The Denel Group will show off its world-class range of products and various capabilities at an international defence exhibition attended by high-level decision-makers from the region and other parts of the world in Malaysia next week.
“South East Asia is an important market for Denel with significant potential for business growth,” says the Group CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe. “We already have well-established relationships with a number of countries and regional defence manufacturers and are pursuing major opportunities that will soon open up.”
The Defence Services Asia Exhibition – DSA 2018 – is held in Kuala Lumpur from 16 to 18 April and is attended by defence decision-makers, heads of armed forces and industry leaders from more than 55 countries.
Many of the countries in the Asian-Pacific are re-equipping their defence forces in response to changes in the regional security environment. Denel has identified opportunities for business growth in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Singapore.
“Our capabilities in landward defence, artillery and armoured vehicles are well-known in the region because of our long and strong relationship with the Malaysian defence industry. We will also focus on our proven capabilities in missile technology, especially the Umkhonto surface-to-air missile system which can be deployed in both the landward and maritime environments,” says Ntshepe.
Denel has been active in Malaysia for 16 years. Its primary contract is for the supply of 177 modular turrets to be fitted onto 8X8 armoured vehicles for the Malaysian army. The R4-billion contract is the largest export contract in Denel’s history.
Denel Land Systems manufactures the turrets in partnership with the Malaysian Company, DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (Deftech). The last delivery of the turrets is scheduled for 2010.
The contract forms part of Malaysia’s economic enhancement programme which will contribute to the establishment of production, assembly and testing facilities in the country. While Denel is manufacturing the bulk of the system’s components such as the guns and sights, the assembly and testing of the turrets will be done in Malaysia.
In addition to the turrets Denel has also supplied G5 155mm artillery and ammunition, 81mm long range mortars and NTW20 anti-materiel rifles to the Malaysian army and SS77 machine guns to the country’s navy.
Ntshepe says the contract with Malaysia has demonstrated how defence contracts can be a catalyst for cooperation in other areas of economic activity. Subsequent to the signing of the contract Denel concluded a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the aeronautics sector while doors have been opened for South African research institutions and the private sector to explore opportunities in technologies relating to cyber security, advance manufacturing, urban logistics and renewable energy.
“This is a model which we can extend to other countries in South East Asia and we are looking forward to use DSA 2018 as a platform for further growth,” says Ntshepe. Denel will exhibit at the South African national pavilion at DSA 2018 together with Armscor and the CSIR. The turret systems will form part of the Deftech exhibition in Malaysia.