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Expansion of systems engineering a priority at Denel

Denel intends to expand its proven expertise in systems engineering and command-and-control across the defence environment, with products and services that can be used in both the defence and civilian security sectors.
Jan Wessels, the CEO of the Denel Dynamics Division says these new moves are part of Denel's strategy to grow its revenue through the penetration of new markets and finding new business opportunities for its well established, existing core-systems capabilities. "Denel has an enviable record for the delivery of quality products, systems and support services in the aerospace and landward defence sectors. We will now extend this into the maritime environments," says Wessels.

Maritime security

Maritime security is growing in importance for South Africa and Africa in general, with increasing demands to counter the growth of piracy in southern waters and protect the country's marine resources along the 2 500km long coastline. Wessels says the state-owned company has identified a number of niche focus areas in which it has proven systems-level experience and can add value to, and strengthen, the reach of the existing maritime sector. The goal will be to supplement and not duplicate what is already established and working well.

Denel will grow its contribution in the C4I sector of the defence environment - namely command, control, communications, computers and intelligence.

Denel Integrated Systems Solutions - a business unit of Denel Dynamics division - headed by Ralph Mills, is responsible for the programme management and turnkey, in-service delivery of the South African National Defence Force's (SANDF) Ground-based Air Defence System. This is system level expertise that will be available to government agencies and the SANDF when critical decisions are made on the future acquisition of command-and-control solutions as well as new naval vessels, equipment and maritime defence systems. It may, over time, even be extended to add value during the provision of sophisticated upgrade, maintenance and support tasks to the SA Navy.

Control systems for artillery

Mills says other divisions in the Denel Group will also contribute. Denel Land Systems has developed control systems for artillery and mobilised infantry while Denel Dynamics' missiles business unit has proven experience in advanced systems engineering and integration of complex systems.

Wessels says Denel constantly looks for opportunities to diversify from its core technological basis, whether to combat rhino poaching, detect drugs and prevent contraband smuggling, to the improvement of training of security and para-military personnel. Denel has initiated discussions with key stakeholders in both the local and international defence industries to explore models of co-operation and participation that will be to the benefit of South Africa, in both the command-and-control and the maritime environments.