Aerospace and defence company Denel’s latest air-to-air missile, the A-Darter, passed critical in-flight guided tests late last year with production on this fifth-generation missile system expected to start before the end of 2015.
Denel CEO Riaz Saloojee says the A-Darter will be a global leader in its class when it comes into service in the next 18 months. The missile is a collaborative project between the South African and Brazilian defence industries and is designed to meet the challenges of future air combat against next-generation fighters in a hostile electronic countermeasure (ECM) environment.
“The partnership on the project clearly demonstrates the ability of the South African defence industry to work with other companies in the global arena,” says Saloojee.
Testing of the A-Darter has already been conducted. The missile has also been inte- grated with the JAS 39 Gripen – used by the South African Air Force – and, in future, the missile will also be integrated with the Gripen NG.
The wingless missile design of the A-Darter promotes a low-risk integration process with old- and new-generation aircraft platforms. Further, Denel Dynamics can be contracted to conduct prime missile integration on the client’s platform of choice, making the A-Darter a highly cost-effective solution.
The missile has exceptional agility, which will enable it to handle close combat situations with ease. It also features lock-on after launch and memory tracking capabilities, as well as advanced digital processing capabilities, which ensure improved performance in terms of image detection; false target rejection; electronic counter-countermeasures; guidance and control.
Meanwhile, Denel Dynamics’ international reputation continues to grow through new innovations and technology designed to extend the effectiveness of the company’s tried-and-tested systems, says Denel Dynamics CEO Tsepo Monaheng.
Ingwe Portable Launch System
The company’s recent introduction of a portable launch system – the Ingwe Portable Launch System (IPLS) – has significantly increased the flexibility and cost effectiveness of the Ingwe missile system, one of the more mature battle-proven products in the company’s stable.
The Ingwe is a beam-rider missile with a tandem warhead that can penetrate up to 1 000 mm of rolled homogeneous armour. Designed to operate with minimal logistics support, it is an ideal system to be deployed in severe or isolated battle environments.
The IPLS enables the Ingwe missile to be fired from light vehicles or a tripod on the ground, providing excellent tactical mobility and flexibility for an already battle-proven anti-tank missile.
This adds to the versatility of the Ingwe, which already has proven capabilities when launched from a helicopter and fire-on-the-move land platforms. The Ingwe missile is currently in service with the South African National Defence Force and has been integrated with a range of land vehicles and helicopters for other customers.
The IPLS is able to engage both stationary and moving targets from distances that range between 200 m and 5 000 m. The beam-riding principle and the control of the laser power make the missile virtually undetectable and highly resistant to countermeasures.
Meanwhile, with a range of more than 10 000 km, the Mokopa precision-guided missile produced by Denel Dynamics is highly rated for its accuracy and explosive power.
Designed initially as an air-to-ground missile, the latest version of Denel’s Mokopa missile can be fired from a variety of launch platforms, such as land vehicles, shore battery installations and naval vessels.
The modular design of this missile allows for different warheads – such as penetration, fragmentation or anti-armour – enabling the Mokopa to be optimised for the specific type of target.
Monaheng says the successful deployment of Denel’s missiles by South African and international clients have strengthened the company’s reputation as an innovative leader in advanced systems technology.