In keeping with Denel's new strategic direction, announced by CEO Shaun Liebenberg last month, the Group is showcasing some of its niche defence and aerospace systems at Europe's premier defence exhibition (DSEI 2005). The show starts in London, England, this week (13 to 16 September).
With an eye on global partnerships, Denel is displaying its advanced LCT-30 combat turret in the Finnish pavilion on a Patria vehicle. This vehicle with Denel's turret forms part of the joint Denel-EADS tender for the South African Army's new generation infantry combat vehicle.
"Denel meets the prerequisites to act as a specialised contractor that could slot into the value chain of the global players, because it has a technology edge or low cost production capabilities in several niche areas," Liebenberg explained.
"The shift to mobile weapons and electronic technologies resulted in a long term move from heavy vehicles and large calibre weapons to small calibre and high-end reconnaissance systems," he said last month.
In London this week Denel also hopes to interest more customers in its sophisticated sub-systems, like its 'Eagle Eye' target location binocular and the unique pilot helmet sighting and tracking system for which Denel already has international contracts. Denel's LH-40C eyesafe laser rangefinder is also NATO certified and in use with some European armies.
Several other Denel optronics products are shown, including the 'Kenis' infrared thermal imaging camera, as well as Goshawk and LEO surveillance equipment, operated in some 20 countries around the world. Belgium's Federal Police is the latest customer to have selected Denel's LEO electro-optic stabilized airborne observation system.
Denel is also supporting Zeiss Optronik of Germany with periscope equipment for a number of foreign navies.
With Denel's proven expertise in missile technology and precision-guided weapon development, its Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missile, selected by the South African and the Finnish navies, will also be on show. Denel has recently concluded performance flight trials and live firings of the Umkhonto.
"Our 'Arachnida' weapon management system on display here, is already in service on the UK's light artillery guns and was exported in quantity to a Middle East customer," said Zwelakhe Ntshepe, Denel's Group Marketing Director. "Denel's artillery ammunition, recognised as superior to any other on the market, is currently being evaluated in the NATO environment as well as in the United States."
Earlier this year, Denel announced a strategic alliance with Germany's Nitrochemie to develop a new generation of modular propellant charges for 105mm and 155mm artillery.
Shaun Liebenberg said the company's capabilities were attractive to global prime contractors for partnering. "I'm confident that we have set in motion a process to evaluate alliance opportunities, and DSEi 2005 gives us a further opportunity to explore these, whilst showing those niche products that could take Denel further into the international defence market," Liebenberg concluded.