Overblog
Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 16:09
US military aid supports SAAF C-130s

18 April 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

The military aid that South Africa receives from the United States every year largely goes towards supporting the Air Force’s fleet of nine C-130 Hercules aircraft.

According to an official from the US military’s Africa Command (Africom), most of the $750 000 per year of the US government’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant money is used to support Hercules aircraft, and includes things like buying spares and providing aircrew training. Aircrew use simulators in the United States to practice emergency procedures that would be too risky with real aircraft.

In 2010 and 2011 South Africa was scheduled to receive $800 000 in Foreign Military Financing, according to the US Department of State. Foreign Military Financing to South Africa topped out at around $1 million but now stands at around $750 000 per annum, according to the Africom official.

Other foreign military financing goes towards the South African Navy - money goes towards an adaptor on a submarine hatch collar, the official said.

In addition to Foreign Military Financing, the SAAF has also benefitted from excess defence articles, which are received at a fraction of the original cost. The SAAF took delivery of seven new C-130B Hercules in 1963, of which six remain in use. Three ex-US Navy C-130F aircraft were acquired in 1996, with a further two ex-US Air Force C-130Bs delivered in 1998, all under the United States Excess Defence Articles Programme. The F models were retired shortly after delivery, but the nine C-130Bs were upgraded and modernised between 1996 to 2009 to the C-130BZ configuration, incorporating a modern glass cockpit.

The South African Air Force has nine C-130s in its inventory, with an average of three flying at any one time and the rest undergoing maintenance and checks.

The US FMF programme provides grants and loans to assist foreign nations in purchasing US-made weapons, defence articles, services and military training. US Congress appropriates FMF funds in the International Affairs Budget, while the Department of State allocates the funds for eligible friends and allies, and the Department of Defence executes the programme.

The FMF programme in Africa has grown from $16 million in fiscal year 2008 to $45 million in fiscal year 2011. Approximately 18 nations receive grants through the FMF program. In FY2011, the largest benefitting country in the Africom area of responsibility was Tunisia with an allocation of $17 million, followed by Morocco with $9 million and Liberia with $7 million.

The countries within the AFRICOM area of responsibility that receive FMF include: Botswana, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda.

Partager cet article

Repost0
9 avril 2013 2 09 /04 /avril /2013 16:30

Al-Tariq-precision-guided-munition.jpg

 

09 April 2013 defenceWeb

 

The partnership between Denel Dynamics and Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun Holdings looks set for greater heights following the successful execution of a difficult mission profile by the Al Tariq precision-guided munition.

 

It demonstrated superior accuracy against a laser designated target in a flight test evaluation. The test evaluated the weapon’s capability to dynamically determine its own flight path according to set launch and pre-programmed terminal phase conditions.

 

The missile was launched off-track of target and was instructed to fly into the target arena from a different direction during its terminal phase.

 

“This implies the missile had to perform a dog-leg manoeuvre and the flight path had to be calculated dynamically ‘on the fly’,” said Al Tariq programme manager Coenie Loock.

 

Despite the level of difficulty intentionally selected to give Al Tariq a thorough test, the weapon completed its mid-course guidance successfully and during terminal phase had a direct hit on the designated target with the miss distance at less than half a metre.

 

Al Tariq has a number of range options, from 40 km for the standard version to 100 km for the long-range version. The demonstrated accuracy is independent of the range variant. The weapon can also be pre-programmed to engage targets from specific directions and at different dive angles.

 

A model of the Al Tariq weapon is currently on show at the Tawazun Dynamics stand at the LAAD 2013 defence exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

“This is a great result for Denel Dynamics and reflects the success of the joint venture announcement last September with Abu Dhabi-based, Tawazun Holdings, for the development, manufacturing, assembly and integration of precision-guided weapon systems in Tawazun Dynamics, opening up an international gateway to potential new opportunities.

 

“Geographically, this is the first deal of its kind for Denel where the partnership is located outside South Africa creating an international footprint,” the South African company in the State-owned Denel group said in a statement.

Partager cet article

Repost0
14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 17:45

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/c130_za4_400x300.JPG

 

14 March 2013 by Kim Helfrich- defenceWeb

 

The South African Air Force’s (SAAF) only dedicated airlift unit, based at AFB Waterkloof, marks its 70th anniversary in June. At the same time it will also mark the 50th year of service of the venerable Hercules C-130BZ with the SAAF.

 

The third number that will be commemorated is 100, to mark the centenary of Lockheed Martin, the US aerospace company responsible for the design and manufacture of the C-130, now in its J model.

 

Immediately after being formed at Almaza, Egypt, on June 1, 1943, 28 Squadron was split into two, with A Flight based at Castel Benito in Italy and B Flight based at Ras-el-Ma in Morocco, both operating Avro Ansons, according to the Unofficial SAAF website.

 

By August that year Wellingtons and Dakotas had joined the fleet. The squadron also operated detachments in Sicily and Algeria and it was only at the end of the war in Europe that the squadron consolidated operations at Maison Blanche, Algeria.

 

In September 1945 the squadron returned to South Africa and was based at AFB Swartkop from where it shuttled South African troops home from North Africa and Europe (the “Springbok Shuttle”) during 1945 and early 1946 using Dakotas. At this time, they also operated the Anson, DH Rapide and a single Avro York.

 

VIP flights were an important part of 28 Squadrons taskings, with various Dakotas and Venturas fitted out with improved accommodation. From 22 September 1948 to 25 September 1949, two contingents participated in the Berlin Airlift, flying Royal Air Force aircraft. In 1949, nine De Havilland Devons were added to the VIP fleet followed by De Havilland Herons in 1955, while the York was disposed of in 1952. When the Dakota could no longer be used to fly VIPs to Europe, a Viscount was acquired in 1958.

 

Seven C-130B Hercules were acquired in 1963 and when the squadron moved to AFB Waterkloof it left its Dakotas behind to join 44 Squadron at Swartkop. In February 1968 the VIP flight was reconstituted as 21 Squadron (taking with it the Viscount), while the C-160Z Transall was acquired in 1969 and operated with the squadron from January 1970 until they retired in 1993. Three ex-US Navy C-130F aircraft were acquired in 1996, with a further two ex-US Air Force C-130Bs following in 1998. The F models were only flown for a short period before being retired, but the squadron continues to fly the nine C-130B Hercules all upgraded to C-130BZ configuration.

Partager cet article

Repost0
14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 17:45

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/C-130J_Frans_Dely_400x300.jpg

Picture: Frans Dely/Lockheed Martin

 

14 March 2013 by Kim Helfrich - defenceweb.co.za

 

It could be termed “a call to action” or even a friendly warning but the meaning is clear – unless those tasked with planning for the equipment needs of the SA Air Force (SAAF) don’t start now, the country is going to find itself grounded when it comes to airlift.

 

The SAAF maintains it can operate its ageing fleet of C-130BZ Hercules until 2020 but this doesn’t mean work on replacing these venerable workhorses shouldn’t start now. This is the view of Dennys Plessas, Lockheed Martin Vice President Business Development Initiatives, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

 

“A start has to be made on planning to replace the BZs,” he told journalists in Pretoria this week.

 

He acknowledged the South African defence budget, in common with many western countries, was under “extreme stress”. He noted that at a cost of between R693 and R780 million for the basic aircraft, it would be better to look at acquisition “sooner rather than later”.

 

With timeframes for delivery of up to five years from the date of initial contractual agreement to acquire new aircraft, this certainly makes sense. Plessas pointed out that fine-tuning of contracts and all documentation could take up to a year.

 

“When this, along with actual build time, fitting of customer specific requirements and testing is taken into account, there is not really too much time left for the SAAF to start serious work on the C-130BZ replacements.”

 

The SAAF C-130s are operated by 28 Squadron at AFB Waterkloof and this year notch up a remarkable 50 years of service. This Plessas sees as not only a tribute to the flying and maintenance skills of the SAAF and the maintenance and repair abilities of Denel Aviation but also the ruggedness of the aircraft.

 

“It has proven itself as a willing workhorse all over the world and has, over the years, been adapted to any number of missions.”

 

It’s origin as a pure airlifter has been boosted by the addition of mission capabilities including air-to-air refuelling, VIP passenger transport, firefighting, maritime patrol and reconnaissance, paradropping and even an armed version.

 

Airlift and maritime patrol are two red light areas of operation facing the SAAF and Plessas believes the C-130J can do these jobs as well as others.

 

“This would eliminate the need to acquire extra platforms and because the SAAF is a long-time user of the C-130, at least half the infrastructure needed for new Lockheed Martin platforms is already in place. I see an almost seamless transition to the C-130J if the planners decide it is the most suitable platform.”

 

This was further borne out by William Swearengen, Air Mobility Systems Studies Principal at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

 

He and his team have completed a number of studies pertaining to the use of the C-130J by the SAAF. These include maritime patrols and air-to-air refuelling.

 

Working from AFB Waterkloof, the new generation airlifters, when suitably equipped, could refuel 2 Squadron Gripens on sorties across the continent. They could also provide full coverage, using a single aircraft, of South Africa’s exclusive economic zone and its priority fishing areas also from Waterkloof, obviating the need to duplicate facilities for maintenance at either AFB Ysterplaat or Port Elizabeth.

 

These studies show the latest generation Hercules will be a true multi-mission platform and when the possible inclusion of high-tech passenger capsules is added, the C-130J can be tasked in yet another area of operations the SAAF is battling to fill adequately.

 

Both Plessas and Swearengen point out the modular system of roll-on/roll-off components for different missions do not all have to be done at once.

 

“These are all already in service and development costs have been paid by the US Air Force. This means no extra cost and with all the necessary fitment options already on the C-130J they can be acquired as need and finance dictate adding more value to the multi-mission role of the aircraft,” they said.

 

28 Squadron has nine C-130BZs on its inventory to fulfil tasks ranging from logistic support for SA National Defence Force continental peacekeeping and peace support operations, humanitarian operations, support to the landward force, and general airlift. Indications are three, at most four, aircraft are airworthy at any given time.

 

Time to start working on C-130BZ replacement is now

The C-130BZs were scheduled to be replaced by Airbus’ new generation A400M airlifter, but this order was cancelled due to delays in production, and cost escalations. A deposit of R3.5 billion, paid to Airbus as a risk taking partner in the A400M programme, has been refunded to government but has not been allocated to aircraft acquisition. Indications are at least part of the refund went to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme.

Partager cet article

Repost0
5 février 2013 2 05 /02 /février /2013 16:45

Casspir

 

05 February 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

Landmine clearance company Denel Mechem has recently sold ten CASSPIR 2000 mine protected vehicles to Benin and has 15 on order with the United Nations as it promotes the latest version of the CASSPIR mine protected armoured vehicle.

 

Mechem is expecting new orders for the CASSPIR 2000 in the next financial year (starting April 1), according to Stephan Burger, CEO of Denel Land Systems (which merged with Mechem last year). “At this moment we are negotiating a number of substantial contracts,” he told DefenceWeb.

 

The Casspir 2000 is the latest variant of the world renowned armoured vehicle. Burger said the CASSPIR 2000 emerged from the shortage of old CASSPIR Mk 1 and 2’s available for refurbishment. Denel saw a niche as there were no more second hand CASSPIRS to rebuild, yet there is demand for the vehicles. “We decided to build with new technology, more armour, modern instrumentation etc.”

 

Burger said that now Mechem has merged with Denel, Mechem can spend the majority of its time focusing on getting orders. “We recognised the importance of the Mechem identity, brand and nimbleness. For that reason we’ve kept Mechem as a separate business unit that must get its own orders.”

 

The Denel Land Systems-Mechem merger was approved by the Board of Denel in June 2012. “We said the best time to make such a change is when things are going well. We decided from a financial perspective that this make sense. The financial gain was impressive,” Burger said of the merger. “Not only did we cut costs but we provide a better service at a lesser price…and we have a better marketing footprint.”

 

Burger pointed out that in 2006 when Vektor was merged with Lyttleton Engineering Works (LIW) to form Denel Land Systems, the entities were making a R600 million loss. ‘Traumatic’ restructuring saw the staff cut by a third but overheads were halved and the company soon became profitable. “We’re doing tremendously well on the traditional Mechem side with the clearance of explosive remnants of war and selling CASSPIRS as well.”

 

Mechem specialises in mine clearing, removing the explosive remnants of war (ERW), manufacturing mine protected vehicles (notably the CASSPIR Mk II, Mk IV and New Generation CASSPIR 2000) and mine clearing equipment, and providing canine training and services (for explosives and drug detection). Through its Afrifoot programme, it manufactures and supplies low-cost leg prosthesis to landmine survivors.

 

The company has recently completed various demining or mine clearing projects in Afghanistan, Republic of Sudan, Republic of South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Mozambique. Mechem is active in eleven African countries, including the DRC, where it has supported UN peacekeeping activities since 2003, Western Sahara and Somalia, where it works with the African Union.

 

Mechem is the only African-based company accredited by the UN for landmine clearance, as the rest are based abroad. Since it started African operations in 1992, the company has not lost a single employee to a landmine incident.

 

According to United Nations estimates, there are at least 110 million active landmine mines scattered across the world, of which about 44 million have been planted on the African continent. In 2010 there were 4 200 victims of landmine’s effects - 11 people a day. However besides landmines unexploded ordnance today poses the greatest risk to the populations in post conflict environments.

 

Apart from demining work, Mechem is also involved in drug detection through its Mechem Explosives and Drug Detection System (MEDDS). Mechem detection dogs have also been used to combat rhino poaching.

Partager cet article

Repost0
25 janvier 2013 5 25 /01 /janvier /2013 08:45

denel_aviation_cheetah.jpg

 

24 January 2013 by Dean Wingrin - defenceweb

 

The South African Air Force (SAAF) has defended the cancellation of its contract with Aero Manpower Group (AMG), a Denel business unit, and has hinted that a new contract may be negotiated.

 

The long standing contract between the SAAF and AMG provides specialist technical and support personnel who are responsible for the maintenance of a variety of SAAF aircraft at bases across the country. However, the SAAF has given notice to Denel that they will not be renewing the current contract, which terminates at the end of March.

 

Last week, Denel Personnel Solutions said that as there was no contract or orders beyond March 31 this year, the only option was “retrenchment of the entire AMG workforce”. AMG has held talks with the affected employees at the various SAAF bases and have outlined the plan for their retrenchment.

 

In response to negative media publicity, the SAAF has reiterated that the termination of the contract was because the contract had been declared irregular by the Auditor General.

 

Lt Col Ronald Maseko, spokesperson for the SAAF, said that “the contract dates back to a period (1986) where the current governance regime did not exist. Consequent to the Auditor General’s findings in 2009, that the contract does not comply with the Public Finance Management Act and National Treasury Regulations, the SAAF has engaged its strategic partner Denel Aviation in pursuit of an acceptable solution.”

 

Since then, Maseko notes, the Auditor General has consistently referred to this irregularity and the SAAF’s notice of termination dates back to 2011.

 

“The termination of the contract, in accordance with a provision stipulated in the contract, places the SAAF in full compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendations and allows the SAAF to develop its strategic partnership with Denel Aviation unhindered by governance irregularities,” Maseko emphasised.

 

Despite the looming crises which will severely affect the airworthiness of a number of SAAF aircraft, including those in the VIP squadron, the SAAF has not revealed any contingency plans should the contract not be renewed.

 

Trade Union Solidarity has said that at least 75% of the 523 Denel employees are in the scarce and critical skills band, without which efficient functioning of the SAAF will not be possible.

 

The VIP transport aircraft operated by 21 Squadron are almost exclusively signed out by AMG personnel and the effects of the contract cancelation will be keenly felt by the President and Cabinet Ministers. Other AMG personnel perform critical roles in workshops and testing laboratories.

 

Despite the impending crisis, Maseko notes optimistically that the negotiation of a new contract with Denel “can only benefit the development of a vibrant South African aviation industry that is capable of continued support to the SAAF in executing its mandate.”

 

Even SAAF personnel who work side-by-side with the AMG employees or who fly the aircraft are uncertain of what will happen from 1 April. While it appears that Denel may be going through the legal motions of advising their employees of a possible retrenchment, just in case a new contract with the SAAF cannot be negotiated in time, the affected personnel are going through a trying time.

Partager cet article

Repost0
12 septembre 2012 3 12 /09 /septembre /2012 07:10

Paramount_Group_AHRLAC_400x300.jpg

 

AHRLAC is designed for a wide range of civilian and military tasks.

 

September 11, 2012 defpro.com

 

Interview with John Craig, CEO of the Paramount Group

 

While the Paramount Group is preparing for Africa’s leading defence trade show, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) taking place September 19th – 23th in South Africa, the company is making progress on one of its most prestigious aircraft development projects. Claimed to be Africa’s first indigenously developed and constructed aircraft, the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) can be expected to attract a considerable number of interested looks at the company’s aerospace exhibit.

Nicolas von Kospoth of defpro.com talked to John Craig, CEO of the Paramount Group, about AHRLAC, as well as the company’s role as one of Africa’s largest defence contractors in regional and international defence and security markets.


defpro.com: First, could you please provide our readers with a brief overview of the Paramount Group?

John Craig: The Paramount Group is at this point Africa’s largest private defence contractor and one of the fastest growing defence companies in the world. It was founded in 1994 and focuses on providing a broad spectrum of fully integrated turnkey solutions to global defence, peacekeeping and internal security forces.

Paramount has established itself as a global innovator with the development of one of the world’s most modern and advanced families of armoured combat vehicles, and a revolutionary aircraft, the first aerial platform of its kind. Integrated with the latest technologies in electronic systems, these world-class platforms enable Paramount to deliver a total defence system to its customers. The Group is a leading innovator in the design and development of state-of-the-art products that it manufactures in locations throughout the world. It is partnered with some of the world’s largest and most reputable organisations in the global defence community.

Paramount Group has the unique ability to understand its client requirements and to use its extensive knowledge and experience to design cost-effective, future-proof solutions. As a result, Paramount has enjoyed strong growth and achieved an excellent track record of delivering successful projects.


defpro.com: How do you assess the achievements of the Paramount Group during the first half of the year and what are your overall aims and prospects for 2012?

Craig: 2012 is proving to be a very good year for us. We obviously don’t measure our results in half years. But, certainly, this year we are growing by almost 30 per cent over the previous year. Thus, it has been a good first half for us; our facilities and our personnel are all very busy on various orders and I think that the second half of the year is equally important for us. We are at the point of hopefully closing some major deals, which you will naturally hear about in due course. But we will have a lot of very important activities in the second half of the year.


defpro.com: In September 2011, the Paramount Group unveiled the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC). Could you first please portray this aircraft to our readers?

Craig: AHRLAC is a unique type of aircraft. It is a manned aircraft operated by two persons, a pilot and a systems operator, sitting in a tandem configuration as they would in an attack helicopter. To our knowledge there currently is no other aircraft in this solution space.

AHRLAC offers a number of unique aspects. This includes its unrestricted canopy, purpose-designed to give you all-round visibility for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. Further it has a turboprop pusher-propeller configuration, offering the crew an unrestricted forward-visibility. So it not a conventional “engine front/propeller front” aircraft that has been pushed into a reconnaissance role for which it was not originally conceived.


defpro.com: When the aircraft was unveiled, Aerosud’s Managing Director Paul Potgieter called AHRLAC a “revolutionary aircraft”. Which are the main characteristics and capabilities of AHRLAC that make it revolutionary?

Craig: The aircraft was designed with a flexible ISR and light attack configuration in mind. So this is not a commercial light aircraft that in an afterthought has been configured for these roles. That is what gives rise to a unique construction and concept.

A second aspect is that multi-mission capability was part of the initial consideration. It carries a payload pod underneath the fuselage that can be fitted with different mission payloads. This allows the aircraft to be reconfigurable and rapidly adapt to various types of missions. As you can imagine, this has great benefits for the customer’s investment, as one base platform can be adapted to various missions, according to the need and the time.


defpro.com: Let’s run through the development history of AHRLAC: When was this project conceived and which development stages have since been completed?

Craig: AHRLAC is an opportunity or a gap in the market that we recognised about four or five years ago and leading us to embark on the development of an aircraft. The only aircraft comparable and operating in the sort of sphere might have been the Bronco, an American aircraft that has not been in production for many years.

It required the spark of somebody making the decision that South Africa should develop its own aircraft. Our chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz, loves all things related to aviation and came to realisation that South Africa actually had competence with the development and construction of aircraft. Although South Africa already had a big chunk of this competence, which is shown in the development of the Rooivalk attack helicopter, in service with our Air Force, it is really a first in Africa that an aircraft is conceived and designed from scratch.

Ivor had the idea that it is time for South Africa to step up and not just be a maintenance facility for other companies and for products designed a long time ago. The more exciting part of life is to develop an own intellectual property. This is the only way to grow real competence and great careers.

In terms of milestones achieved, the concept works and the wind tunnel testing is completed. Further, we have accomplished hundreds of missions with a quarter-scale model, which demonstrated the aircraft’s fundamental stability and flight performance.

We are now in the phase of building our first full-scale flying aircraft, which is well advanced. We will be showing key subsystems of the aircraft to selected visitors to the AAD trade show in September and we are hoping to have the first platform assembled towards the end of this year, with the first flight scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.


defpro.com: Which key industrial partners are involved in this project and to what extent have governmental agencies contributed to the development effort?

Craig: AHRLAC is a private-funded initiative. The Paramount Group is funding the development and commercialisation. Our technical partner is our associate aerospace division, Aerosud. We benefitted from their experience with previous aircraft, such as the AH-2 Rooivalk attack helicopter, and their general aerospace competence. Although our technical partner helped us in the development effort, this remains a programme funded as a private venture by the Paramount Group.

Of course, we have a lot of interest and support from the government, in the broader sense, as this is seen as a strategic type of project around which aerospace competence would be developed here in South Africa. But it is important to know that this is not a government-funded project.


defpro.com: Do you consider AHRLAC as a platform that complements the capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or, rather, as a manned competitor?

Craig: I think AHRLAC is both. There are a number of roles in which it is complementary to UAVs. However, our philosophy is that a man in an aircraft for surveillance roles has got huge advantages over UAVs, which are able only to see and feed back the information of what the camera is looking at in the particular point in time. To our mind, the human being still offers the best all-round surveillance. An aircraft crew can recognise objects of interest at a distance and then zoom in their cameras or sensors for a closer look. Therefore, we believe that a manned aircraft makes a lot of sense in this role.

There are a number of missions which you can naturally only carry out with UAVs and we are not suggesting that UAVs are dead because AHRLAC was conceived. There will always be missions in which it would be extremely dangerous to send a manned aircraft. But a general all-round aircraft, which can be deployed from training through to general surveillance to protecting borders and key installations, as well as having the ability to intervene and deliver an end-effect with weapons? This is a spectrum of capabilities, which we don’t believe can be found with UAVs at this point.


defpro.com: An often-cited argument in favour of UAVs is lower costs. Considering that AHRLAC is a manned platform, does is still offer the affordability advantages over platforms with comparable capability profiles?

Craig: Of course, otherwise we would not have invested in such a programme. It is important to recognise that UAVs range from very light hand-launched close-range aircraft to massive and incredibly expensive aircraft with high-altitude/long-endurance capability and high payload competence. The latter cost up to a hundred million of dollars per unit and only the richest countries on earth can afford to acquire and operate them. The initial acquisition cost for a UAV is only one part of the equation. You then need operators trained and a vast footprint of support, personnel and equipment to be able to launch, support and recover a UAV.

This is an area where AHRLC is completely differentiated, being designed to be self-sufficient, with a two-man crew operating from unprepared airfields and performing their mission with a minimum of personnel to support them. When you look at mission costs or the entire systems costs, the type of UAVs that you would compare to AHRLAC in terms of mission competence, are vastly more expensive.


defpro.com: Which particular markets do you target with this product and what market potential do you assess for AHRLAC?

Craig: AHRLAC is not only a product for the developing world. We received a huge amount of interest in this concept from developed-world air forces and security forces. And there are a number of potential customers who are very actively monitoring and tracking the system’s development. I think that global demand will run to thousands, if not tens of thousands, units of the system. But time will tell.

We have plans to set up production facilities in South Africa. But it is important to note that our global aspirations will also see us, in time, set up manufacturing activities in other regions of the world. This will certainly include Asia, where we had a lot of interest in major programmes and from industrial partners wanting to be part of our global manufacturing set-up.

Our projections for the market size say that it could support more than one manufacturing centre abroad. Our plan is not only to create a global manufacturing centre in South Africa, but also to go and seek out partnerships abroad and to establish regional manufacturing and distribution arrangements.*


defpro.com: I understand that the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) tradeshow in September 2012 will be an important event for the Paramount Group. Which particular trends in the African defence and security market do you perceive and how is the Paramount Group positioning itself at this year’s AAD show to address these trends?

Craig: AAD is for us an important market trade show that reaches most directly the African market, which is our natural expanded home market. This coming edition will see an expanded exhibition from Paramount, representing our largest presence at an exhibition so far. This will include a considerable number of new products from the fields of land systems, aerospace and electronic systems, which we plan to make visible at the show.

Another trend is that the show itself is growing, becoming well-entrenched as the leading show to reach the African market, much as IDEX is for the Middle East. The regional importance of the show is being confirmed and that is also evidenced by an unprecedented amount of international exhibitors – not only from the South African industry but everyone who has an interest in the country’s market in general.

The AAD trade show is an important event where South African companies can show that they are still innovating and coming up with new and relevant technologies for global demand.


defpro.com: Would you say that the international awareness of the potential of South African defence industry is growing in terms of cooperation and foreign investment?

Craig: Yes, I think so. Wheeled armoured vehicles have long been a figurehead of South African defence industry, going back to even before the Second World War. That is evidenced by the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles of many allied forces, which have seen high-profile use in modern-day conflicts. All of those really have their origin in South African technology.

Nevertheless, there was a period some years back when the industry in South Africa was shrinking, re-examining itself and uncertain as to where it was going. But this year’s AAD exhibition will show that there is a resurgence and growing relevance of South African technology, not just to African but also to global markets.


defpro.com: The Paramount Group has made the headlines with interesting development and production cooperation projects with countries such as Azerbaijan, Jordan and naturally many African customers. Would you say that the Paramount Group has a special feeling for the needs of emerging markets, as well as countries that are not gifted with voluminous defence budgets?

Craig: The simple answer is “yes”. These are the markets that we have been working in for almost 20 years, since our inception in 1994. We listen to the market demand and are responsive, in terms of the products that we are creating for these markets, but also with respect to our business model, of creating supplier credit finance and funding structures, which allow our developing-world customers to take on large projects and spread the financial burden over several years. We have projects that we fund for developing-world governments up to 15 year terms. That is something we have done in response to market demand, which has helped grow the business and customer demand.

It is not only the appropriateness of the products for the developing world, meaning that they must be robust, flexible and good value for money. It is also a flexible business approach, which helps customers fund the project, as well as actively supporting the transfer of skills, competence and technology, and creating regional partnerships in key markets to manufacture and support products. These are all fundamental elements of our business philosophy, which possibly gives us a better fit to the market requirements than some of the more traditional NATO-based manufacturers.


defpro.com: African air forces mostly still operate fleets of ageing US, European, Russian and Chinese aircraft. Many of these aircraft are not in an operable condition and budgets will not allow for considerable modernisation or procurement programmes. Will the African military aviation market still be dominated by donations or low-cost sales of surplus aircraft?

Craig: This is an interesting question. You are quite right that there are a lot of legacy fleets dated back to the cold war and largely Soviet-origin aircraft dotted around the continent. More and more of these aircraft are reaching their end of life and it will be very difficult and probably not economically worthwhile to look at doing life-extension programmes. The question is: what after that?

Part of the solution we have found is in supplying and supporting surplus aircraft, such as the South African Air Force Mirage fighter aircraft, which Paramount actively supports. Further, we have a number of customers to whom we have transferred aircraft, providing a fundamental air force capability. But of course, that is only a small part of the market.

From what I can see, the African market is still a key market for lead-in fighter trainers and multi-purpose jets. In a few instances there is demand for super-sonic fighter aircraft –the Chinese are quite active in that respect. However, the new-built super-sonic aircraft market in Africa is not really one that the Paramount Group is going to enter in the short term. There are only very few countries in the region that can justify the acquisition of a top-end type of combat capability.

But this is a market in which an aircraft such as AHRLAC can actually play an important role, considering the real-world requirements, which involve national and border security, as well as securing economic zones.


defpro.com: How do you assess the potential of closer industrial cooperation with companies from emerging markets to field new solutions for customers in these regions? Or are projects such as AHRLAC emblematic for Paramount’s own efforts to field suitable products for these markets?

Craig: The field is wide open. Both, from the point of view that there is regional demand, as we observed in the case of AHRLAC, as well as due to existing regional competence. India and Brazil have well-established industrial competence in aircraft manufacturing. Further, our business model is such that we would encourage partnerships with competent industrial partners in those regions. There are a number of discussions on the way. So don’t be surprised if in a year or three we have industrial manufacturing centres in various regions.


defpro.com: To sustain the level of quality and diversity of the Paramount Group’s products and services, the company requires competent specialists from many fields of activity. How is the Paramount Group involved in creating and fostering a workforce that also builds on the potential of South Africa’s and other African countries’ labour market?

Craig: Sustainability for the long run requires the renewal of your product line-up and renewal of your human resources – human capital is the most important one. In our land systems and aerospace fields we established an innovation and training centre, which is separately funded and set-up from our ongoing production activities. That is where we grow and nurture young talents – the next generation of innovators – and create an environment in which they can learn from the more experienced colleagues, but also have the freedom of mind to think outside the box and develop new skills. This is not just about product development, it is also about technologies including production techniques. We are actively supporting and investing a lot of money to make sure that we are sustainable in the long run. We need to attract and grow the right talents to take the company forward.


defpro.com: What is your assessment of the South African government’s efforts to creating a favourable economic environment for defence companies and encouraging indigenously developed defence solutions?

Craig: I took a while for our new government during what I would call the dawn of the new democratic era to understand the position and the value of the indigenous defence industrial complex and to recognise that defence industry can actually have an important national economic function. However, our government is being very supportive in terms of developing and creating high-value jobs and creating a platform in which intellectual property can be generated in South Africa. This helps South Africa to become an economic centre around which the commercial benefits of value-add of intellectual property may steadily increase.

There are a number of initiatives that our government is pursuing, including through our Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Among them is the creation of aerospace and defence villages, attempting to create a cluster of like-minded business that support each other and yield a critical mass of industrial partners.

So, in general, our government has a realisation of the role that they can play and they are creating and facilitating an enabling environment.


defpro.com: Finally, what are your personal visions and aims for the course of the Paramount Group in the next years?

Craig: One of the objects that we have set to ourselves is to become a billion-dollar company in the next three or four years, in terms of our sales revenue. I know that size is not everything, but it is certainly a globalised target that we have set ourselves. Even though we are not there yet, we are well on target.

Apart from that, our objective is to remain a company which is fun. Of course we are a serious player, dealing in serious matters of defence and security. But Paramount is a company which is committed to allowing its employees to work in a fun environment and to be free to innovate and think of new ways of doing things. There is a strong desire in the Paramount Group, while continuing to grow, to retain its core cultural values and to be a company that is different and a good place to work.


defpro.com: Thank you very much, Mr Craig.


____
* Additional information, specifications and resources for Paramount’s AHRLAC can be found on the company’s website at http://goo.gl/VNrKu.

Partager cet article

Repost0
8 septembre 2012 6 08 /09 /septembre /2012 09:50

2011mbst202 006 059 marine nationale

 

07 September 2012 by Dean Wingrin/defenceWeb

 

The French offshore patrol vessel FNS L’Adroit has arrived in Cape Town, where it will be showcased to the South African Navy, which is seeking new offshore patrol vessels under Project Biro.

 

The DCNS built and funded Gowind class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) was made available to the French Navy as part of DCNS's ambition to win a larger share of the markets for small- and medium-displacement surface ships. L’Adroit arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday.

 

L’Adroit was handed over to the French Navy in October 2011 for a three-year trial period. Commissioned on March 19 this year, she is carrying out a wide variety of naval missions such as anti-piracy patrols, fisheries inspection and protection, anti-drugs operations, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance and search and rescue at sea.

 

By demonstrating L’Adroit’s qualities, DCNS said the French Navy would help it win the coveted ‘sea proven’ seal of approval that international customers seek when reviewing a new design’s innovations and efficiency.

 

The importance to DCNS of the visit to Cape Town is highlighted by the South African Navy’s ambition to acquire several offshore and inshore patrol vessels under Project Biro. These are to be built locally to replace the remaining strike craft and mine hunters.

 

DCNS said its presence in South Africa is part of an ongoing partnership with local shipbuilder Nautic Africa (formerly KND) covering promotion, construction and sales of the Gowind class. “This type of arrangement is key to DCNS’s ability to compete in export markets, and an operational presence in South Africa helps the Group understand the needs of the South African Navy and meet its local shipbuilding requirements,” DCNS said. The company earlier signed a memorandum of understanding cementing the cooperation with Nautic Africa. The two companies are promoting the vessel in South Africa and seven other African countries.

 

“The Gowind is the most technologically advanced of all the vessels proposed for the South African OPV programme,” said James Fisher, CEO of Nautic Africa. “We’re convinced that DCNS is the Navy’s ideal partner in this highly competitive marketplace and that the DCNS OPV is the best platform for naval missions in Africa.”

 

Having completed a general and anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Guinea, L’Adroit arrived in Cape Town after completing a 19 day, 4 500 nautical mile patrol from Dakar, Senegal, down the west coast of Africa to the Cape.

 

The oceans around the southern tip of Africa are renowned for their rough conditions and high seas. Any vessel purchased under Project Biro will have to take routinely operate in such conditions and the French saw the opportunity to test the ship during the Cape winter.

 

“We have been at sea for three weeks,” Captain Loïc Guyot, commander of FNS L’Adroit, told defenceWeb, “We had calm seas at first, then very rough ones for two days.”

 

These rough seas included a Sea State of 7 that included waves over six meters in height.

 

“The ship handled very well,” was how Guyot described the conditions. Other members of the crew agreed that the ship fared much better in the conditions to what they expected.

 

Innovations of the new patrol ship include a panoramic bridge offering 360° visibility, a single enclosed mast offering 360° sensor visibility, covert deployment of fast commando boats in less than five minutes, a hangar capable of accommodating a helicopter up to the size of a South African Oryx and full provision for unmanned aerial and surface vehicles (UAVs and USVs).

 

The modular construction of the vessel allows for the adaptation of the ship to various missions, from patrol and anti-piracy to mine warfare and the transportation of freight. The ship can carry two 20 ft containers and still accommodate a helicopter such as the Super Lynx. Should no helicopter capability be required for a particular mission, a maximum of 20 containers can be carried on the aft deck.

 

Apart from showcasing the ship to the South African Navy and strengthening the partnership between DCNS and Nautic Africa, the visit will also maintain the South African Navy’s international contact with the French Navy and provide the opportunity for France and South Africa to share lessons learnt about piracy operations and related Offshore Patrol Vessel missions on a Navy to Navy basis.

 

“During previous stopovers, navies around the world have been impressed by L’Adroit and recognised the operational benefits of the Gowind range,” said Marc Maynard, head of Gowind program department. “We’re looking forward to working with South Africa to meet its requirements for offshore patrol vessels.”

 

With a crew of only 32 officers and ratings, the ship is highly automated. The L’Adroit has been at sea for 80% of the time since October last year and this has required two French Navy crews to be rotated every four months. Thus, the crew are looking forward to some rest and relaxation whilst enhance contact between the French Navy and the local South African community.

 

L’Adroit will be in Cape Town’s Table Bay Harbour from September 5 to 9 before docking at Simon’s Town from September 9 to 11.

 

When she departs Simon’s Town for her return to the Gulf of Guinea, the L’Adroit will undertake exercises with members of the SA Navy onboard.

 

The ship will be open to the public on Saturday morning, 8 September 2012 (09:30 to 11:30) in Cape Town harbour where the public will be afforded the opportunity to go onboard and interact with the crew of FNS L’Adroit.

 

DCNS will also exhibit at Africa Aerospace & Defence from 19 to 23 September at Air Force Base Waterkloof outside Pretoria. The DCNS exhibit will feature the L’Adroit, Gowind Combat, Mistral 140, Polaris mission system and F21 torpedo.

Partager cet article

Repost0
30 mai 2012 3 30 /05 /mai /2012 16:52
Lockheed offers high local content Super Hercules to SAAF

 

30 May 2012 by Guy Martin defenceWeb

 

Lockheed Martin is offering its C-130XJ ‘Expandable’ Super Hercules with maximum local content to the South African Air Force (SAAF) to meet its transport and maritime patrol requirements and will bring out an aircraft to Africa Aerospace and Defence in September.

 

Lockheed Martin is making the Air Force aware of its C-130XJ, a base model J variant with J model performance but lower acquisition cost due to less equipment. Plessas said customers did not need all the equipment US Air Force J model Hercules have, hence the creation of the C-130XJ, which can be modified with equipment as and when necessary. As the C-130XJ is slightly lighter than the standard model, it can carry slightly more payload. The XJ is aimed at the export market and, if bought by South Africa, would probably have a significant amount of locally developed and installed equipment.

 

Dennys S Plessas, Vice President Business Development Initiatives at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said he thought South Africa would be most interested a C-130XJ with a maximum amount of local content. He said this would create an “African configuration” which could be promoted to other African countries. Plessas said that countries are free to put their own equipment on the C-130, such as India, which added an electro-optical turret and its own communications avionics.

 

Plessas, briefing journalists in Pretoria today, said that Lockheed has been talking to Armscor and the Air Force and making it aware of the C-130J’s capabilities. “The J or the XJ is the answer,” to South Africa’s requirements, Plessas said, as it can carry 95% of South Africa’s mission equipment.

 

He added that the C-130J could provide 90% of the SAAF’s airlift capability (including cargo transport, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, medevac, search and rescue etc). It could also meet 100% of the SAAF’s maritime/border patrol requirements and 100% of its tanking needs, as the KC-130J has successfully refuelled Gripen fighters.

 

The SAAF’s eight C-130BZs are projected to keep flying until 2020, up from the earlier date of 2015, but the Air Force has yet to issue a request for information (RFI) or request for proposals (RFP) for replacements. Lockheed Martin pointed out that the SAAF’s Boeing 707 tankers had been retired in 2007 and that its C-47TP aircraft are 1940s vintage.

 

Until the cancellation of the A400M, the SAAF envisaged a transport trinity with the A400M as the heavy/strategic transport, a C130-type aircraft as a medium airlifter and a third type as a light utility aircraft. The Air Force is currently seeking maritime patrol and transport aircraft as part of Project Saucepan, with Airbus Military showcasing its C295 for this requirement – the company last month flew the aircraft to South Africa as part of an Africa demonstration tour.

 

Lockheed Martin emphasised the importance of maintenance and through life support and said that if South Africa was to acquire the C-130J, more than 50% of maintenance and support infrastructure is already in place as the SAAF flies the C-130BZ while Denel has the only certified C-130 maintenance centre in Africa.

 

Lockheed noted that the C-130J was suited to the South African National Defence Force’s long, hot and high missions. These encompass maritime patrol, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and border patrol, amongst others. There is an increasingly large focus on peacekeeping operations (South Africa has 2 400 personnel deployed) and maritime patrol (Operation Copper is combating pirates off the east coast). Another possibility could be aerial refuelling, as the C-130J can refuel a Gripen in flight.

 

With regard to the rest of Africa, Plessas said that there was a lot of appetite but little funding for the C-130J on the continent, although North African countries had an appetite and some funding. Tunisia in 2010 bought two C-130Js and will receive its first aircraft next year, and its second in 2014. Egypt has issued a letter of request for the C-130J while there is also interest from Libya. Meanwhile, Algeria is refurbishing five C-130s and Nigeria is refurbishing some of its C-130s as well.

 

Plessas said the C-130J was a proven aircraft that caters well to growing demand for air mobility. He said that air forces around the world are struggling to acquire new air mobility capabilities in the face of budget cuts. “Air Forces today have to do more with less and need the flexibility and adaptability of a multipurpose aircraft.” Lockheed claims that due to its roll on/off mission payloads and flexibility the C-130J is right for air forces that cannot afford dedicated aircraft for each role, such as maritime patrol, transport, firefighting etc.

 

To date, 2 403 C-130s of all model shave been delivered to 73 countries around the world, including 248 C-130Js, of 320 J models on order. The C-130J fleet has exceeded 845 000 flying hours, with more than half of that made up by non-US operators.

 

Plessas admitted that the C-130J was more expensive than twin engined aircraft like the C-295 and C-27J but said that based on the aircraft’s tasks, it is the more cost effective solution. He also praised the C-130J’s maintenance and operating requirements, saying the aircraft only requires 1.07 maintenance man hours per flight hour and that aircraft deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq had recorded a 95.8% mission reliability rate, 89.3% operational readiness rate and had a 1.8 hour meantime to repair rate.

Partager cet article

Repost0
29 mai 2012 2 29 /05 /mai /2012 17:51

thales-cytoon-squire-2010mar26.jpg

 

29 May 2012 by Leon Engelbrecht - defenceWeb

 

The South African Army will this afternoon officially receive its new tactical intelligence system acquired over the last several years under Project Cytoon.

 

The SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps last year began operational testing and evaluation of the system that was project managed by Thales South Africa. A company spokesman last July said testing had begun in August 2010 and was by September “going fairly well.”

 

Project Cytoon will see the gain 14 Thales Squire ground surveillance radars, 65 Thales Sophie thermal imagers, processors and communications equipment as part of a battlefield surveillance and mobile intelligence processing system. “Thales has teamed up with various local and international partners whose products have also been integrated,” the company said at the Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition in Cape Town in September. “The system has been designed to address the exclusive intelligence requirements of the SANDF, and in doing so established a unique state of the art intelligence gathering system. Project Cytoon has been completed and is ready for commissioning into the SANDF. Operational field tests are being conducted at this moment where-after the SANDF will receive the system. The system will be complemented soon with the delivery of a training system to support the specific training needs of the South African Army Intelligence Formation.”

 

The cost of the programme is not in the public domain but was at least R137 246 961.00 by July last year.

 

Battlefield surveillance radars are used to detect and classify moving ground targets, typically up to 20km to 30km. Additionally, they assist artillery and mortar units by giving feedback on shell impact. Besides battlefield use, these radars can also be deployed in peacetime to safeguard high-value area assets such as oilfields, power stations and grids, as well as other important potential targets for terrorist or criminal acts.

 

Battlefield surveillance radars also assist in counter-drug operations and monitoring illegal border crossings. As an example, the Thales Squire man-portable system, which was ordered for Cytoon, can plot a pedestrian at 10km, a vehicle at 21km, a tank at 28km, a helicopter at 21km, a boat at 12km and a ship at 48km, Thales avers. Because it uses a frequency modulated continuous wave Doppler radar, the Squire is also virtually undetectable to hostile electronic warfare experts, it adds.

 

Thermal imagers detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since most objects emit such radiation, thermal imagers allow their users to "see" their surroundings with or without visible light. The warmer the object, the brighter the object appears in the imager. Humans, with an internal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius tend to stand out against their surroundings, which are mostly cooler. This also allows thermal imagers to spot camouflaged targets. Many modern thermal imagers include an eye-safe laser rangefinder and pointer, a compass, GPS and digital camera. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4km, tanks at 10km, helicopters at 12km and jet fighters at 16km, Thales says.

Partager cet article

Repost0
29 mai 2012 2 29 /05 /mai /2012 07:34

C-130 Hercules source defenceWeb

 

28 May 2012 Thales

 

28 May 2012 – Thales has been successfully selected by the South African Department of Defence, South African Air Force and ARMSCOR (Armaments Corporation of South Africa Ltd) for a five years Through Life Support [TLS] of all Thales avionics equipment on-board several fleets of aircrafts.

 

Under the terms of the multi-year contract signed with Armscor, Thales will support a large variety of avionics equipment on board the aircrafts: TopDeck suite for the C-130BZ Tactical Transport aircrafts, avionics equipment (visualization, navigation and air data computers, …) for the Rooivalk Combat helicopters, TopFlight avionics systems for the Hawk Lead-In-Fighters and avionics suites for the Super Lynx helicopters.

 

Merry Michaux, Vice-President, Military Aerospace Customer Support and Services Managing Director at Thales said: “This program represents another major step for Thales involvement in South Africa. We are very proud to have been awarded this new contract, which demonstrates our understanding of the customer’s requirements and the development of a successful long term logistics support plan for all South African Air Force fleets. Under this extended perimeter contract, Thales will deliver a Global Logistics Support Services Solution to Armscor, encompassing, among other items, management of obsolescence, of strategic stocks of components, technical support and assistance. Such a long term and transverse approach will enable the customer to fully benefit from Thales expertise in the support domain, under a shared mastering of costs and risks.”

Partager cet article

Repost0
23 mars 2012 5 23 /03 /mars /2012 08:40
South Africa Blocks Iran

 

March 22, 2012: STRATEGY PAGE

 

The South African government is investigating a local firm that was planning to buy American Bell 212 helicopters from a Canadian company, change their documents and ship them to Iran via Russian transport aircraft. Last year Spanish police broke up a similar scheme when they arrested five local businessmen and three Iranians. The eight were accused of trying to illegally export nine used Bell 212 helicopters to Iran.

 

The Bell 212 is a civilian version of the 1960s era U.S. Army UH-1 ("Huey"). The five ton 212 has two engines (the UH-1 had one) and normally carries twelve passengers, and no weapons. But some have been armed. The nine Spanish Bell 212s were formerly owned by the Israeli Air Force, but were sold to a Spanish firm in the 1990s, when they were replaced in Israeli service by UH-60s.

 

The eight Spanish smugglers had disassembled the nine 212s and were putting them in containers for shipment to Venezuela and Iran, labeled as aircraft parts. The cost of the sale was $140 million, including a quantity of spare parts (which are also illegal to send to Iran.)

 

Many Western nations, in addition to the United States, have become more aggressive in going after Iranian technology and hardware smuggling. Australia recently stopped a shipment of pumps that, it turned out, were capable of being used in nuclear power plants (as well as for more benign uses). Iran has been quite blatant about buying dual use equipment, and then openly using the stuff for military purposes. That bravado is backfiring.

 

Ever since the U.S. embargo was imposed in 1979 (after Iran broke diplomatic protocol by seizing the American embassy), Iran has sought, with some success, to offer big money to smugglers who can beat the embargo and get needed industrial and military equipment. This is a risky business, and American and European prisons are full of Iranians, and other nationals, who tried, and often failed, to procure forbidden goods. The smuggling operations are currently under more scrutiny, and attack, because of Iran's growing nuclear weapons program. But the Iranians simply offer more money, and more smugglers step up to keep the goodies coming.

 

The U.S. has gotten more aggressive, and successful, at shutting down Iranian smuggling operations. Not just by bribing the smugglers themselves, but also by getting the cooperation of nations the smugglers operate out of. This has been so successful that most of these smugglers no longer feel safe working out of Arab Persian Gulf nations (especially the United Arab Emirates). As a result, more smugglers are operating out of Malaysia, and the U.S. is trying to shut down that activity. America also monitors the international banking network, seeking signs of smuggler activity, and leaning on the banks involved, to step back.

 

The smuggling effort has been a mixed success. The Iranian armed forces are poorly equipped, because new tanks, warplanes and ships could not be sneaked in. Thus major weapons acquired in the 1970s are falling apart for want of sufficient replacement parts.

Partager cet article

Repost0
9 mars 2012 5 09 /03 /mars /2012 08:05
Parliamentary committee keeps arms deal offsets report secret

 

08 March 2012 by defenceWeb

 

Parliament’s trade and industry committee has voted to keep secret a report that details offsets under the 1999 arms deal.

 

The report allegedly shows that German arms company Ferrostaal only invested €63 million and not €3 billion as promised in exchange for the purchase of three submarines.

 

Offsets were required investments in industrial plants in South Africa and were a condition of winning contracts under the Strategic Defence Package aka 'arms deal' which, according to Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu is now estimated to cost around R47 billion.

 

According to international audit firm Debevoise & Plimption (D&P) – Ferrostaal had made a real investment in the South African economy of only €63 million. The D&P audit, commissioned by Ferrostaal itself, was extensively reported in the media last year. The audit also highlighted more than R300 million in “questionable payments” made to fixers in pursuit of contracts in the arms deal.

 

Ferrostaal’s former management – removed from office in the midst of bribery scandals – are facing criminal charges in German courts for allegedly irregular activities in other corporate dealings.

 

David Maynier, shadow minister of defence for the Democratic Alliance, introduced the leaked report in February and asked for answers to its contents.

 

Yesterday ANC members in the committee and some COPE members outvoted DA MPs to keep the offsets report secret. Joan Fubbs, chair of the committee, said that, “if we release that report, we would not only be in contravention of common law, but international law too.” The committee said that the report was subject to protection under attorney-client privilege and that its contents could not be verified.

 

Last week parliamentary legal advisor Carin van der Merwe recommended that the committee only reveal the contents of the report once permission had been received from Ferrostaal: “until such time as the committee has received the permission to use the report and can thus determine the value of statements contained in the report, it is not recommended that the Department of Trade and Industry be required to answer to the report”.

 

"The department has consistently avoided answering questions about how much has actually been invested as part of the National Industrial Participation Programme, and why there is such a significant discrepancy between the reported size of investments, and actual investments," DA trade and industry spokesman James Wilmot said.

 

"This decision amounts to an attempt by the portfolio committee to protect the department from real accountability on an issue of monumental public interest," he said.

 

Trade and industry spokesman Sidwell Medupe said the department had consistently stated that the €2.8 billion referred to Ferrostaal’s total offset obligations and not the amount it was expected to invest.

 

"This €2.8bn is broken up into sales (exports and local), credits and investment credits that Ferrostaal was expected to have promoted. Credits are calculated as the actual sales with multipliers.

 

Maynier earlier said that companies bidding in the arms deal promised 65 000 jobs during negotiations in 1999, as well as €110 billion in investment. However, the department reported that 21 393 jobs were created, while export credits amounting to US$11.5 billion and investment credits of US$21.4 billion were achieved.

 

“The national industrial participation programmes are a monstrous political fraud,” Maynier said last month.

 

In October last year President Jacob Zuma appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package. The commission is expected to complete its work within two years.

 

The Mail & Guardian reported in September that Zuma told the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) afterwards that he had decided to appoint the commission to prevent the Constitutional Court from taking charge of the matter and prescribing the terms of reference for him.

 

South Africa in 1998 announced that it was to acquire frigates, submarines, helicopters and fighters from a number of European suppliers to rejuvenate the prime mission equipment of the South African Navy and Air Force. Preferred bidders were announced at the Defence Exhibition SA in September that year. Negotiations followed with deals signed in December 1999. The contracts, worth some R30 billion at the time, became effective on April 1, 2000.

 

The deals would see South Africa gain four sophisticated German-built Meko A200SAN frigates, three state-of-the-art Type 209 MOD1400 submarines (also German-built), 26 Swedish generation 4.5 SAAB Gripen fighter aircraft, 24 British-built BAE Systems Mk120 fighter trainers and 30 Italian-built AgustaWestland A109 light utility helicopters. All of these, except for the last few Gripen, have now been delivered and paid for.

 

In June last year, Swedish defence multinational SAAB announced BAE Systems had paid Fana Hlongwane R24 million to help secure the Gripen contract. The Swedish company adds that news of the payment was hidden from it by its partner in the deal. Dow Jones Newswires reminded that the British defence giant last year reached an agreement with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over allegations that it failed to provide accurate records in connection with the supply of an air-traffic control system to Tanzania. It admitted the charge and agreed to pay a penalty of £30 million, while the SFO waived its right to investigate other allegations. BAE Systems in June sold the last of its shares in the Swedish defence company.

 

In August the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Ferrostaal, part of the German Submarine Consortium, had made R300 million in “questionable” payments to secure its SA contract. Themba Godi, the chairman of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) said the development was startling, given the fact that the Hawks had closed the German arm of the investigation, citing a lack of evidence. "These revelations do indicate that unless this matter is thoroughly investigated, we will continue to have information coming to the public that shows us that maybe our anti-corruption agencies have not been doing their work."

Partager cet article

Repost0
7 mars 2012 3 07 /03 /mars /2012 13:25

model-of-the-Seeker-400-carrying-two-Mokopa-anti-tank-missi.jpg

model of the Seeker 400 carrying two Mokopa anti-tank

missiles - photo Denel Dynamics

 

March 7, 2012 defpro.com

 

The prototype of Denel Dynamics’ latest Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), the Seeker 400, has been completed and is due to make its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2012. It is a long-endurance tactical UAV. “The decision by Denel to consider investing in this new product was mainly based on requirements globally of such a capability. Based on the business case, Denel decided to fund the development from its balance sheet. The nation is waiting in anticipation for the first flight.” says Tsepo Monaheng, Executive for Denel UAVs.

 

Although the US and Israel dominate the global market, there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create market-leading UAVs to the broad spectrum of nations (from developing to developed) – a market estimated at US $14bn per annum. The RSA UAV industry aims to capture in excess of 20% of this end of the market.

 

The aircraft has already been displayed in mock-up form at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Show (AAD) 2010, in Cape Town South Africa. There is already a launch customer for the Seeker 400 who operated the Seeker I tactical UAV in the early 1990s. The other two countries which currently operate the Seeker II are also interested in the Seeker 400 because the new aircraft can be controlled by simply using their existing Seeker II control stations.

 

Though it utilizes the Seeker II architectural design, the Seeker 400 is a totally new aircraft. The Seeker 400 is much larger and much more capable than the Seeker II. It provides a variety of operational options. It is deployable in most conditions, including taking off from an unprepared piece of land.

 

Monaheng describes the Seeker 400 as a “typical entry-level” towards the long-endurance UAV (MALE). It can stay in the air for 16 hours and can simultaneously operate two payloads. Currently, it has a range of 250 km, because it uses only line-of-sight communications, but it could be upgraded to use satellite communications, which would allow it to operate at much greater ranges. With the use of the existing tactical ground station (TGS), the range may be extended to 750km. The Seeker 400 flight test programme will run for most of 2012, and production should start by the end of that year.

 

Denel Dynamics plans, in due course, to add weapons to the Seeker 400. The prototype was recently displayed at the company’s 2011 ‘Show and Tell’ briefing in Centurion with a Mokopa antitank missile (also a Denel Dynamics product) under each wing. A number of countries have already expressed interest in an armed version of the UAV.

 

The Seeker 400 was originally conceived as an upgrade of the Seeker II (hence, the name) but, as the project developed, the company realized that a totally new and larger aircraft would do better in the market. The retention of the name ‘Seeker’ also takes advantage of the Seeker II’s established brand.

 

The Seeker 400 programme schedule is on track. The medium-altitude, long-endurance (Male) UAV project, the Bateleur, has not been abandoned but is currently on hold; this is to allow for a focused development of the Seeker 400.

 

Globally, UAVs are becoming ever more important and ever more widely used. Although costs are coming down, UAVs are not necessarily cheaper or easier to operate than crewed aircraft – some top-of- the-range UAVs are very expensive, indeed – but the fact that they have no human on board means they can be sent into high-risk environments without any qualms and they can be kept aloft much longer than a conventional aircraft.

 

The availability of capable and affordable South African UAVs triggers the enhancement of not only national security, but crime fighting, disaster management, election monitoring and search and rescue. UAVs even provide benefits to the agricultural, mining, health and environmental sectors. Within the next five years UAVs will be used by a diversity of industries from policing poachers on land and coastlines, carrying test specimens from remote clinics to laboratories for analysis, to keeping an eye on livestock on farms, and will prove to be a lucrative parallel market for international UAV players.

 

Foreign experience in combat zones has established that the key service that UAVs provide to ground force commanders is live video coverage. This provides them with real time surveillance, intelligence and target acquisition as well as much better situational awareness. The French Army has reported that, in Afghanistan, UAVs have saved the lives of its soldiers and some 80% of its UAV missions are to protect its troops. Indeed, it is now known that one of the operators of the Seeker II has deployed these UAVs under UN command in a foreign country.

 

 

Denel Dynamics is an exhibitor at Defence and Security Asia 2012, Thailand. On display will be the new Seeker 400 which is scheduled to take its maiden flight this year. Another product is the 5th generation air-to-air missile, A-Darter, due for production in 2013.

Partager cet article

Repost0
4 octobre 2011 2 04 /10 /octobre /2011 12:00

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/c130_za4_400x300.JPG

 

03 October 2011 by defenceWeb

 

A small investment could extend the lifetime of the South African Air Force's small and venerable fleet of Lockheed Martin C130BZ Hercules medium transports until about 2030. That's the view of C130 life extension programme project officer Brigadier General (Retired) Piet van Zyl.

 

Addressing a media briefing Friday he said the replacement cost of each aircraft was some US$142 million (R1.067 billion) based on the average sales price of the C130J over the last eight years. To replace the seven SAAF C-130BZ aircraft will cost R7.470 billion, he said.

 

But with an investment of 3.30% of its replacement value, the SAAF safely extended the service life of its C130BZ fleet to 2020. For another 4.70% of replacement value the fleet service life may be extended to 2030.

 

The SAAF C-130 fleet consists of seven platforms (401 - 407) purchased in 1962-3 before a US arms embargo was imposed on South Africa's apartheid government and five received in 1997/8 from the US (two ex-United States Air Force C-130B's – 408 and 409 – and three ex-US Navy C-130F's – 410 to 412 as part of their Excess Defence Articles programme. The two ex-US C-130B 's and a C-130F (411) were subsequently put in service, but the C-130F was retired soon thereafter.

 

Van Zyl says only minor upgrades implemented between 1963 and 1995. The most significant of these was a centre wing replacement and outer wing refurbishment from 1969 to 1972 done under the auspices of Lockheed, an engine upgrade (from Allison T56-A-7 to T56-A-15) during the early 1970s and a basic avionic upgrade during the early 1980s.

 

A comprehensive avionics upgrade – Project Ebb - was launched in 1996 and completed in July 2010, the aircraft afterwards receiving the SAAF-unique BZ annotation. Van Zyl adds the SAAF C-130BZ aircraft are now equipped with the latest avionics technology, which has dramatically increased the operational capability of the fleet.

 

As a consequence, the fleet has visited 15 countries and flown 680 hours between April 1 and September 26 this year. But the higher operational flying rate has resulted in more failures by some sub-systems that have become unreliable due to age and original marginal design. A partnering with Denel Aviation to do deeper level maintenance and overhaul at AFB Waterkloof through a combined Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) has reduced turnaround time on minor services from an average of 182 days to 84 days, a 53% reduction in down-time, Van Zyl added.

 

“Squadron personnel can now concentrate on flight line availability, which has greatly improved turn-around time,” he adds, saying the average number of mission ready aircraft now stands at 4.1 per day, “even peaking at 5 aircraft for short periods”, from a previous maximum of 2.5 aircraft per day.

 

Van Zyl sought to assure his audience it would be safe to fly the aircraft. He says a detailed engineering study conducted recently to determine the remaining service life of the fleet, found

all seven SAAF C-130BZ aircraft can safely fly to 2020 provided that the most critical obsolescence issues can be resolved – this including the aircraft's pressurisation system, air conditioning and GTC. To fly to 2030, the aircrafts' engines will need serious attention by 2022.

The SAAF C-130BZ fleet has to date only used – on average – 65% of their assigned wing life. The aircraft with the most flying time on the log has flown some 14 000 hours, while many other C130s and L100s (the civil version) have clocked up over 100 000 hours. Van Zyl says most C130 owners as a consequence of this long-livity plan to fly them indefinitely.

Partager cet article

Repost0
13 août 2011 6 13 /08 /août /2011 05:35

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/denel-seeker400-2010ep21.jpg

 

10 August 2011 by defenceWeb

 

Denel Dynamics’ latest unmanned air vehicle (UAV), the Seeker 400, is due to make its maiden flight in the first quarter of next year. This will be followed by flight tests leading to production for an unspecified client that “operated the Seeker I tactical UAV in the early 1990s.”

 

Two other countries which currently operate the Seeker II are also interested in the Seeker 400 because the new aircraft can be controlled by simply using their existing Seeker II control stations, the state arsenal says in a statement. “The decision by Denel to invest in this new product was mainly based on the global requirements for this capability. Based on the business case, Denel decided to fund the development from its balance sheet,” says Tsepo Monaheng, executive for Denel UAVS.

 

Although the USA and Israel dominate the global market, there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create market-leading UAVs to a broad spectrum of countries - from developing to developed. This market is estimated at US $14 billion per annum, the company says in a statement. The South African UAV industry aims to capture in excess of 20% of this end of the market, the media release adds.

 

Simphiwe Hamilton, chairman of the South African UAV forum and executive director of the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association in September 2009 said the South African unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry was worth an estimated R400 million and is chasing annual business worth the same amount. The forum brings together SA UAV producers Denel Dynamics and ATE as well as research-and-development centres based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and experts from the departments of Science and Technology as well as Trade and Industry. "It was estimated in 2005 that 200 full-time people employed in the wider South African industry would create a sustainable business turnover of around R200 million per year," Hamilton said.

 

 

The aircraft was displayed in mock-up form at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Show (AAD) 2010, in Cape Town in September last year. Though it utilises the Seeker II architectural design, Denel insists the Seeker 400 is a totally new aircraft. The Seeker 400 long-endurance tactical UAV (TUAV) is much larger and much more capable than the Seeker II and provides a variety of operational options, the company explains. It is deployable in most conditions, including taking off from an unprepared piece of land.

 

Monaheng describes the Seeker 400 as a “typical entry-level” long-endurance TUAV. It can stay in the air for 16 hours and can simultaneously operate two payloads. It currently has a maximum expected range of 250 km, the same as the Seeker II, because it will use only line-of-sight communications. This can be upgraded to satellite communications, which would allow it to operate at much greater ranges. With the use of the existing tactical ground station (TGS), the range may be extended to 750km.

 

The Seeker 400 flight test programme will run for most of 2012, and production should start by the end of the year.

 

Denel Dynamics plans, in due course, to add weapons to the Seeker 400, turning the aircraft into an armed reconnaissance platform. The prototype was recently displayed at the company’s 2011 ‘Show and Tell’ briefing in Centurion with a Mokopa precision-guided missile (PGM, also a Denel Dynamics product) under each wing. Last year, at AAD2010, Denel Dynamics exhibited a mock-up of the Impi, a 25kg hybrid of the business' existing Mokopa and Ingwe PGM. Denel Dynamics' Garsen Naidu said at the show the new missile concept “brings all our experience together”. The missile combines the Mokopa's seeker and laser guidance units with the Ingwe's multipurpose warhead and the Umkhonto short-range surface-to-air air defence missile's datalink. Like the Mokopa, the weapon has a 10km range. Impi is currently in its design phase and is a small, low-cost system designed specifically for operation on lightweight armed reconnaissance platforms, Naidu added. A number of countries have already expressed interest in an armed version of the UAV, Denel adds.

 

The Seeker 400 was originally conceived as an upgrade of the Seeker II but, as the project developed, the company realized that a totally new and larger aircraft would do better in the market. The retention of the name ‘Seeker’ also takes advantage of the Seeker II’s established brand.

The Seeker 400 programme schedule is on track. The medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV project, the Bateleur, has not been abandoned but is currently on hold to allow for a focused development of the Seeker 400.

 

Globally, UAVS are becoming ever more important and more widely used. Although costs are coming down, UAVs are not necessarily cheaper or easier to operate than crewed aircraft – some top-of- the-range UAVs are very expensive, Denel says. But the fact that they have no human on board means they can be sent into high-risk environments and they can be kept aloft much longer than a conventional aircraft.

 

The availability of capable and affordable South African UAVs has obvious benefits for national security as well as crime fighting, disaster management, election monitoring and search-and-rescue, Denel says. UAVs are also utilised in the agricultural, mining, health and environmental sectors. Within the next five years UAVs will be used by a diversity of industries-- from policing poachers on land and coastlines or carrying test specimens from remote clinics to laboratories for analysis, to keeping an eye on livestock on farms. “This wide range of applications will open up lucrative parallel markets for international UAV players,” Denel adds.

 

Foreign experience in combat zones shows that the key service that UAVs provide to ground force commanders is live video coverage. This provides them with real time surveillance, intelligence and target acquisition as well as much better situational awareness. The French Army has reported that, in Afghanistan, UAVs have saved the lives of its soldiers and some 80% of its UAV missions are to protect its troops. Indeed, it is now known that one of the operators of the Seeker II has deployed these UAVs under UN command in a foreign country.

Partager cet article

Repost0
19 juillet 2011 2 19 /07 /juillet /2011 19:10

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/c130-saaf-paradrop-youngeagle2011.JPG

 

18 July 2011 by defenceWeb

 

The South African Air Force (SAAF) has upped its bill to keep the venerable Lockheed Martin C130BZ flying by another R23.769 million. The SAAF last week awarded Denel Aviation an extension of an existing contract to provide product support services for the aging aircraft.

 

The SAAF C-130 fleet consists of seven platforms (401 - 407) purchased in 1963 before a US arms embargo was imposed on South Africa's apartheid government and five received in 1997/8 from the US (two ex-United States Air Force C-130B's – 408 and 409 – and three ex-US Navy C-130F's – 410 to 412 as part of their Excess Defence Articles programme. The two ex-US C-130B 's and a C-130F (411) were subsequently put in service, but the C-130F was retired soon thereafter.

 

Various modifications have been accomplished on the original SAAF aircraft, the most significant being a centre wing replacement and outer wing refurbishment from 1969 to 1972 done under the auspices of Lockheed, an engine upgrade (from Allison T56-A-7 to T56-A-15) during the early 1970s and a basic avionic upgrade during the early 1980s.

 

The two ex-USAF C-130B's had already been modified with the fitment of H-model outer wings and a centre wing similar to that of the other SAAF aircraft. The fleet underwent a major refit from December 1996, when Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge in the UK and Denel was contracted to upgrade the aircraft as part of Project Ebb, fitting inter alia digital avionics in the place of the electromechanical. The upgrade was not without delay and infighting between Marshalls and Denel and ran seven years past its expected date of completion, set for June 2002: the project wrapped up as late as July 2009.

 

Aircraft 402's brakes caught fire during a landing after a test flight in early 2005 at the then-Johannesburg International Airport. Damage estimated in the millions of rand was inflicted on the aircraft and an equally damaging dispute then erupted between Denel and Marshalls as to whom had to carry the cost of the repairs. It is unclear why the taxpayer paid the R6 579 134 for the repair as well as a further R3 686 241.08 for hangarage at Denel Aviation before and during the repair.

Another aircraft was also damaged while undergoing testing after upgrading - its fuel tanks were over-pressurised.

 

Seven of the nine were grounded in 2005 on the recommendation of the manufacturer after metal fatigue was discovered on the main spars and outer wing structures of several US C130Bs. As part of this the outer wings of aircraft 407 were removed. Lockheed Martin subsequently allowed three aircraft to resume flying, but in May 2006 the remaining four underwent a further battery of tests.

 

According to the Armscor Bulletin System, the cost of keeping the Hercules flying – fuel and crew excluded - now stands at at least R213 812 679 since early 2007 in addition to some a minimum of R3 686 241.08 charged in hangarage for the damaged aircraft #402 from 2005 until last year.

 

Product support services for the Hercules C130 aircraft - extension of ELGS/2003/553

LGS/S2011/4782 14 Jul 2011 R23 769 819,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2010/4663 17 Mar 2011 R9 500 000,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2010/4528 18 Nov 2010 R10 404 045,14 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Aerospace Group

LGS/S2010/4505 22 Sep 2010 R9 812 323,86 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Aerospace Group

LGS/S2009/4242 10 Mar 2010 R39 377 194,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2009/4139 8 Oct 2009 R9 500 000,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2008/3933 26 Mar 2009 R485 607,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

 

Provision of materiel supply support services for the South African Air Force C130B aircraft

ELGS/2010/199 9 Dec 2010 R90 000 000,00 Tau Aerospace (Pty) Ltd

 

Service, rectification and engineering support during recovery of the SAAF C-130BZ aircraft 402 - extension of EVLI/2007/378

VLI/S2010/1811 21 Jul 2010 R22 028,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2010/1797 13 Jul 2010 R200 000,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2008/1746 28 May 2009 R1 075 583,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

 

Hangarage of Project EBB C130Bz Aircraft 402 - Extension of ELGS/2005/413

LGS/S2009/1781 12 Jan 2010 R393 595,92 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2009/1774 29 Oct 2009 R655 993,20 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2009/1763 21 May 2009 R511 852,86 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2008/1726 26 Jun 2008 R523 008,61 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

LGS/S2007/1679 2 Aug 2007 R1 601 790,49 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

 

Interim support for the SA Air Force C-130 BZ avionic system - extension of EVLI/2006/228

VLI/S2008/1743 11 Dec 2008 R2 000 000,00 Thales Division Aeronautique

VLI/S2007/1711 4 Sep 2008 R2 877 253,20 Thales Division Aeronautique

VLI/S2007/1673 28 Jun 2007 R990 236,00 Thales Division Aeronautique

 

Pyrotechnic fire extinguisher cartridges for the SAAF transport aircraft

EDWU/2008/190 9 Oct 2008 R97 414,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

 

Service, rectification and engineering support during the recovery of SAAF C-130BZ Aircraft 402

EVLI/2007/378 29 May 2008 R5 281 523,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

 

Repair of 59 line replacement units - extension of EVLI/2003/680

VLI/S2008/1731 10 Jul 2008 R502 276,90 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2007/1709 15 May 2008 R18 415,35 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

VLI/S2007/1663 11 May 2007 R1 500 000,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Aerospace Group

 

Power cartridges for SA Air Force transport aircraft 2007/2008

EDWU/2007/126 23 Aug 2007 R172 316,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

 

Interim support of the South African Air Force''s C-130 BZ avionic system (Thales Avionics Top Deck)

EVLI/2006/228 12 Apr 2007 R6 075 607,56 Thales Division Aeronautique

 

Fire extinguisher cartridges for SAAF transport aircraft

EDWU/2006/505 9 Feb 2007 R151 037,10 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

Partager cet article

Repost0
15 juillet 2011 5 15 /07 /juillet /2011 21:50

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/a400m-two-aircraft-seville_400x301.jpg

 

15 July 2011 by Leon Engelbrecht – defenseWeb

 

There is something of a “Catch 22i” in arms acquisition. During times of peace it is argued that there are higher priorities than military preparedness, while on the outbreak of hostilities equipment may be unavailable because industry is not ready to manufacture, because of embargo or because the supplier state has need of the equipment itself.

South Africa has experience of each of these situations. In a Military Academy research paper titled The Union Defence Force between the two World Wars, 1919-1939, Lt Col Dr Ian van der Waag quotes the then-defence minister, Oswald Pirow, as saying in September 1938: “In spite of all its potential wealth, South Africa has much poverty and there is a definite upper limit to what the country is prepared to spend on defence.” He was tabulating factors that made South African participation in an international war unique. Other factors included that no section of the population was prepared to support a defence policy which aimed “exclusively at making soldiers out of the youth of the country”; the certainty that the Union or its nearest neighbours could never become the main theatre of a major war; and that due to its geographical position, South Africa's maximum effort will not have to be made until six months after the outbreak of hostilities. “This allowed a period for intensive preparation”. Pirow also noted the country's manpower resources when compared with those of even second-class powers were very limited, that its geographical position was such that large-scale gas or air attack on the civil population need not be seriously considered and the certainty that, “with hardly any conceivable exception, our troops would be called upon to fight a mobile war.”

The development and production of modern arms take ever longer. Author Clive Wilsworth in his excellent “First in, First Out, The South African Artillery in Action 1975-1988
ii notes the GV5 and self-propelled (SP) GV6 was developed from a need identified in 1968 and formalised in 1973 “when the gunners set the requirements to modernise their equipment in line with the Army's upgrading programme”. Work began in 1974 under the rubric Project Boas. When Apartheid South Africa suddenly saw a need in late 1975 to intervene in Angola, neither system was ready and the South African Artillery had to rely on the 88mm towed quick-firing gun and the breech-loading towed 140mm howitzer. Both were outranged by the Soviet artillery available to the Cuban and Angolan MPLA forces, notably the BM21 multiple rocket launcher. Ironically, South Africa's own MLRS programme, Project Furrow, had also started in 1974. As with the tube artillery, this system was also nowhere near ready when hostilities commenced. Wilsworth wrote that the G5 was conceived in July 1976. The first three were delivered to the Artillery on May 21, 1982. The first battery was commissioned in October 1985 and deployed the next July-August during Operation Alpha Centauri. The G6 followed under Projects Buzzard and Zenula. Three pre-production models saw action as “Juliet Troop” during Operation Modular, in November 1987. Regarding the FV1 Visarend MLRS and the Valkiri rocket, Wilsworth added it is still a common misperception that the quest for rocket artillery only started after Operation Savannah, the 1975 intervention. “The massive firepower of the [MLRS] was already appreciated before the first contact in Angola.” The system entered service in 1979 with the first instructors' course held at Kentron South (later Denel Somchem and now part of RDM) in May 1979. The first use of the Valkiri in combat was in August 1981 during Operation Protea. All of these were “operationally urgent” requirements during a war situation when funding was less of an issue than otherwise.

Around the same time the South African Navy (SAN) would suffer major disappointment when on November 4, 1977 a United Nations Security Council armaments embargo came into effect against South Africa. The country had two years before ordered two D'Estienne d'Orves/Aviso A69-class corvettes and two Agosta-class submarines from France. Originally ordered for the French Navy, the corvettes were re-named the SAS Good Hope and SAS Transvaal while building
iii. The South African ensign was hoisted on the Good Hope on September 17, 1977. The Agosta submarines were named SAS Astrant (Afrikaans, “cheeky”, “bold” or “impudent”) and SAS Adventurous. Both projects were progressing well when the embargo came into force and as a member of the UNSC France had no choice but to cancel both projects at the end of that month. The SAS Good Hope had its further sea trials suspended and was prohibited from leaving harbour. On November 7 the ship was moved upriver of the Scorff draw bridge in Lorient harbour – likely to prevent the crew from sailing the ship without authorisation – as the Israelis had done with their missile craft in the 1960s. The next day she and the Transvaal were embargoed when it was formally announced they would not be delivered. South African equipment and stores were removed from both – and the Agostas – and the project team and naval personnel in France were returned home by Christmas.iv The submarines and ships were later respectively sold to Pakistan and Argentina – although Nigeria also showed interest in the ships. The SAS Astrant became S135 Hashmat, SAS Adventurous became S136 Hurmat, the SAS Good Hope became the ARA Drummond (P31) and the Transvaal the ARA Guerrico (P32).

The saga of the monitor HMS Erebus illustrates the last conundrum: when the supplier state has need of the equipment itself. In 1934, the Ministry of Defence took the decision to install 13-inch (325mm) coast defence guns on Robben Island to protect the approaches to Cape Town harbour. Under the same scheme, Durban would be fitted with nine-inch (225mm) ordnance. South Africa then approached the British Admiralty to provide the guns. Protracted negotiations followed, leading to a compromise in December 1938 in terms of which the British would loan South Africa the monitor, HMS Erebus, until the guns could be delivered and installed. With the South African Naval Service moribund, the Union Government (then headed by Prime Minister General JBM Hertzog) decided to designate the monitor a self contained artillery battery to be manned by the SA Army. She would be known as the Erebus Heavy Battery, Coastal Artillery Brigade. (A “monitor” is essentially a small hull fitted with battleship armament. The Erebus had been was built in 1916 under an emergency WW1 building programme, along with a sister, the Terror. Both served during that conflict and were used as training ships afterwards as a result of their limited utility. The Erebus was fitted with a single turret bearing two 15-inch 42-calibre weapons, the same as fitted to battleships such as the HMS Warspite. Her ship's company was 13 officers and 191 men on a hull displacing 8450mt.) A detachment was sent to Britain to master the ships’ guns and were to have sailed home with her in mid-August 1939. However, some repair work could not be completed in time and with war imminent – and South Africa’s position uncertain – the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, indefinitely postponed the departure. When Britain declared war, some of the South Africans did indeed refuse duty and demanded repatriation. South Africa declared war on September 6 after a Cabinet revolt during which Deputy Prime Minister Jan Smuts ousted Hertzog. Churchill now wished to retain the Erebus and South Africa received some 9-inch guns for Robben Island in her stead
v.

Thus one often has to make do with what is in the stores, or go without...

Of course, technology is not a panacea. Writing about the South African War (1899-1902), Douglas Porch noted that “technology and organisation were only adjuncts to, not substitutes for, inventive operational solutions”. Their firepower, which normally gave them 'an important, but by no means decisive, advantage' in colonial warfare was somewhat counter-weighted by the artillery of the two republics
vi.”

Paddy Griffith writes that beyond “the doctrines of offensive and the defensive, success in battle depends on the technical balance between the two sides in that battle
vii. Wars tend to bog down when conditions are such that an initially favourable attack is unable to finish off the enemy with a single blow. Often this is a matter of general strategy: for example, when too weak a force is deployed to attack too large an enemy. In other cases, however, the failure to win a decisive result will have more to do with the technical tactical balance than with the numerical or strategic one. In both WWI and the more recent Iran-Iraq War [1980-1988] the fighting bogged down because the tactical attacker was unable to sustain his momentum and mobility through the whole depth of the enemy's defences. His forces were too vulnerable when they moved, so they had to dig in and stay put. The tactical balance between two sides is decided by the relationship of four characteristics: fire-power, mobility, protection and the quality of the troops troops each side has deployed.”

Griffith continues that choosing the right new technology (NT) and tactics is never easy “and this is borne out by the 30 years before 1914. The problem was not that the general were stupid or lacked insight, but simply that they were faced with too many new weapons and potential technical innovations for sensible judgments to be made. In fact, the allegedly 'unimaginative' cavalry general Douglas Haig [by 1918 the commander of the British Expeditionary Force] was actually a pioneer in military aviation and motor transport before the war, and would later be sympathetic to the claims of the tank corps.”


NT often suffers from “gold plating”, where the designer or the project officer “wants to incorporate several new and desirable features into the new weapon. The result is that the complexity, difficulty and expense of designing the final version become so overwhelming that the basic original requirement is almost lost from view. And then during the work-up phase there will be teething troubles not just with one new technology but with several, and all at once. In many cases, such as the American attempt to produce an armoured divisional air defence system (DIVADS)
viii [between 1977 and 1985] … finding solutions to the technical problems involved become so expensive that the whole project has to be cancelled.”

Some technological solutions have an impact on organisational structure. Automation has reduced the size of vehicle and gun crews, saving labour in the primary function perhaps, but leaving the same crews short-handed when it comes to mounting guard, maintaining their equipment and changing tyres or fixing tracks. The infantry section still roughly musters ten, although up to three of these are now vehicle crew in the mechanised forces, reducing the dismount section to just seven. Furthermore, the strictures of the assigned vehicle means ten is generally a definitive upper number: it is generally the maximum number that can be carried by most infantry combat vehicles (ICV) or armoured personnel carrier (APC). These vehicles are cramped at the best of times, and when loaded for combat – with full stores of equipment, victuals and ammunition, can be completely jammed in.

The small starting size of the dismounted component of such a section should raise serious concern about the efficacy of this critical battlefield element, especially its ability to absorb casualties and stay in the fight. It bears recall it is these infantrymen who do the fighting in any army in every war. Every higher structure merely adds a leadership, administrative and support layers. Thus at company level one has nine sections and two layers, at the battalion 27 sections and three layers.

Seven section dismounts multiplies to 21 platoon dismounts, 63 company dismounts and just 189 battalion riflemen. For the 1944 infantry section it was 30 platoon dismounts, 90 company dismounts and 270 battalion riflemen. The represents a massive drop in “bayonets”, which is not offset by the notional firepower of the assigned APC or ICV. The APC, in theory, should carry the infantry to the edge of the battle area, where they debus and fight forward on foot. The APCs then retire to a laager and perhaps provide covering fire. How long they will survive to do this is debatable, considering the light armour of standard APC (proof against ball rounds from assault rifles and machine guns). ICV, doctrinally, carry infantry onto the objective (meaning into the enemy position). But the standard ICV is a thin-skinned APC fitted with a cannon, rather than a machine gun, and perhaps precision-guided missiles. Writing about the first-of-breed, the BMP-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, meaning "fighting vehicle of infantry"), Griffith noted it “seemed to represent a formidable mixture of firepower, armour and mobility for the infantry, to give it plenty of punch even against armour; in practice, as the 1973 Yom Kippur (October) War showed, the BMP was alarmingly vulnerable...”

A mounted attack into the “Smokeshell” complex during Operation Sceptic in June 1983 illustrated this to a South African audience when a Ratel ICV platoon fell foul of Soviet 14.5 and 23mm anti-aircraft guns used in the ground role. Three of its four vehicles, still carrying dismounts, were hit and two were “knocked out”; the driver and a soldier being killed in the “21A” vehicle and the commander and six troops in the “21C” vehicle
ix. The incident was one of the heaviest single cases of loss during the 1966-1989 Border War and graphically illustrated how vulnerable dismounts are when mounted in light APCs or ICVs – truly hostages to fortune.

The solution has been to up-armour the APC and ICV or even to convert tanks to this role. This happened as long ago as WWI, in the shape of the
Mark IX tank. The next conversion was during the Normandy campaign of WWII, where surplus M7 Priest self-propelled guns (based on the M3 Lee/Grant) were stripped of their guns and sent into service carrying twelve troops. This and subsequent conversions became known as Kangaroos and were used as APCs throughout the remainder of the northwest Europe campaign. In the modern era, Israeli concern and experience with light APC has led to the revival of tank conversions. Several, such as the Israeli Achzarit, the Serbian VIU-55 Munja and the Russian BTR-T (Bronetransporter-Tyazhelyy, “Armoured Transporter–Heavy”), are based on the venerable T55. The BMPT, a slightly different concept (Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov, "Tank Support Fighting Vehicle"), is based on the T72.

Griffith, writing in 1991, supposed these heavy APC and ICV would come to resemble the Israeli Merkava (chariot) main battle tank (MBT). He was right. The latest conversion is the Namer (both a contraction of Nagmash [APC] Merkava" and Hebrew for “leopard”), based on Merkava Mark IV. The Namer is armed with either
M2 Browning machine gun or Mk 19 grenade launcher mounted on a Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station, another 7.62x51mm FN MAG machine gun, 60mm mortar and smoke grenades. Like Merkava Mark IV it is optimized for high level of crew survival on the battlefield. Namer may carry up to 12 crewmen and infantrymen and a stretcher, or two stretchers and medical equipmentx. Arguably the most survivable MBT in the world, the Merkava is not invulnerable, as was demonstrated in the 2006 Lebanon War. Israel may have over-relied on the tank in order to reduce casualties and suffered accordingly. The wikipedia records Hezbollah missiles penetrated the armour of five Merkava Mark IV tanks, killing 10 crew. Weapons used included the Russian RPG-29 'Vampir', AT-5 'Konkurs', AT-13 'Metis-M', and laser-guided AT-14 'Kornet' missiles. Another Merkava IV tank crewman was killed when a tank ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). “This tank had additional V-shaped underside armour, limiting casualties to just one of the seven personnel (four crewmen and three infantrymen) onboard. In total, 50 Merkava tanks (predominantly Merkava IIs and IIIs) were damaged, eight of which remained serviceable on the battlefield. Two Merkava Mark IVs were damaged beyond repair, one by powerful IEDs, and another, it is believed, by Russian AT-14 'Kornet' missilesxi. All but two Merkava Mark IV tanks damaged during the war were [eventually] repaired and returned to the IDF. The Israeli military said that it was satisfied with the Merkava Mark IV's performance, and attributed problems to insufficient training before the war”.xii

The BBC reported in August 2006 “all of these enhancements have not proved sufficiently effective against the most modern anti-tank systems operated by determined fighters on the ground. Part of the answer may be to adopt new kinds of armour. But, as ever, part of the answer will be tactical - changes to the way tanks are employed and the way they operate in concert with other elements of ground-power, like infantry and artillery.
xiii” Maybe, but the critic may wonder if this is not a repeat of the quest for a role for horsed cavalry on the 20th Century battlefield.

This, of course, does not address issues surrounding the small size of the dismount section, that will likely divide into two teams of perhaps three and four infantrymen each. When either of these comes under fire and takes casualties, the number of dismounts available for combat falls rapidly, especially when buddies fall out of the line to aid wounded comrades. Just one casualty in either team could reduce it to nothingness and evaporate the combat power of the section. Technology has changed the infantry, as much as any other branch, and a “task which would once have required a platoon of 30-40 men may now be carried out by a … section of eight to 12 men, each divided into two or three 'fireteams' that will similarly be capable of doing the job that previously needed the whole squad.
xiv” This may be true, but there is a definitive bottom limit, and in the case of the diminutive mounted section, the line may have already been crossed.

Another irony of military organisation is that as the section atrophies the support elements have blossomed. The greater the technological prowess of the armed forces, the larger its support units and the lower its tooth-to-tail (or combat-to-support) ratio. The reverse is equally true. US author and wargame pioneer James F Dunnigan notes that a typical Western-style division is just “one third combat troops, the rest [is] combat support. Depending on the type of division and nationality, infantry comprises 8-30% of division strength, tank crews 1-10%, and artillery (including anti-aircraft and antitank weapons) 6-12%. … Since combat divisions account for 20-50% of army manpower, combat troops comprise only 10-25% of all personnel. In all armies, combat support troops are very much the majority.”
xv

Since the working conditions of a military clerk or storeman resemble that of their civilian peers, it has been suggested that for the majority of military personnel, their employment is “just another job”. In their The Military : More Than Just a Job?, Charles Moskos and FR Wood noted that there has been a “creeping occupationalism” in the military, with more and more people seeing it as just another way of earning a living rather than as a “profession of arms”.
xvi This is a major debate in itself that falls outside the scope of this paper. The question is what remedy there is for this phenomenon – at least within the context of this writing. One that suggests itself is the US Marine Corps approach of “every marine a rifleman”, an approach that has given that branch of the America armed forces great cohesion, moral strength and morale. On Wake Island, during the early days of the early days of the Pacific War (December 7-23, 1941), pilots continued the fight as ground officers, leading supply clerks and cooks in a final defensive effort after all the Marine aircraft were shot downxvii. In Vietnam, it led to a close cameraderie between the Marines on the ground and aircrew, with the latter taking great risk to provide close air support to the latter.

“There is both a practical and moral dimension to the credo 'every Marine a rifleman',” the writers of USMC Manual MCWP 6-11 Leading Marines aver.
xviii “The force structure of the Corps reflects its central purpose: an expeditionary force in readiness. And because it is expeditionary, it is also austere. Austerity places a premium on the role of every Marine. There are no 'rear area' Marines, and no one is very far from the fighting during expeditionary operations. The success of each of these operations depends on the speed and flexibility with which Marines build combat power. Marines fighting with manoeuvre elements are backed up by fellow Marines who labour unceasingly to support the mission by building logistic bases, running truck convoys, distributing supplies, and fighting when needed to.

“There is almost nothing more precious to a Marine than a fellow Marine. This traditional bond flows from the combat training which all Marines receive, officer and enlisted, and the shared danger and adversity inherent in expeditionary operations. … This cohesion between Marines is not a function of a particular unit within the Corps. It is a function of the Corps itself. When a Marine reports to a unit, he or she may be unknown personally, but is a known quantity professionally.”

 

i Wikipedia, Catch 22, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22_%28logic%29 , accessed February 6, 2011.

 

ii Clive Wilsworth, First in, First Out, The South African Artillery in Action 1975-1988, 30 Degrees South Publishers, Johannesburg, 2010.

 

iii Commander Thean Potgieter, The Secret South African Project Team: Building Strike Craft In Israel, 1975-79, Scientia Militaria, http://academic.sun.ac.za/mil/scientia_militaria/Internet%20Vol%2032(2)/05%20Potgieter.pdf, accessed January 22, 2006.

 

iv AVA Systems, Profile of the SA Navy, Surface ships, A69-class.

 

v AVA Systems, Profile of the SA Navy, Surface ships, Erebus.

 

vi Douglas Porch, Imperial Wars: From the Seven Years War to the First World War, in Townshend (ed), The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern War, Oxford Univrsity Press, Oxford, 1997, pp84-85, 90; available online at http://books.google.co.za/books?id=x5ABVyHeIrYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Oxford+Illustrated+History+of+Modern+War&source=bl&ots=3sSP4AYugT&sig=tf_JIhD_TaeYRtwwnJb4XoDpwO0&hl=en&ei=PmpPTZecJ8KCOtmDuA0&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false; quoted in Ian van der Waag, South Africa and the Boer Military System, in Peter Dennis and Jeffrey Grey, eds. The Boer War; Army, Nation and Empire, Canberra, 2000; online at http://www1.army.gov.au/AHU/docs/The_Boer_War_vanderWaag.pdf, accessed February 10, 2011.

 

viiPaddy Griffith, The Ultimate Weaponry, Blitz Editions, London, 1991.

 

viii The M247 Sergeant York. For more, see the wikipedia, M247 Sergeant York, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M247_Sergeant_York, accessed February 12, 2011.

 

ix Willem Steenkamp, Borderstrike! South Africa into Angola, Butterworths Publishers, Durban, 1983, pp192-202.

 

x Wikipedia, Merkava, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkava#Merkava_IFV_Namer, accessed February 12, 2011.

 

xi Author Colonel David Eshel (Ret) ascribes this to an IED as well. Colonel David Eshel (Ret), Assessing the performance of Merkava tanks, Defence Update, undated, 2007, http://www.defense-update.com/analysis/lebanon_war_3.htm, accessed February 12, 2011.

 

xii Wikipedia, Merkava, , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkava#Merkava_IFV_Namer, accessed February 12, 2011.

 

xiii BBC, Tough lessons for Israeli armour, August 15, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4794829.stm, accessed February 12, 2011.

 

xiv Paddy Griffith, The Ultimate Weaponry, Blitz Editions, London, 1991, p151.

 

xv James F Dunnigan, How to Make War, 4th Edition - A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare for the 21st Century, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 2003, p124.

 

xvi CC Moskos & FR Wood, The Military : More Than Just a Job?, Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, Washington DC, 1988. See also Charles Moskos, From institution to occupation: trends in military organization, Armed Forces and Society, 4(1), 1977, p41-50.

 

xvii Lieutenant Colonel R.D. Heinl, Jr., USMC (1947). Marines in WWII Historical Monograph: The Defense of Wake. Historical Section, Division of Public Information, Headquarters, USMC. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Wake.html.

 

xviiiUSMC, Leading Marines, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C, January 1995, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/mcwp611.pdf, accessed March 6, 2011.

Partager cet article

Repost0
23 mai 2011 1 23 /05 /mai /2011 19:00

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/AIR/Air_new/casa-c295-torpedo_400x266.jpg

 

23 May 2011 by Leon Engelbrecht defenseWeb

 

Airbus Military is keen to propose its aircraft range for the South African Air Force's Project Saucepan requirement for new maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft. Air Force chief Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano earlier this month said the programme had been “pulled to the left” by the increased threat of piracy in southern Africa's eastern littoral waters.

 

"I think we have the best product in the world and I believe we could win the programme if we are given the chance to compete," said Airbus Military CE Domingo Ureña. Speaking at a company trade media briefing (TMB) in Madrid on Wednesday he added "We will be ready to compete."

 

Project Saucepan should finally see the SAAF replace its 68-year-old Douglas C47 Dakota aircraft in the maritime surveillance role, a requirement Gagiano says is now both “urgent and important”.

 

The SAAF received its first C47s in 1943 and they were employed as transport in the Italian campaign of World War Two as well as for ferry duties in the Mediterranean theatre. The aircraft remain in service with 35 Squadron, based in Cape Town, with medium transport as well as maritime patrol duties. In the latter role it replaced the Avro Shackleton MR3, the last purpose-designed antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, in SAAF inventory from November 1984.

 

But it is not yet clear what the requirement is. Brigadier General Tsoku Khumalo, the SAAF's director transport and maritime told the defenceWeb maritime security conference in Cape Town in October 2009 that the SAAF was contemplating five specialised Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and eight cheaper general-purpose Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). At the time he said the new aircraft would have to be cost effective, sustainable, appropriate and offer a growth path. It would further need to be capable of inshore, coastal and deep-sea exclusive economic zone patrol as well as search-and-rescue (SAR) work. To support naval operations they would also require an ability to engage in antisubmarine and surface warfare.

 

The new MPA would in addition require the ability detect, track, classify and identify surface targets and in wartime to engage the same with onboard weapons, he added. Khumalo noted the SAAF realistically required 12 to 14 MPAs but these were very costly and the budget needed likely prohibitive. Other than having a maritime role the aircraft also needed to have a transport function and would also replace the C47, Airbus Military C212 and C235 aircraft; Khumalo being keen to reduce the number of platform types in use in the SAAF transport environment.

 

Gagiano would not be drawn on budget, numbers or platforms, but did indicate a change in thinking. Asked about the size of the preferred platform, he said he had his own views. Pressed whether it would be something the size of a C235, Gagiano chuckled and said he was looking at “something smaller, actually.” One suggestion was the Beechcraft King Air 350, used by several air forces, coast guards and other authorities for maritime patrol. Speaking about Operation Hopper, the South African National Defence Force's maritime security operation off the northern Mozambique coast, Gagiano said the burning need was for airborne sensors. “We have a gap there we have fill very quickly,” the general said. This is why Saucepan is “so important” and “will make such a big difference”. Asked about numbers, Gagiano again declined to comment, not confirming or denying the figure four.

 

“There is no doubt about it. These aircraft will give us a massive boost and will make a major difference to our operational capabilities. Not only will they be used in anti-piracy roles, but also to combat poaching and the detection of war threats. Because of outdated maritime surveillance equipment, this project is an urgent priority,” he said.

 

Airbus Military senior VP: commercial Antonio Rodriguez Barberán told a question and answer session at the the TMB the company would offer the CN235 or C295 aircraft for Saucepan. Barberán said although the King Air was a good platform, it was, in his view, limited, especially in a secondary transport role. "Typically, what we would present to the SAAF are aircraft with a dual role. A CN235 could be a preferred solution for South Africa. Even a C295." Noteworthy was the absence of the C212, the smallest aircraft in the current Airbus Military stable and closest in size to the King Air – albeit still bigger. In answer to another question Barberán noted Airbus Military was in talks with Indonesian Aerospace (Iae), formerly IPTN, about the future of that platform. Indications are the manufacturing of the C212 might be transferred there.

 

Some 6600 King Air aircraft of all types have been built an delivered since 1972, including three to the SAAF, one of 48 military operators, who generally use them for light transport and liaison duties. The C212 is a turboprop short take-off and landing (STOL) medium transport aircraft. Some 580 have been built since 1974 and are flown by numerous civil and some 22 military operators. The

 

The CN-235 is a medium-range twin-engined medium transport plane jointly developed by the-then CASA and IPTN of Indonesia as a regional airliner and military transport. Its primary military roles include maritime patrol, surveillance, and air transport. Some 230 have been delivered since 1988. Some 27 air forces and three paracivil authorities have used the type, along with some 11 civil operators, the wikipedia notes. Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico and the Turkish as well as US coast guards operates the type in maritime patrol role, the Spanish Civil Guard (a paramilitary police) employ it on surveillance duties while the Turkish Navy operates an antisubmarine/surface warfare version. The Spanish SASEMAR sea search and rescue organisation also uses the C235 in the maritime SAR role.

 

The C-295 is a further development of the CN-235 with a stretched fuselage, 50% more payload capability and new PW127G turboprop engines. The C-295 made its maiden flight in 1998. Some 111 examples are on order or have been delivered to 24 operators in 16 nations, according t Airbus Military figures. Algeria and Portugal use the transport as a MPA while Chile recently received the first ASW version.

Partager cet article

Repost0
16 mai 2011 1 16 /05 /mai /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Casa_maripasoula.jpg

 

May 16, 2011 By Leon Engelbrecht, defenceWEB Editor – defpro.com

 

Project Saucepan, the South African Air Force's programme to replace its 68-year-old Douglas C47 Dakota aircraft in the maritime surveillance role has been “pulled to the left”. SAAF chief Lieutenant Carlo Gagiano says the project, now at staff target phase, is both “urgent and important”.

 

The air boss was speaking to journalists at the SAAF's annual air capability demonstration at the Roodewal bomb range in Limpopo yesterday. He would not be drawn on budget, numbers or platforms, but did not vigorously deny a figure of four. Asked about the size of the preferred platform, he said he had his own views. Pressed whether it would be something the size of an Airbus Military CASA 235, Gagiano chuckled and said he was looking at “something smaller, actually,” in the class of the Beechcraft King Air 350, used by several air forces. The SAAF also operates two King Air 200s and one King Air 300 in the light tranport role. Some 3550 King Air's have been built since 1972. The wikipedia puts it cost at between US$5.24-7.57 million each in 2009 base prices.

 

Speaking about Operation Hopper, the South African National Defence Force's maritime security operation off the northern Mozambique coast, Gagiano said the burning need was for airborne sensors. “We have a gap there we have fill very quickly,” the general said. This is why Saucepan is “so important” and “will make such a big difference”.

 

“There is no doubt about it. These aircraft will give us a massive boost and will make a major difference to our operational capabilities. Not only will they be used in anti-piracy roles, but also to combat poaching and the detection of war threats. Because of outdated maritime surveillance equipment, this project is an urgent priority,” he said.

 

Gagiano continued that he would like to see the aircraft permanently based along the coast – with appropriate resources an perhaps also crewed by the SAAF Reserve Force. Richards Bay, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town were named in that connection.

 

The SAAF received its first C47s in 1943 and they were employed as transport in the Italian campaign of World War Two as well as for ferry duties in the Mediterranean theatre. After the war, the aircraft were deployed to support the Berlin Air Lift. Between June 1948 and May 1949 some 1.5 million tons of cargo was carried into the blockaded city aboard some 200 000 flights.

 

In the early 1990s about 11 were modernised with, inter alia turboprops replacing the piston engines. The aircraft remain in service with 35 Squadron, based in Cape Town, with medium transport as well as maritime patrol duties. In the latter role it replaced the Avro Shackleton MR3, the last purpose-designed MPA, in SAAF inventory from November 1984.

 

Brigadier General Tsoku Khumalo, the SAAF's director transport and maritime told the defenceWeb maritime security conference in Cape Town in October 2009 that the SAAF has a requirement for five specialised Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and eight cheaper general-purpose Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). At the tie he said the new aircraft would have to be cost effective, sustainable, appropriate and offer a growth path. It will need to be capable of inshore, coastal and deep-sea exclusive economic zone patrol as well as search-and-rescue (SAR) work. To support naval operations they will also require an ability to engage in antisubmarine and surface warfare.

 

The new aircraft would require the ability detect, track, classify and identify surface targets and in wartime to engage the same with onboard weapons, he added. Khumalo noted the SAAF realistically required 12 to 14 MPAs but these were very costly and the budget needed likely prohibitive. Other having a maritime role the aircraft also needed to have a transport function and would also replace the C47, CASA C212 and C235 aircraft; Khumalo being keen to reduce the number of platform types in use in the SAAF transport environment.

 

While at pains to avoid mentioning manufacturers or aircraft models for fear of creating perceptions, Khumalo did acknowledge that to have the range for maritime operations – the SA search-and-rescue region is some 17.2 million square kilometres in size – and to have a useful cargo capacity the aircraft would have to be of the size and capability of the Casa 295. However, extreme long range SAR operations over the sea would remain the task of the Lockheed Martin C130BZ Hercules.

 

It is not yet clear how the new developments affect the plan put forward by Khumalo.

Partager cet article

Repost0
5 mai 2011 4 05 /05 /mai /2011 13:00

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/images/stories/JOINT/JOINT_NEW/2_tech/night_vision_targets.jpg

 

04 May 2011 by defenceWeb

 

The South African Army is purchasing night vision tubes worth R3 million from vendor ECM Technologies. The order was placed last month. It adds to the some R238 million spent on night vision equipment since 2007. In addition to the R241 223 912.08 spent on new equipment, some R17 241 102.51 has been spent on maintenance and repair. The equipment replaces dated technology based on first and second generation image intensifiers. The acquisitions appear separate from Project Cytoon that is seeing the SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps gaining 14 Thales Squire ground surveillance radars and 65 Thales Sophie thermal imagers.

 

Thermal imagers detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

 

Since most objects emit such radiation, thermal imagers allow their users to "see" their surroundings with or without visible light. The warmer the object, the brighter the object appears in the imager. Humans, with an internal body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius tend to stand out against their surroundings, which are mostly cooler. This also allows thermal imagers to spot camouflaged targets. Many modern thermal imagers include an eye-safe laser rangefinder and pointer, a compass, GPS and digital camera. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4km, tanks at 10km, helicopters at 12km and jet fighters at 16km, Thales says.

Partager cet article

Repost0
25 mars 2011 5 25 /03 /mars /2011 19:45

Partager cet article

Repost0
1 février 2011 2 01 /02 /février /2011 00:29

Partager cet article

Repost0

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

Categories