Major changes are afoot at Denel, the South African aerospace conglomerate.
"In today's world Denel can not remain an isolated business. To try and remain in isolation or independent is to walk a suicidal path," says Victor Moche, the company's chief executive.
With this in mind, Denel is seeking to combine with other South African companies in an ‘aerospace cluster' as well as internationally with companies in countries such as India, Malaysia, Brazil and the UAE.
"We're seeking greater and greater co-operation and workshare, particularly in conceptualisation and design and, ultimately, in manufacture."
Discussions took place some years ago with BAE Systems that "unfortunately did not result in a formal alliance", says Moche, but informal exploration of a possible link-up with the UK-based company continues and Denel still co-operates with it at product level.
Denel is also restructuring its aviation interests, moving away from individual divisions toward a more cohesive functional company, says Moche. The intention is to create units covering areas such as design and product development across the organisation, giving a more streamlined structure.
In the rotary field, Denel is preparing for final assembly of the Agusta A109 Power and A119 Koala helicopters and is still trying to sell its Rooivalk combat helicopter into Malaysia.
Now that the South African air force is building up operational hours on the type – it has just qualified the Mokopa anti-tank missile on the aircraft – Moche believes that this will attract potential customers.
He believes that the Gulf offers improving prospects for the Rooivalk and that UAVs are also likely to be of interest in the region.
Source: Flight Daily News