotor bolts had to be replaced, but these had not been ordered. Then, the A109 ground simulator was upgraded, resulting in yet another delay to the commencement of the course.

 

The SAAF commitment of supplying Oryx helicopters to MONUSCO, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has also resulted in a shortage of Oryx pilots, whilst other pilots were drafted to 16 Squadron to increase the pool of Rooivalk attack helicopter pilots. The Rooivalk was only recently deployed to the DRC.

 

The cascading effect was such that a new instructor course was required before the deferred conversion course could recommence. With this process completed, the conversion course resumed at the beginning of October, much to the relief of the course students.

 

The A109 has been the black sheep of SAAF’s helicopter fleet, never living up to expectations. Deemed too complex to convert newly qualified pilots onto helicopters, it has also been reported that the helicopter can neither carry operational loads in high heat conditions nor fly in strong wind.

 

Although the conversion course onto the A109 is held at Bloemfontein, the course deploys to Port Elizabeth for certain landing tasks as Bloemfontein is deemed too hot and high to practise such techniques.

 

The Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland A109 LUH was purchased to replace the elderly Alouette III helicopter in the light utility role, with the delivery of the first of 30 helicopters commencing in 2005.

 

According to the SAAF, typical missions for the A109 includes training, search and rescue, rope extraction & rappelling, trooping, medical evacuation (casevac), cargo transport, border patrol, peacekeeping, communications and urban operations.

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7 novembre 2013 4 07 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
An SA Army 120 mm mortar in action

An SA Army 120 mm mortar in action

 

06 November 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

The state of the South African Army’s vehicles and other so-called prime mission equipment (PME) is declining to unacceptable levels while modernisation remains stagnant due to budget constraints and hurdles from entities like Armscor, according to the Department of Defence.

 

In its annual report for the period April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, the Department of Defence (DoD) noted that the period “remained a challenging year for the SA Army as a result of ever-increasing costs of the sustainment of PME, facilities, personnel, ammunition for training and operations.”

 

“The state of prime mission equipment, particularly in the Landward Defence programme, continued to decline to unacceptable levels. Additional funding provided for maintenance and repair of the operational vehicle fleet has had some effect, but is not sufficient to address this concern adequately. The rejuvenation of these capabilities therefore remains one of the DoD’s top priorities,” the DoD’s accounting officer said in the annual report.

 

As the Army did not receive any equipment from the Strategic Defence Packages (‘arms deal’), the DoD said it is lacking the required human resources, infrastructure and technologically advanced equipment.

 

Modernising the South African Army and acquiring more equipment “has remained stagnant” and has been hampered by a lack of funding and the delays to the finalisation of the Defence Review “which will inform the required future Landward Defence Capabilities of the SANDF”, the DoD said.

 

The serviceability and repair of equipment and vehicles was highlighted as a challenge to the landward arm of the SANDF due to the long process of acquisition, distribution of spares and shortage of personnel.

 

Although the SA Army said it was fully motivated to support its equipment, it said that support from Armscor and the Central Procurement Service Centre (CPSC) “remained extremely challenging.” Reliance on Armscor and the CPSC “created challenges for the SA Army resulting in the underutilisation of National Treasury funding.”

 

The South African Army actually underspent in the last financial year, something that was attributed to “external spending hurdles” such as the CPSC, Public Works department and Armscor, “which the SA Army is unable to influence.” Indeed, actual expenditure for 2012/13 was R12.367 billion, versus the R12.68 billion budgeted for.

 

The DoD said the defence budget allocation for landward renewal was “adequate” for the short term, but that rejuvenating the Army’s equipment, human resources and infrastructure was “compromised by a variety of institutional challenges central to which is the limited budget”. Indeed, the Strategic Capital Acquisition Master Plan (SCAMP) faces a budget deficit of R3 billion between FY 2017 and FY2020.

 

While the DoD highlighted the poor state of the Army’s vehicle fleet in its report, some relief came this year when Denel Land Systems received a contract for the production of 264 Badger armoured vehicles, to be produced over ten years, with the first delivery in 2015.

 

Apart from budget issues affecting equipment, the DoD said the SA Army’s personnel are insufficiently rejuvenated, directly affecting its ability to provide and sustain operational obligations in the future. A number of units were singled out as being in adequate to sustain operations, notably 16 and 17 Maintenance Units, 101 and 102 Field Workshops, Hospitality Services and VIP Protectors.

 

For the year under review, the DoD said the SA Army, as part of the Landward Defence Programme, made a significant contribution, notably through border protection duties and external deployments in Africa. “The SA Army fulfilled all its Joint Force Employment (JFE) commitments, notwithstanding the fact that it was overstretched, especially in the infantry, engineer, intelligence, signal and support capabilities. Reserve and MSDS [Military Skills Development System] members were utilised for both internal and external deployments to alleviate the pressure on Regular units.”

 

The external deployments included United Nations missions to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco), Darfur (Unamid) and in support of training and protection in the Central African Republic. The SANDF also sent personnel to train DRC military forces. Two SA Army Reserve sub-units supported the Monusco and Unamid operations respectively

 

During the year under review, the SA Army provided 11 combat-ready sub-units for Border Safeguarding Operations as part of internal deployments. Eight SA Army Reserve sub-units were deployed for border safeguarding. A total of 10 784 reserves were called up for 1 647 109 man-days. 65% of the full call-up complement were employed for operational and force preparation duties.

 

The SA Army was also used to support the South African Police Service, particularly during the Marikana unrest, supported the African Cup of Nations and assisted the Mozambican Defence Force with counter-piracy operations in the Mozambique Channel.

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7 novembre 2013 4 07 /11 /novembre /2013 08:45
Denel targeting ASEAN decision-makers in Bangkok

 

 

05 November 2013 defenceWeb

 

With military modernisation programmes for south eastern Asian nations in full swing, Denel is confident its presence at the Thailand Defence and Security Exhibition will bring rewards.

 

The exhibition opened in Bangkok yesterday and Denel chief executive Riaz Salojee said the presence of the State-owned defence industry conglomerate in Thailand was a good fit to south-east Asia - “one of our primary target markets, along with Africa and the Middle East”.

 

The Thailand exhibition is the 10th of its kind and more than 400 defence manufacturers from 20 countries are showing the latest in products and technology to potential buyers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

 

Denel personnel will build on the strong diplomatic and trade relations that exist between South Africa and ASEAN countries. Both China and India are members of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] and South Africa has good relations with Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and Indonesia, Salojee said.

 

Earlier this year Denel Land Systems (DLS) entered into a contract with Malaysia to supply a range of turrets and integrated weapons systems for that country’s infantry combat vehicles.

 

“Apart from boosting the Denel profile in the region it has also emphasised the quality and versatility of products carrying the Denel name,” he said.

 

One of the DLS products on display in Bangkok is the GA-1 20x80mm multi-purpose automatic cannon. This rapid fire weapon has proven its effectiveness in both landward defence and on helicopters. A naval-mounted version is seen as a deterrent in efforts to combat piracy.

 

According to DLS, the GA-1 can be effectively deployed alongside its NTW-20 anti-materiel weapon. This is effective for the destruction of high-value targets including vessels, refineries, bunkers and radar installations over a distance in excess of 2 000 metres.

 

DLS will also be marketing the latest version of its Casspir mine-protected vehicle which, according to the company, sets new standards in protection, power, manoeuvrability and comfort for crew and passengers.

 

With Denel acknowledged as a global leader in artillery systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as contributing to some of the most advanced missile development programmes currently underway, worldwide military attending the Bangkok exhibition will also be able to find out more about the Umkhonto surface-to-air missile. A new version destroyed targets at a range of 20 km during a recent series of tests in the Western Cape observed by local and international experts.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 08:45
South Africa : Defence department gets more money from mid-term budget

 

25 October 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

The Department of Defence and Military Veterans has received an additional R400 million from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who allocated the extra funds in his mid-term budget policy statement.

 

According to treasury documents, an additional R271 million has been allocated to force employment for the 2013/14 year; R248 million has been taken away from the landward defence budget, R535 million has been taken away from the air defence budget, R63 million has been taken away from the maritime defence budget and R119 million has been added to the military health support budget.

 

Overall, an additional R414 million has been allocated to defence for 2013/14, with the majority of the money going to force employment, military health, general support (R791 million), administration (R74 million) and defence intelligence (R5 million).

 

The force employment allocation is a welcome boost for the South African National Defence Force, as it has been cut to the bone, but other reductions may raise doubts about re-equipment of the various arms of service. For instance, infantry capability, transport and maritime aircraft, air combat capability and maritime combat capability all received cuts under the adjusted appropriations announced by Gordhan.

 

The Treasury said that for the defence department, “Compared to the first six months of 2012/13, expenditure over the same period in 2013/14 increased by R2.335 billion, or 14.5 per cent. This was mainly due to salary increases, additional external deployments and the settlement of a claim against the department.”

 

This claim is believed to be from Austrian company AMST Systemtechnik Gmbh, which received R300 million after the defence department failed to honour its contractual obligations regarding advance payment for the supply of equipment, believed to be aeromedical in nature. The contract was subsequently cancelled and the defence department ordered to pay compensation.

 

The Treasury allocated an additional R150 million to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for sending troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of the United Nations force intervention brigade there. This was classified under unseen and unavoidable expenditure. Over a thousand SANDF personnel, as well as assets like helicopters, have been deployed to the DRC.

 

In terms of other operations this year, the Treasury noted that thirteen landward sub-units have been deployed on border safeguarding tasks (Operation Corona) and that 1 710 hours have been flown in support of air defence between April and September, out of the target of 6 500 for the 2013/2014 year.

 

"The [department] has reprioritised funds, away from computer services and the special defence accounts for weapons procurement, to the operational budget of the SA Air Force,” the treasury said in the 2013 mini budget, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. However, budget documents show that money has been stripped from air defence and allocated to force employment, from which the Air Force will presumably get some money from.

 

5 105 hours have been spent at sea over the last six months from April to September, out of the original target of 22 000 for the 2013/2014 financial year. “The department had recorded only 5 105 hours at sea by mid-year and expects to record 12 000 hours by year end, not the 22 000 initially projected,” according to the Treasury. “This is because of the decline in operational activities in support of counter piracy operations, which are conducted through the Maritime Defence programme.”

 

Treasury documents indicate that R18.43 billion, or 45.3% of the defence budget (which totals R40.658 billion for the year) was spent between April and September this year, with R1.4 billion being spent on force employment, R6.2 billion on landward defence, R2.6 billion on air defence, R1.4 billion on maritime defence and R1.7 billion on military health.

 

In the mini-budget document, it was revealed that the SANDF has conducted five joint, interdepartmental and military exercises between April and September and used 13 551 active reserves – most likely for border security operations.

 

The department counts 5 107 military skills development members in the system, and expects to exceed its target as the intake of trainees from the South African Navy and the South African Military Health Service in January 2013 was higher than anticipated.

 

A total of R50.357 million was generated by selling equipment and spares and this will be used “for defence activities,” with R41.8 million being allocated to landward defence, R6.8 million to air defence and R1.6 million to maritime defence.

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10 octobre 2013 4 10 /10 /octobre /2013 17:45
Rooivalk looks set for DRC deployment

Rooivalk set for DRC deployment

 

10 October 2013 by Kim Helfrich,- defenceWeb

 

Just on 30 years after development work started on a home-grown attack helicopter, South Africa’s Rooivalk seems set for its first operational deployment.

 

This is the inference drawn from a photograph circulating on social media of a Rooivalk with its customary camouflaged fuselage replaced by white paint. The photo was taken at AFB Bloemspruit, home to the SA Air Force’s 16 Squadron, which operates 11 Rooivalks.

 

The sighting of the white combat support helicopter comes after SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Joint Operations Chief Lieutenant General derrick Mgwebi in August said South Africa had no say in whether the Rooivalk would be deployed to support the UN Forward Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC.

 

“South Africa is a troop contributing country and it does not decide on what military assets will be utilised,” he told a media briefing in Thaba Tshwane.

 

“The UN as the co-ordinator of the FIB has been made fully aware of the capabilities of the Rooivalk and any decision on its deployment into the eastern DRC theatre has to be made by the world body. We have told them what the rate for the Rooivalk is and a decision on whether or not it will go to the DRC rests solely with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

 

“Until a letter of assistance confirming the UN wants Rooivalk in the DRC is received, no aircraft from 16 Squadron will leave South Africa,” he said.

 

That at least one and possibly two of 16 Squadron’s inventory are now in UN white indicates the UN has taken a decision in favour of the rotary-winged aircraft that started life as a tank buster meant for use in the Border War.

 

At the time of publication no official confirmation of the Rooivalk DRC deployment had been received from the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) communications directorate.

 

Military aviation experts and enthusiasts were making use of chatrooms to spread the word, discussing possible armament and transport options to the eastern DRC.

 

On armament, aviation commentator Darren Olivier was of the opinion the Rooivalk will be equipped with the FZ 90 70 mm wraparound fin air rocket (WAFAR), carrying up to 76 in four underwing pods and 700 rounds of ammunition for the 20 mm F2 cannon. No Mokopa or other anti-tank missiles will be loaded “but the rockets and cannon are potent weapons,” he said.

 

Another chatroom poster said an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft was due in at OR Tambo International Airport late last night and wondered if it would pick up Rooivalks for the DRC.

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9 octobre 2013 3 09 /10 /octobre /2013 16:45
The Denel Umkhonoto surface to air missile

The Denel Umkhonoto surface to air missile

 

 

09 October 2013 by defenceWeb

 

Denel has successfully tested the land-based version of its Umkhonto surface-to-air (SAM) missile at the Denel Overberg Test Range, where the weapon destroyed targets at a range of 20 km.

 

The live fire exercises, carried out between October 1 and 3, were the first with the land-based version of Denel Dynamics’ naval Umkhonto SAM. Denel said that observers from nine countries joined officials from the Ministry of Defence, Armscor and the SANDF to witness the firing.

 

During the demonstration three missiles successfully destroyed low-cost aerial target systems (LOCATS – provided by the South African Army), two at 15 km range and one at 20 km. The targets were launched from Denel’s range at the southern tip of Africa and flew out to sea before turning inshore on an elliptical track. The successful ground-based firing tests proved that the range of the Umkhonto has now been extended to 20 km while the physical dimensions of the missile remain unchanged, Denel said.

 

The targets were engaged by the Umkhonto missiles in their lock-on-after-launch mode. The Reutech Radar Systems new RSR-320 dual-band 3D radar provided mid-course guidance updates to get the missiles within range of their infrared seekers.

 

The Umkhonto SAM system was developed by Denel Dynamics for the SA Navy’s Meko A200 class frigates, and is in service in both Block 1 and Block 2 versions. The Block 2, with a range of 15 km, is also used by the Finnish Navy aboard its Hamina class corvettes and Hämeenmaa class mine layers. The Block 2 variant features a 3 km greater range and a seeker aimed at processing cluttered environments, especially in look-down mode. The Umkhonto has reportedly been selected by Algeria for use on its Meko frigates.

 

Denel said the newly-developed ground-based launcher now provides an alternative that can also be used by the SA Army for Phase 2 of its Ground-based Air Defence System (GBADS) – a project that is also managed by Denel, the company said. The RSR-320 radar could also be used for GBADS Phase 2.

 

The RSR-320 radar was developed from the 2D Thutlwa ESR 220 radar, currently in service with the South African Army, and designed as a missile guidance radar, according to IHS Janes.

 

Riaz Saloojee, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Denel said the successful testing of the recently modified Umkhonto missile demonstrated the company’s global leadership in the development and manufacturing of guided weapons. This was the first time an integrated air defence system developed entirely in South Africa was demonstrated.

 

“Our local defence industry can develop products that are comparable and better than what is available in the rest of the world,” said Saloojee. “This contributes to the strategic capabilities of the SANDF and strengthens the high-technology proficiencies of the defence sector.”

 

Denel Dynamics is developing a longer range Umkhonto variant with a range exceeding 20 km, as well as a radar-guided version.

 

In collaboration with Brazilian partners Denel is also developing and testing its new generation air-to-air missile, the A-Darter.

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9 octobre 2013 3 09 /10 /octobre /2013 16:45
SAS Spioenkop departs Simons Town for West Africa

SAS Spioenkop departs Simons Town for West Africa

09 October 2013 by Dean Wingrin - defenceWeb

 

The South African Navy frigate SAS Spioenkop departed Simon’s Town Wednesday morning on a patrol along the west coast of Africa, destined for Dakar in Senegal.

 

During her six-week voyage, the South African warship will be visiting Walvis Bay (Namibia), Luanda (Angola), Tema (Ghana) and Lagos (Nigeria) prior to arriving in Dakar where she will support the South African contingent participating at the Sea Power for Africa Symposium.

 

The patrol, known as INTEROP WEST, is a military diplomacy mission, showing the flag in each of the ports. En route, the ship will exercise with various African Navies and allow naval officers of different countries to sail on board.

 

According to Capt Chris Manig, Commander of the Frigate Squadron, the actual exercises will be decided by the ship and the host country whilst the ship is alongside.

 

“We won't have any specific requirements that we want to exercise with our neighbours, it's more about what they would like to do with us on areas that they want to brush up on,” Manig explained.

 

“We'll look at the visiting country's capacity in terms of their navy and any specific outcomes they want to concentrate on and then we'll discuss a program around that,” he continued.

 

The exercises will possibly concentrate on maritime interdiction and anti-piracy type operations, including anti-piracy boarding training.

 

Commanded by Captain MA Boucher, the Spioenkop has a crew of 180, together with a dozen Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) members and four specialists from the South African Military Health Services (SAMS). The South African Air Force contingent with a Super Lynx maritime helicopter had to pull out at the last minute due to serviceability issues with the helicopter.

 

Whilst a blow to the Navy, Manig put on a brave face. Spioenkop is due to replace SAS Isandlwana on Operation Copper, the anti-piracy mission in the Mozambique Channel, in January next year.

 

“We will definitely be taking a helicopter (then), so we will catch up on what we couldn't achieve on this particular trip, Manig said, “So it is of no real concern to us.”

 

The west coast of Africa, particularly the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta, is a high piracy threat area. The Navy says that the pirates in the area are getting more and more brazen in terms of who they board and who they take hostage. As the navies in the area have their own practices in place to counter the piracy threat, the Spioenkop will not be going out and actively looking for any pirates.

 

However, Manig explained that they may be called upon to assist whilst they are in the area as they have the capability of assisting with the MRS boarding teams and boats onboard. Thus, the MRS is capable of intercepting and boarding any suspicious vessels as part of the anti-piracy objectives or hijacking at sea.

 

Once alongside in Senegal, the ship will participate in the 4th Sea Power for Africa Symposium from 4 to 8 November 2013. Attended by Chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu, the Symposium is attended by Chiefs of the navies or their representatives from most of the African coastal and inland navies, together with observers from international navies. It aims at identifying, prioritising and resolving various maritime issues facing Africa.

 

Spioenkop will also act as a display platform for the South African Defence Industry, where Denel will be showcasing various defence industry products and hardware.

 

Having spent 10 days in Senegal, Spioenkop will depart on 11 November and passage direct to Simon’s Town, arriving on 22 November.

 

Spioenkop recently participated in Ex Shared Accord, the joint South African/ US Armed Forces exercise that was held in the Eastern Cape in July this year.

 

INTEROP WEST and INTEROP EAST are generally held alternatively each year, with the aim of building and maintaining co-operation with navies along the coast of Africa.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 18:45
Naval Base Durban still a way off

 

23 September 2013 by Kim Helfrich, defenceWeb

 

There is a still a long way to go before any permanent naval vessel presence re-establishes itself in Durban.

 

SA Navy Chief Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu earlier this year indicated the former home of what was the strikecraft flotilla would again be brought into service as a fully operational naval base. He said the Salisbury Island site would become a permanent home to the offshore patrol vessels (OPV) in the Navy fleet.

 

One of the biggest problems is suitable accommodation for naval personnel at the proposed base. “Proposed” because at present the Navy in Durban is accommodated at a naval station and this can only be changed to a full naval base once certain functions, including accommodation, are in place Commander Eugene Khumalo of the Navy Public Relations Department said.

 

Ministerial authority is the final hurdle to be cleared before the existing naval station can be upgrade to base status and this is dependent on factors such as vessel handling and maintenance capacity as well as accommodation.

 

“Work is currently underway on workshops and other facilities at Naval Station Durban to support more regular port calls to Durban by SAN vessels as a result of an increase in operations along the East Coast,” he said.

 

The increase is primarily as a result of the ongoing counter-piracy tasking, Operation Copper. This sees one SAN platform deployed to the Mozambique Channel as part of a joint Mozambican/South African/Tanzanian effort to stop piracy along the continental east coast. To date the Navy has deployed Valour Class frigates, the replenishment vessel SAS Drakensberg and one of the strikecraft refurbished to OPV status to the busy sea lane to deter piracy.

 

Apart from bringing back the workshops and associated ships’ maintenance facilities to full operation at Salisbury Island the Navy is liaising with other Department of Defence entities, primarily the Chief of Logistics and, to a lesser extent, the Department of Public Works, in efforts to secure suitable accommodation.

 

When the Navy departed Durban its housing facilities were mostly taken over the elements of the SA Army. With the landward arm of service still having a presence in the east coast harbour city accommodation for married naval personnel is acknowledged as being a problem area.

 

The situation is somewhat different as regards single accommodation with refurbishment work on existing single quarters currently underway.

 

Khumalo sums up the situation by saying: “There is ongoing work in Durban to ensure the current OPVs can be effectively supported while alongside.

 

“The intention is that when the new OPVs are acquired, the Durban facilities will also be able to fully support them. So it is a concurrent process that is underway.”

 

As to the number of naval personnel that will eventually call Durban home he cannot be specific – “it will be dependent on the type of platforms acquired and the support personnel, apart from ships’ crews, the new vessels will require”.

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21 septembre 2013 6 21 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
Quels pays africains dépensent le plus pour leur armée?

21.09.2013 Jeune Afrique

 

Les entreprises d'armement internationales, de plus en plus dépendantes des exportations en raison de la baisse des dépenses militaires en Europe et aux États-Unis, lorgnent vers une Afrique dont les budgets d'armement vont exploser dans les dix prochaines années.

 

Selon l'hebdomadaire américain Defense News, les dépenses militaires en Afrique - en plein boom énergétique dans les régions de l'Ouest et de l'Est - vont augmenter de 20 milliards de dollars au cours de la prochaine décennie contre plus de 40 milliards en 2012, selon le Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). Ce phénomène est lié au développement récent de plusieurs armées en Afrique qui, depuis la fin de l'époque coloniale, connaît bon nombre de guerres, d'insurrections et de coups d'État. D'autre part, l'Occident fait, depuis 2001, beaucoup d'efforts pour renforcer les capacités de lutte antiterroriste, particulièrement dans la zone sahélo-saharienne, la Corne de l'Afrique et la côte orientale où les groupes djihadistes demeurent très présents.

 

Protéger les ressources

 

"La ruée vers le marché de la défense africain vient tout juste de commencer, et il se poursuivra au cours de la prochaine décennie", estime le colonel Joseph Sibanda, officier retraité de l'armée du Zimbabwe, désormais consultant pour la défense, cité par Defense News. Il estime que les pays comme le Mozambique - ancienne colonie portugaise pauvre désormais en plein boom gazier de même que la Tanzanie voisine -, l'Ouganda et le Kenya devront rediriger leurs besoins de défense vers la protection de leurs gisements de pétrole et leurs infrastructures de gaz onshore et offshore.


"Le marché africain de la défense sera, dans les prochaines années, pratiquement au même niveau que celui de l'Asie du Sud-Est", annonce Sibanda. "Les avions militaires, véhicules blindés et système d'artillerie devront être modernisés afin de répondre aux nouvelles menaces qui planent sur la sécurité", poursuit-il.

 

Une bonne nouvelle pour l'Afrique du Sud

 

Jusqu'à maintenant, l'Afrique n'avait jamais été un marché-clé pour les grands contractants militaires occidentaux, même si des pays riches en pétrole comme le Nigeria, l'Algérie ou la Libye ont déjà acheté des systèmes d'armes de hauts niveau, des avions, des navires de guerre et des armes au fil des ans.

 

Les seul pays africains ayant des industries d'armement autochtones sont l'Afrique du Sud - bien que son secteur de la défense lié à Israël ait considérablement diminué depuis la fin de l'apartheid, en 1994 - et l'Egypte qui, depuis l'accord de paix signé en 1979 avec Israël, s'est davantage tournée vers les États-Unis.

 

Le secteur de la défense sud-africain est dirigé par Denel, capable de produire des systèmes de missiles avancés, de l'artillerie aux standards internationaux et des systèmes aérospatiaux. La plus grande économie d'Afrique pourrait bien être l'une des principales bénéficiaires de la mise à niveau majeure de l'équipement des forces armées du continent.

Qui dépense le plus pour l'armement en Afrique ?
(en millions de dollars, 2012)

1. Algérie 9 325
2. Afrique du Sud 4 470
3. Égypte 4 372
4. Angola 4 146
5. Maroc 3 402
6. Libye 2 987
7. Nigeria 2 327
8. Sud Soudan 964
9. Kenya 798
10. Tunisie 709
11. Côte d'Ivoire et Namibie 407

Source : Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
Paramount Group successfully concludes ATE business rescue

Sept. 17, 2013 by Paramount Group

 

The business rescue process of one of South Africa's truly recognised national assets, ATE South Africa (Advanced Technology and Engineering Company), has become unconditional with the support, both financial and strategic, of the Paramount Group, Africa's largest privately-owned aerospace and defence company – a bold move that is strategic to the continued growth and development of the defence industry on the continent, and which will result in the Paramount Group acquiring ATE.

 

ATE, one of South Africa's oldest and most established aerospace companies, with more than 27 years of experience, will now be incorporated into the Paramount Group, trading as Paramount Advanced Technologies. This will ensure that vital aerospace expertise and world-class competency remains in South Africa, to the benefit of the continent and the broader economy.

 

ATE has been through a tumultuous time over the past few years and was placed under business rescue just under two years ago. Paramount Group's acquisition will ensure the continuation of this strategic business, and in so doing, add significant new and sophisticated aeronautical capabilities into its existing product offering and expand the group's ability to deliver to its many government customers around the world.

 

Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman, Paramount Group, said: "Paramount Group's success lies in our confidence and faith in our continent's technical ability. The business rescue of ATE demonstrates this commitment and will harness local skills and South Africa's ‘can do' attitude. This transaction will ultimately aid the continent, allow us to drive research and development in this hi-tech field, and participate as one of the leading global industry players.

 

"The alternative to Paramount rescuing ATE would have been for the company to go into liquidation or for a foreign company to acquire the business. This would have meant the loss of a highly specialised strategic capability to South Africa and the continent forever. The Paramount Group is firmly committed to growing Africa's hi-tech competence, and this transaction further provides us the opportunity to do so."

 

"The people we need to salute are the employees, customers and suppliers that have been through an extremely difficult time but have demonstrated their commitment and loyalty by standing by the business and supporting this process."

 

"This acquisition safeguards service delivery for ATE's worldwide customers and allows us to expand the scope of solutions on offer to better serve those who have stood by ATE through the change," said Ichikowitz.

 

"With South Africa becoming a fully fledged member of BRICS, it is imperative that we enter a new phase of industrialisation. The development of home-grown technology, skills and manufacturing capabilities are crucial if we are to capitalise on both the world's appetite to do business in our region and the huge potential for intra-African and intra-BRICS trade. Paramount Group continues to lead by example, demonstrating that South African industry can match the best in the world," said Ichikowitz.

 

The incorporation of ATE will enhance the position of the Paramount Group as the leading privately-owned defence and aerospace group on the African continent, with a strong and diversified global offering, which will see future development of new technologies, job opportunities and skills development.

 

"The conclusion of the business rescue is phase one in terms of saving the company. The company will now have to go through a restructure, the turnaround will be a challenge, but the intention is to rebuild sustainably and retain skills to ensure that we play a significant part in the long-term future of this global industry," said Ichikowitz.

 

Paramountis set on a growth trajectory, which will be further accelerated by the inclusion of ATE competencies into the existing business. This will provide product extensions such as UAVs, sensors, avionics, mission systems and system integration to its already comprehensive and growing suite of aerospace, land and maritime security and defence products. It will also see Paramount Group add to its civilian market expertise in border surveillance, coastal patrol, environmental protection, and disaster and emergency services.

 

"This is just the beginning of a long and challenging journey, this business rescue is proof that we believe in the skills and potential of the business and we look forward to welcoming the ATE staff to the Paramount Group," concluded Ichikowitz.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
SAS Manthatisi at sea - SAN Heroine Class submarine

SAS Manthatisi at sea - SAN Heroine Class submarine

17 September 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb

 

The planned refit, including battery replacement, of SAS Manthatisi, the first of the SA Navy’s (SAN) Heroine Class submarines, is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

 

S101 has been out of service since 2007 following what was then reported to Parliament as damage to the boat’s electrical systems when “someone” connected the submarine to its high voltage shore service “the wrong way round” blowing fuses.

 

SAN Fleet public relations officer, Commander Cara Pratten, said it was planned for Manthatisi to be back in the water by March next year for first harbour and then sea trials.

 

“Indications are she will be fully operational by September next year.”

 

All the work associated with the refit and replacement of defective and/or damaged parts is being done in the Simon’s town dockyard, run by Armscor.

 

The battery replacement will see Manthatisi get 480 new man-sized cells weighing 250 tons. Former SAN chief director: maritime strategy Rear Admiral Bernhard Teuteberg told a 2010 Parliamentary briefing the battery replacement would cost in the region of R35 million. He said at the time the overhaul was “major”.

 

The refit and overhaul work currently nearing completion on Manthatisi is in accordance with the laid down schedules for the Type 209 diesel electric submarine as well as being in line with the SAN’s business plan for its underwater craft.

 

This sees one operational, one on standby and available for training while the third undergoes maintenance.

 

Manthatisi is the lead boat of the Heroine Class acquired at a cost of more than R8 billion as Project Wills, a component of the controversial Strategic Defence Procurement Packages (SDPP). This multi-billion Rand acquisition of new front-line equipment for the SA Air Force and SAN is currently the subject of hearing by the Seriti Commission.

 

The other Heroine Class boats are the SAS Charlotte Maxeke and SAS Queen Modjadji.

 

Last August Modjadji hit the ocean floor while on a training exercise between Port Elizabeth and Durban but did not suffer any damage.

 

A SAN statement issued then said the boat suffered a minor collision to her forward section while on routine patrol along the east coast. The high pressure oil supply was briefly interrupted resulting in a temporary loss of control.

 

“The boat collided with the ocean floor but immediately surfaced,” the statement said.

 

On her return to Simon’s town Modjadji was inspected by a team of divers and a hull survey was done showing no damage to the pressure hull structure.

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15 septembre 2013 7 15 /09 /septembre /2013 21:45
FAZSOI : Exercice Oxide 2013

13/09/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Du 30 août au 6 septembre 2013, les forces armées en zone sud de l’océan Indien (FAZSOI) ont participé au Mozambique à l’exercice naval Oxide 2013.

 

Organisée au large de Maputo, la troisième édition de cet exercice (les précédentes ont eu lieu en 2008 et 2011) rassemblait les marines française, sud-africaine et mozambicaine. La frégate de surveillance Nivôse et de son hélicoptère Panther (qui appartient aux FAZSOI) ont été engagés aux côtés de la frégate sud-africaine « Isandlwana » et son Super-Lynx, de la corvette lance-missile « Isaac Dyobha », du sous-marin « Queen Modjaji », d’un C130 Hercule, d’un C47 Dakota et d’une équipe de sauvetage aéroportée. Les forces armées mozambicaines ont elles aussi été associées à l’événement par l’intégration d’officiers au sein de l’équipage du « Nivôse » et de l’état-major embarqué sur l’Isandlwana.

 

Les trois premières journées  passées en commun ont été consacrées à la préparation des exercices. La présence à quai a permis d’enchainer démonstrations dans les domaines de la sécurité et de la protection/défense et tables rondes visant à affiner la cinématique des exercices à la mer et des activités de cohésion (séances de sport collectives, échanges dans les carrés). Les équipages ont ainsi appris à mieux se connaître avant de prendre la mer.

 

Dans les jours qui ont suivi, les exercices se sont succédés à un rythme soutenu : remorquages, exercices de visite, treuillages croisés, recherche et interception de navires suspectés de divers trafics ou en pêche illicite. Cette coopération s’est étendue aux « Maritime rescue coordination center (MRCC) » de Pretoria, et au Centre régional opérationnel de surveillance et de sauvetage (CROSS) de la Réunion au travers d’un scénario de sauvetage d’un sous-marin qui s’est clôturé par un parachutage de forces spécialisées dans le domaine.

 

L’exercice Oxide 2013 a tout d’abord offert aux différentes marines la possibilité de valider leurs procédures d’interopérabilité. Il a également fourni une occasion privilégiée d'échanges entre militaires de trois pays riverains, partageant les mêmes préoccupations face aux menaces dans la zone. Cet exercice a aussi donné l’opportunité au général de division Jean François Hogard, commandant supérieur des FAZSOI de prendre contact avec les autorités civiles (ministre de la défense) et militaires (chef d'état-major des armées) mozambicaines et de renouveler les offres de coopération militaire de la France.

 

Les FAZSOI ont pour mission de protéger le territoire national, les installations stratégiques et contribuer au maintien de la sécurité ; d’assurer la prévention et la préservation des intérêts de la France dans la zone de responsabilité contre toute forme d’agression extérieure ; de soutenir l’action de l’Etat et contribuer aux conditions de stabilité et de développement des collectivités territoriales par la mise en œuvre de moyens militaires ;  d’affirmer la souveraineté française. En cas de crise, elles sont en mesure de conduire ou participer à une opération militaire et/ou de mener des opérations de secours d’urgence (assistance humanitaire, catastrophes naturelles).

FAZSOI : Exercice Oxide 2013FAZSOI : Exercice Oxide 2013
FAZSOI : Exercice Oxide 2013FAZSOI : Exercice Oxide 2013

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 07:45
Political will and out-of-the-box thinking needed for SADC air defence

10 September 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb

 

A major message coming through on day one of the SA Joint Air Defence Symposium (SAJADS) is that without political will across the region the implementation of a Southern African Development Community-wide air defence network will not become reality.

 

This was illustrated by defence analyst Helmoed Heitman who told the 350 plus delegates that few understood the potential of air power in peacekeeping, stabilisation and constabulary operations in Africa.

 

This because air defence was regarded by many of no real relevance in Africa, mainly because it is considered in conventional warfare terms and “the conventional wars there have been in Africa have not been studied”.

 

He said air power “in one or more forms will always be an element – usually a critical element – of any military operation” on the continent citing its sheer size, the generally large theatres and areas of operation as well as the poor condition of overland transport infrastructure and the small size of the majority of African militaries as reasons for this.

 

“In most cases air transport will be the only practical means of moving and supplying forces and combat attack and transport helicopters will be the only practical means of focussing and re-focussing combat power as situations develop,” Heitman said.

 

The relevance of a regional air defence system to South Africa and the wider region, he said, was based on “simple, self-interest”.

 

“South Africa needs a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood within which to develop its economy, both to attract vital foreign fixed capital investment and because, as Sergio Vieira, a one-time senior Mozambican intelligence official put it ‘paupers make bad neighbours’ – not that our immediate neighbours are necessarily paupers but their economies are too small to provide the markets we need.

 

“SADC as such also needs a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood, for much the same reasons, and also because as former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said ‘if your neighbour is not stable, you cannot be stable for too long. If your neighbour collapses, the fallout will not respect the boundary between you’.

 

“The bottom line is South Africa and SADC need the peace, security and stability without which it will be impossible to undertake any meaningful economic activity.”

 

In this regard he quoted Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula who said: “There is no possibility of development and economic success for a South Africa surrounded by a pool of instability, war and hunger”.

 

He also warned that it was not only the “good guys” who made use of air power pointing out there were dedicated air routes used for smuggling, among others, valuable mineral ore as well as drugs and weapons.

 

“Air power in its widest sense will form a key element in many of the security challenges that will face Africa over the next few decades – from the occasional conventional or semi-conventional inter-state war through to insurgency and terrorism to organised crime. The trend is clearly visible and there are good examples to be found in Latin America and South-east Asia.

 

“The air defence community will need to accept, understand and digest that reality, and then develop a set of doctrines to deal with it. And they will have to persuade their colleagues in the other services of the need to think unconventionally in respect of air defence, not least in how one conducts offensive counter-air operations: Not many would see an infantry platoon placed at an air field or a long-range sniper team covering one from a hill two kilometres distant in that role, but that will in some cases be the only or at least the optimal solution. Imagination is required, not just professional competence.”

 

In terms of imagination going into air defence systems Lieutenant Commander Ben Wahl, anti-air officer on the SAS Spioenkop, came up with one in his presentation on netcentric integration of air defence systems in SADC.

 

He said the continuing presence of budget constraints had, in Ghana, been overcome by issuing fishermen with camera capable mobile phones.

 

“The country knows it cannot properly patrol its fishing waters and bringing fisherman who are on the water into the equation helped enormously. They are taught how to use the phones and once pictures of suspected fish poachers are taken they are sent to a control room from where scarce assets can be deployed without the need for continuous patrolling.”

 

His innovative approach sees off-the-shelf commercial portable computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones working together to provide short, sharp burst of information on to commanders to enable fast decision-making when it comes to airspace violations.

 

He envisages the Internet browser as an example of a simple, cost efficient system to carry this information with the added bonus of information carried being outdated less than a minute after transmission and so obviating the need to make it “hacker-proof”.

 

Rear Admiral Rusty Higgs, SAN Navy Chief Naval Staff officially opened the 2013 iteration of SAJADs in the absence of Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu, at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria.

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10 septembre 2013 2 10 /09 /septembre /2013 18:45
Serious business for South African companies at DSEI

10 September 2013 by Jonathan Katzenellenbogen – defenceWeb

 

With its sizeable pavilion at the DSEI show in London this week, South Africa continues to signal that it has the products and is keen to grow its share of world defence markets. The DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) exhibition is the world’s largest defence show to combine land, air, and sea elements, say the organisers.

 

Although defence spending is likely to face severe pressures over the next decade in Europe and the US, the show is bigger than ever in terms of number of visitors and exhibitors. Growth in defence spending in Asia and the Middle East will drive much of the growth in the international security market in the next decade.

 

Over the four days of the show, held every two years, about 30 000 visitors are expected at the ExCel centre in the docklands area of London. There are more than 1 500 exhibitors, compared to a little over 1 100 at the most recent International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. DSEI builds on Britain as an international centre for business, rather than as a big market itself, sometimes called “the Wimbledon effect”.

 

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry paid around R6 million for its stand at the show. On the pavilion are stands for smaller South African companies whose presence is funded by the Department.

 

Government’s signal of the importance to which it attaches to the show is indicated by the presence of a sizeable delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Tabang Makwetla and the Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke.

 

Without the presence of the heavyweights Denel and Armscor in the pavilion, the stand lacks an impressive focus. In previous years the two big state owned companies were on the South African stand.

 

The nearby Denel stand is dominated by the company’s heavy calibre gun and mortar that will be the main weapons mounted on the Badger infantry combat vehicle for the South African army. The GI-30 30 mm cannon and the M10 60 mm mortar system were launched earlier in SA, but today marks their international debut. Denel has already sold the turret and gun to Malaysia and intends to pursue other international opportunities.

 

On the morning the show opened the weapons had stirred some intense interest from a Chinese delegation who could be seen photographing the systems from a number of angles.

 

The smaller companies on the South African national stand are:

parachute manufacturer, Aerodyne Research, luxury vehicle armourer, Armormax, special purpose vehicle supplier, DCD Protected Mobility, fuse manufacturer, Fuchs Electronics, electronic warfare equipment manufacturer, GEW Technologies, ultra-high intensity searchlight supplier, Megaray, protected vehicle supplier, Osprea Logistics, electronic technology solution supplier, Parsec, antenna designer and supplier, Poynting Antennas, data modem product maker, RapidM, camp system supplier, Redeployable Camp Systems, communication and data solution company Tellumat, secure military communications provider, Reutech Communications, firearms manufacturer Truvelo, marine vessels builder Veecraft Marine, Reutech Radar Systems, grenade launcher maker, Rippel Effect Systems, power pack supplier, Shelhurst Components, specialised electronics maker, Shrike Marine, and helmet and body armour maker, Zebra Armour.

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6 septembre 2013 5 06 /09 /septembre /2013 07:45
Navy focuses on advancing simulation training

05 September 2013 by Dean Wing - defenceWeb

 

The South African Navy (SAN) is developing a master plan for the use of simulators, with the SAN Simulation Workgroup hosting a Navy/industry symposium in Simon’s town on Tuesday.

 

Simulation-based training has long been used by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to reduce the cost of training and increase user skills and experience. While the S A Army and Air Force already have substantial experience in battlefield and training simulation, the SAN has not been lax either, with submariners leading the way.

 

Opening the symposium, Rear Admiral Hanno Teuteberg, Chief Director Maritime Strategy, noted “the enemy often has better equipment and intelligence than us, but the difference is in our training. We should give our kids the unfair advantage of being excellently trained”.

 

While gaining real-life experience traditionally took 20 to 30 years, Teuteberg expressed the view there is a need to compress training to gain the necessary knowledge and experience in a far shorter time.

 

Captain (SAN) Chris Manig, a member of the SAN Simulation Workgroup, noted the use of simulators was gaining increased importance within the Navy, “where running costs are going up and budgets are going down”.

 

The Workgroup has been tasked with formulating a policy for the use of simulators in the Navy, including the development of a Master Plan. The end result will be the effective use of simulation to achieve and maintain operational capability at the highest level in a reduced time.

 

The Navy realises they have very few experts in the service with experience in simulation architecture and programing, thus the need for industry involvement. In addition to these benefits, Captain (Navy) Andre de Wet observed the Navy cannot make use of commercial maritime simulators as they lacked the capabilities and equipment specific to naval vessels, such as warfare, replenishment at sea, close manoeuvring and weapon specific systems.

 

The submarine flotilla already use of various simulators, such as the Engineering Test Bed (incorporating the Periscope Simulator) provided by Cybicom Atlas Defence; Submarine Control Simulator; the Mobile Combat Information Centre Simulator; the Submarine Escape Training Tower; a Torpedo Counter-Measure Launcher simulator as well as computer based training and scale models.

 

The Warfare School also makes use of the frigate Combat Team Trainer, the Wildcat tactical trainer, the Radsim radar trainer, the Land Based Training System and various firearm, fire fighting and damage control trainers.

 

Demonstrating the value the Navy is deriving from its simulators, de Wet said the Submarine Control Simulator was at the heart of submarine training in the SAN. This simulator was running two shifts a day until 10pm every night.

 

A thorough needs analysis is being conducted, detailing urgent and further needs requirements. Included in the urgent requirement are Ship’s Bridge and Flight Deck simulators, for which Cybicom has also built and demonstrated prototypes.

 

Both local and international speakers spoke of the benefits of simulator training and provided an overview of products and future developments. A common theme among speakers was the need to link and network the various sub-system simulators to provide total platform training.

 

A new development is the incorporation of first-person shooter engines from the gaming industry, allowing for accurate 3D representation of the ship with detailed walk-through and work-flow.

 

Simulators are not only used for training, but also for acquisition support, forecasting, planning, etc.

 

As noted by presenters, the provision of advanced, networked simulators is not dependent on technology, but based on what the organisation requires.

 

While the Navy has clearly identified the need for and the will to acquire advanced simulators, the final implementation will be dependent on budgetary constraints.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:45
SA defence industry invited to Angolan defence exhibition

04 September 2013 by defenceWeb

 

The door is open for official South African defence industry participation in Angola’s first defence exhibition in November.

 

The SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) said it, with the assistance of the South Africa Department of Defence (DoD), had been liaising with Angolan authorities to secure an invitation.

 

“As of Monday this week the invitation was secured through official Defence channels,” AMD’s Michelle Nxumalo said.

 

The next step in ensuring the local defence industry, currently almost totally reliant on exports, will see AMD interact with Minister Rob Davies’ Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to secure export funding for AMD and other local defence industry companies to participate.

 

“This is expected to be finalised by month-end,” she said.

 

FIDES (the International Fair of the Defence and Security Industry) will be staged at the International Luanda Fair (IFL) venue from November 10 to 13.

 

Launching the exhibition last month, Angolan Defence Minister Candido Pereira dos Santos van Dunem said it would identify opportunities to establish public/private partnerships as well as stimulate investment in the defence and security industry.

 

The partnership aspect will be welcomed by major South African defence industry players, such as the State-owned Denel conglomerate and Ivor Ichikowitz’ Paramount Group.

 

Both he and Denel chief executive Riaz Salojee have repeatedly emphasised the importance of partnerships if the South African defence industry is to remain competitive on both the continental and international stages.

 

At this stage indications are about 70 companies from Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain and Israel will exhibit. Organisers are hoping to attract up to 100 exhibitors from 27 countries.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 17:45
M10 60mm Mortar

M10 60mm Mortar

04 September 2013 by defenceWeb

 

New innovations in landward defence products manufactured by Denel will debut internationally at the DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) exhibition in London this month.

 

“We have chosen DSEI to launch these systems internationally because it is the world’s largest fully-integrated defence expo and attracts industry leaders, decision-makers and analysts from across the globe,” Riaz Saloojee, Denel Group chief executive, said ahead of the exhibition which runs from next Tuesday to Friday.

 

On display for the first time will be the GI-30 30mm CamGun and the M10 – 60mm breech –loading mortar, both designed and manufactured at Denel Land Systems (DLS) in Lyttelton, Centurion.

 

“We are confident the GI-30 will impress and excite the industry and visitors to DSEI. It was developed as part of our contract to deliver a first class infantry combat vehicle (ICV) for the SA Army.

 

“It will be the main weapon system on the South African Badger ICV but can be easily fitted into other turrets on the market,” Stephan Burger, DLS chief executive, said.

 

He maintains both the GI-30 and the M10 mortar system are global leaders in their fields with unique features not yet available on other systems.

 

The GI-30 is an externally driven electro-mechanical cannon, utilising a drum-cam to cycle the breech to chamber rounds and extract spent cartridges. This reduces gases in the confines of a turret and improves the controlled firing rate. DLS designed the GI-30 to fire link-less 30 x 173mm ammunition through a dual feeder – a world-first for this kind of weapon.

 

 

As a single-shot weapon, it is seen as unique for its sniper mode of operation. Fired from a closed-breech position it offers more accurate fire because no movement takes place immediately before the round is fired. It has an effective range of 4 000 metres and can fire up to 100 rounds per minute.

 

 

The GI-30 CamGun uses SAPHEI, APFSDS (Armoured Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot) and TPT (Target Practice Type) ammunition types, designed and manufactured by Denel PMP (Pretoria Metal Pressings), as well as ammunition from Oerlikon and Nammo. Ammunition is replenished from a supply inside the turret.

 

Burger said the 60mm long-range mortar system was also developed in parallel with the Badger but can easily be adapted to fit into most standard turrets. Its range of 6 000 metres at sea level makes it a world leader in its class.

 

Another unique feature is its range of elevation -- from -5° to +70° -- which allows it to be employed in a direct fire application.

 

The new features make it an ideal weapon system for peace support operations and the changing nature of modern conflict in urban or other close environments. With its compact size and low recoil (54kN), the mortar can be fitted to light vehicles such as a pickup truck or even a boat.

 

The system can provide a sustained rate of fire of six rounds per minute or eight rounds per minute at one minute intervals – for 250 bombs.

Denel to debut new products at DSEI

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:45
Rheinmetall Wins Order for Mortar Ammo

September 5, 2013 defense-aerospace.com    

(Source: Rheinmetall AG; issued Sept. 4, 2013)

 

Rheinmetall Wins Multi-Million Euro Contract for Mortar Ammunition

 

Rheinmetall AG of Düsseldorf has booked a major order for mortar ammunition. A customer in the Middle East/ North Africa (MENA) region has contracted with Rheinmetall Denel Munition of South Africa to supply ammunition for a mobile 120mm mortar system. The contract, which runs for several years and will be completed in partnership with a local company in the customer land, is worth around €50 million.

 

Delivery of the ammunition starts in September 2014. The order encompasses tens of thousands of service, illumination and smoke/obscurant rounds. They are developed for a modern 120mm mobile mortar system, with ballistic characteristics specifically adapted to its advanced fire control unit. The ammunition’s range of over 8,000 metres and proven performance in battle underpin its leading role in the market and with it, Rheinmetall’s technological leadership.

 

Just awarded, the contract issued by the MENA-customer is the culmination of cooperation between the project participants from the world of vehicles, weapons and ammunition, and fire control technology. Moreover, the order is an important endorsement for the use of Rheinmetall ammunition in the mobile 120mm mortar system, and a significant sign of possible orders to come from other customers in the MENA region.

 

Rheinmetall also sees the order as a validation of its strategy of internationalization. A presence in the MENA region and entering into strategic partnerships could assist the Düsseldorf-based Group to further strengthen its reputation as a reliable partner of the military as well as local industry.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
Russie-Afrique du Sud: vers une coproduction d'hélicoptères (Lavrov)

MOSCOU, 2 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

La Russie et l'Afrique du Sud envisagent de lancer une production conjointe d'hélicoptères, a annoncé lundi le chef de la diplomatie russe Sergueï Lavrov à l'issue de négociations avec son homologue sud-africaine Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

 

Les deux pays ont conçu "des projets intéressants en matière de construction aéronautique", a indiqué M. Lavrov.

 

"Nous envisageons de produire un hélicoptère polyvalent léger conjointement avec nos amis sud-africains", a précisé le ministre.

 

Il a également fait savoir qu'en mars dernier, la Russie avait ouvert à Johannesburg un "centre d'entretien d'hélicoptères de fabrication russe". Selon M. Lavrov, ce centre "suscite déjà l'intérêt d'autres pays de la région".

 

Le chef de la diplomatie russe a en outre annoncé que Moscou et Pretoria avaient défini les conditions d'ouverture d'une représentation commerciale russe en République sud-africaine.

 

Mme Nkoana-Mashabane a pour sa part souligné que l'ouverture de cette représentation contribuerait à resserrer les liens économiques entre la Russie et l'Afrique du Sud. D'après la ministre des Relations internationales, il s'agit d'un nouveau témoignage du potentiel important qui caractérise la coopération entre les deux pays.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Multi-national Exercise Oxide aims to combat piracy through collaboration

28 August 2013 by Kim Helfrich – defenceWeb

 

The three combat arms of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will all, to a greater or lesser extent, be part of an intensive five day multi-national exercise concentrating on counter-piracy operations starting on Monday.

 

The basic premise of Exercise Oxide is the promotion of co-operation and improved inter-operability between the French, Mozambican and South African navies with the emphasis on keeping pirates away from the Indian Ocean seaboard off East Africa.

 

The sea off the Mozambican capital of Maputo is the designated exercise area.

 

The SA Navy (SAN) is the lead nation in the exercise and will deploy a Valour Class frigate (SAS Islandwana), a Type 209 submarine (SAS Queen Modjadji), the offshore patrol vessel SAS Isaac Dyoba, and a platoon from its Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS).

 

Last weekend Islandwana underwent final work-up in False Bay in preparation for the exercise, after which she will take up station in the Mozambique Channel replacing the OPV SAS Galeshewe on the Operation Copper counter-piracy tasking.

 

FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

FS Nivose photo Marine Nationale

French forces taking part include the FS Nivose, a light surveillance frigate, and French commando boarding teams.

 

The airborne component for Exercise Oxide will be in the form of a C-130 Hercules from 28 Squadron and a 35 Squadron C-47TP, also used regularly in Operation Copper as a maritime patrol asset.

 

During the exercise, search and rescue, basic and advanced interdiction and boarding operations, vertical replenishment as well as tactical exercises and gunnery practice disciplines will all be undertaken.

 

The search and rescue component will use a submarine in distress as its central point with ships from both participating navies conducting a co-ordinated search for the underwater craft. Once the submarine’s location has been established a Special Forces parachute action group will use the C-130 as an airborne platform to speedily access it.

 

All vessels deployed for Exercise Oxide will take an active part in the interdiction and boarding operations phase. This will include location of “contacts of interest” (ships and vessels suspected of piracy and/or smuggling) and challenging them. Both French commandos and SAN MRS will exercise procedures for boarding, interrogation and search of suspicious vessels.

 

Helicopters from French and South African vessels will launch to airlift and drop crew.

 

The exercise will also see conventional naval procedures such as gunnery, multi-ship manoeuvring at sea and various communication methods practised.

 

The SAN will host nine “sea riders”, officers from the Mozambican and Tanzanian navies, aboard participating vessels to facilitate training and exposure among Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime forces.

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 07:45
US Army and SANDF personnel discuss plans for Shared Accord 13 at a reconnaissance site near Bhisho in South Africa. Photo US Army.

US Army and SANDF personnel discuss plans for Shared Accord 13 at a reconnaissance site near Bhisho in South Africa. Photo US Army.

 

 

25 July 2013 army-technology.com

 

The US military is conducting a joint military training exercise, code-named Shared Accord 13 (SA 13), with the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

 

Scheduled to be carried out in the eastern cape cities of Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown and East London, the annual training exercise involves participation from around 700 US personnel from the army, marines, navy and air force, alongside more than 3,000 SANDF members.

 

The joint peace-keeping and humanitarian exercise will feature a broad spectrum of training missions to validate the operational capabilities of both militaries.

 

Specific scenarios will include an amphibious assault, combined live-fire exercise, situational training exercises, as well as tactical airborne assault missions.

 

The second armored brigade combat team, first infantry division executive officer major Chuck Slagle said the exercise is designed to enhance interoperability and forge friendships between the US the South African Defence Force.

"We're improving each other through this exercise."

 

"The South Africans have a lot of experience and really we're just sharing. We're not training them on anything. We're improving each other through this exercise," Slagle said.

 

SA 13 watch officer sergeant major Andrew Stanley said: "It shows the military capabilities and also the cooperation between the different forces."

 

Besides tactical training, the exercise will also include a Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) event, during which the US and South African military medics will provide health services, including dental, HIV screening and ophthalmology services to civilians.

 

 

The US military is deploying its light medium tactical vehicle (LMTV), high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), and a deployable headquarters for the exercise, which is scheduled to conclude on 7 August.

 

Exercise Shared Accord aims to increase the ability of both US and South African forces to respond to humanitarian disasters and peace keeping operations worldwide.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
South Africa : Puma airframe will improve scouts’ training

24 July 2013 by defenceWeb

 

A decommissioned SA Air Force (SAAF) Puma helicopter airframe has been added to the inventory of training aids at 1 Tactical Intelligence Regiment in Potchefstroom.

 

With uniformed intelligence operators, better known as scouts, generally deployed on surveillance taskings via helicopter, the airframe will provide a realistic level of training often not present in the current tight financial situation the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) finds itself in.

 

Acknowledging this, SA Army Intelligence Formation General Officer Commanding Brigadier General Nontobeko Mpaxa said the airframe “will serve as a realistic replacement in the event the SAAF is unable to provide an aircraft for helicopter training”.

 

The airframe will also allow for better and more hands-on training prior to training on a serviceable helicopter. This will also cut down on the time needed for training with rotary-winged aircraft, another cost saving measure.

 

Scouts will use the Puma airframe to properly orient themselves with regard to danger areas, crew positions, entry and exit points and preparation for landing. Helicopter trooping drills, including embussing and debussing, seating arrangements and protection of the aircraft in a landing zone will also now have an added dimension of reality. These drills can be safely practised day and night to fully familiarise scouts with the air transport that will take them to predetermined surveillance positions on deployments including border protection, anti-poaching operations and peacekeeping or peace support.

 

Having an airframe on hand at the Regiment will also see better training when it comes to packing supplies for delivery to scouts deployed at forward surveillance posts. This, Mpaxa said, will be of particular value to those undergoing the surveillance troop sergeant’s course. These are the men and women charged with ensuring scouts have the necessary food, water, ammunition and other specialist equipment to properly execute their tasks.

 

Overall, the one star general is confident the newest training aid will “significantly” improve the standard of training at the Formation’s School of Tactical Intelligence. She also indicated the airframe would be made available to other units in the Potchefstroom area for training purposes.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
SAAF “crisis” caused by underfunding

25 July 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb

 

With the country’s military watchers united in their view the SA Air Force (SAAF) is fast approaching crisis point in terms of operational ability, the finger is - again - being pointed at underfunding.

 

Some, including respected defence analyst Helmoed-Romer Heitman, have gone as far as suggesting the sale of certain air assets, including the Hawk Lead-In Fighter Trainers and Agusta light utility helicopters.

 

Such comments follow the news that 14 out of 26 of the Air Force’s Gripens have been placed in storage and that most of the A109 light utility helicopters have been grounded.

 

Heitman is on record as saying government must decide what it wants its military to do and fund it accordingly.

 

On the aircraft maintenance side, the United Association of South Africa (UASA), a trade union representing workers in, among others, the transport, manufacturing and engineering sectors, has added its voice to the list of those seeing the SAAF in crisis.

 

 

Some its of members were among those retrenched when a SAAF maintenance contract with Denel Aviation was not renewed earlier this year. The contract was not renewed because it was apparently in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act and left a large gap in maintenance operations of the air force. More than 500 specialist aircraft technicians were affected by the termination.

 

In February, SAAF Deputy Chief Major General Jerry Malinga said termination of the Aero Manpower Group contract was a “serious knock” for the airborne arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

 

Speaking at the annual Air Force Day parade in February, he pointed out the SAAF was “in good shape considering the restrictions it has to live with”.

 

UASA spokesman Andre Venter points out some consequences of the lapsed contract are already starting to show.

 

“Most notably only 10 out of the 26 Gripen fighter jets, bought as part of the Arms Deal at the princely sum of R40 billion, are serviced to fly while the rest were either mothballed for long term storage or are being cannibalised to keep the others flying. The same is most probably experienced regarding aircraft serviceability at most other squadrons. No transfer of skills is taking place or will take place until such time the proposed agreement (to end March 2014) with Denel is signed for aircraft maintenance.

 

“It has become a sad day in the proud history of the SAAF, that not only aircraft, worth billions, are being mothballed due to technical incapacity but also as to what the future holds for the SAAF capabilities in the near and long term future,” he said.

 

His statement follows the revelation earlier this week that at least half of the SAAF’s fleet of Agusta light utility helicopters cannot fly due to a lack of funds. This could see at least 18 current Agusta pilots lose currency on the aircraft type. SANDF Communications Head Siphiwe Dlamini would not comment other than to say: “We do not discuss operational matters and the SANDF’s state of readiness”.

 

Keen military watcher and author Darren Olivier said the latest developments are what happens when an air force is allocated a minuscule peacetime flying budget that gets drastically cut from last year and then is forced to carry out two rapid, large scale and expensive deployments to countries thousands of kilometres away.

 

“Once the operational budget has been totally emptied, emergency ad hoc funds are not allocated from the National Treasury’s contingency fund as expected. The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans didn’t even know what reporters were talking about when they asked her about ad hoc funding,” he wrote on a local aviation chatroom.

 

He also points out the SAAF definitely needs more equipment.

 

“The need for new transports to replace the 50-year-old C-130BZs, maritime patrol aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles won’t go away just because the operational budget has been squeezed.”

 

Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow minister of defence and military veterans David Maynier is another who feels the SAAF “cannot go on like this. We have to get to the bottom of what is really happening in the air force”.

 

He plans to request a meeting of Parliament’s joint standing committee on defence to discuss the crisis in the SAAF.

 

Maynier points out that while a large portion of the Agusta fleet is grounded, VIPs, including the President and the Defence Minister, continue to use SAAF Oryxes.

 

“Between 2009/10 and 2012/13 the SAAF undertook 590 helicopter flights for VIPS at a cost of R50.9 million. The SAAF is in danger of being reduced to an airborne taxi service for VIPS.”

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
South African and U. S. Army Soldiers rehearse raising and lowering the flags for Shared Accord '13 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, July 21. Shared Accord is an annual training exercise which promotes regional relationships, increases capacity, trains U.S. and South African forces, and furthers cross-training and interoperability. (U.S. Army Africa photos by Spc. Taryn Hagerman)

South African and U. S. Army Soldiers rehearse raising and lowering the flags for Shared Accord '13 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, July 21. Shared Accord is an annual training exercise which promotes regional relationships, increases capacity, trains U.S. and South African forces, and furthers cross-training and interoperability. (U.S. Army Africa photos by Spc. Taryn Hagerman)

24 July 2013 by defenceWeb/Africom

 

US military forces have teamed up with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for Exercise Shared Accord in and around Port Elizabeth until August 7.

 

Shared Accord is an annual training exercise involving in-depth joint cohesion between U.S. and South African military forces during multiple training scenarios.

 

“This mission is designed to increase inter-operability and build friendships with the SANDF,” said Major Chuck Slagle, executive officer for 2nd Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

 

The exercise involves about 700 American military members from the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force and more than 3 000 SANDF members.

 

“Anybody can learn from anyone. We definitely learn from each other and can contribute our expertise to these exercises,” said South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) Captain François Van Huyssteen, a veterinarian with the Military Veterinary Institute.

 

Shared Accord 13 is a large-scale operation that will include multiple training missions to test the capabilities of both militaries. It will include an amphibious assault, combined live fire exercise, situational training exercises and a tactical airborne assault, which will lead into a Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) event for the South African community.

 

“It’s great having the Americans here,” said Sergeant Major Andrew Stanley, watch officer for SA 13. “It shows the military capabilities and also the co-operation between the different forces.”

 

The HCA part of the exercise will see health services including dental, HIV screening and ophthalmology services provided Slagle said.

 

Another aspect to HCA will be mobile veterinary services including rabies vaccinations and tick treatments, Van Huyssteen said.

 

Through all exercises in SA 13 both militaries hope to improve skills while learning from one another.

 

“We’re both here to learn,” said Slagle. “The South Africans have a lot of experience and really we’re just sharing. We’re not training them on anything. We’re improving each other through this exercise.”

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