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26 February 2015

Denel Promoting Projects in the Middle East

South African company Denel was promoting the first project in its joint venture with UAE-based Tawazun Holdings at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi this week.

The joint venture, called Tawazun Dynamics, unveiled its Al Tariq family of strap-on bomb kits for the Mk80 family of bombs which is destined to delivered to the UAE Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, Denel also showcased its fifth generation A-Darter air-to-air missile, co-developed with the Brazilian armed forces. Designed to meet the challenges of future air combat in a hostile electronic countermeasure environment, this particular munition has completed in-flight guided tests and is awaiting integration onto Saab’s Gripen jet fighter currently in use with the South African Air Force. Production is expected to begin later this year.

Riaz Saloojee, the Group Chief Executive of Denel, said the munition had been designed to combat future challenges in a hostile electronic countermeasure environment: “Testing and integration of the A-DARTER on the JAS 39 GRIPEN used by the South African Air Force has already been done and it will, in future, also be integrated onto the GRIPEN NG,” he announced.

The wingless missile was designed for close combat situations and features  lock-on after launch and memory tracking capabilities as well as advanced digital processing capabilities to ensure maximum image detection, false target rejection, electronic counter-countermeasures, guidance and control.
However, the missile can also be fired from a variety of other platforms including ground vehicles, short batteries and vessels. It is also capable of penetrating 1,350mm armour and has demonstrated an effect against explosive reactive armour.

Elsewhere, Denel also exhibited its Ingwe Portable Launch System which fires a beam-rider HEAT and Multi-Purpose Penetrator missile which has the capability to penetrate 1,000mm armour. The PLS can be fired from light tactical vehicles as well as a ground-based tripod system and is best suited at destroying tactual vehicles, bunkers, buildings and fortified positions at ranges between 200m and 5,000m.

“This adds to the versatility of the Ingwe which already has proven capabilities when launched from helicopter and fire-on-the-move land platforms. It is currently in service with the South African National Defence Force and integrated on a range of land vehicles and helicopters with other customers,” Saloojee said.

Denel was also exhibiting an armed variant of its Seeker 400 UAV and is targeting a number of undisclosed countries in the Middle East, having already supplied the UAE with the Seeker 2 and 200 variants. The 400 model has a faster cruising speed of 150kph and greater payload of 100kg.
It has the ability to carry two payloads including synthetic aperture radar and EOIR sensors with a maximum endurance of 16 hours at altitudes up to 18,000ft. Company sources added that the Seeker 400 had recently completed “vital” tests in the Alkantpan Range in South Africa, although further details remain undisclosed.

Finally, the company revealed plans to extend its interest in the Middle East to the maritime domain, having recently established its Integrated Systems and Maritime Division. 

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