http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.49Change: 0.10
R/$ = 10.50Change: 0.05
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: -0.67
Pt 1407.50 $/ozChange: -21.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jun 20, 2003

Defence electronics group winning global stripes

Back
Avitronics|BAE Systems|Denel|Lockheed Martin|UAV|Greece|South Africa|South Korea|Sweden|Defence Electronics|Laser Systems|Microwave Systems|MicrowavenSystems|Transport|Ben Ash|A-109|C-130H|Eurocopter Cougar|Hercules|Lockheed Martin C-130B|Lynx|Puma|Laser|Microwave
avitronics|bae-systems|denel|lockheed-martin|uav|greece|south-africa|south-korea|sweden|defence-electronics|laser-systems|microwave-systems|microwavensystems|transport-industry-term|ben-ash|a109|c130h|eurocopter-cougar|hercules-product|lockheed-martin-c130b|lynx|puma|laser|microwave
© Reuse this South African defence electronics company Avitronics, 51%-owned by Grintek and 49% by Saab, of Sweden, is certainly establishing itself as a global player in a highly competitive industry.

“What makes us unique is our very broad technological capability, from microwave to optics, analogue and digital, software, packaging, and production, which allows us to be far more flexible than our competitors and to make inte- grated systems,” says company MD Ben Ash.

“From the price-performance point of view, we’re the best on the market,” he asserts.

“For example, our ability to develop our own microwave systems allows us to customise our projects at a very low price,” he points out.

“Our multisensor warning system (MSWS) is the only fully-integrated such system in the world – all the others are federated, that is composed of systems and subsystems from a number of companies,” he reports.

The MSWS is designed for use in all categories of aircraft – rotary and fixed wing, combat and transport – and is a modular system that provides advanced electronic warfare self- protection, and warns the aircrew if their aircraft has been detected by radar, or laser systems, or if a missile is approaching them.

In production since 1997 and continuously upgraded, the MSWS has been, or is being, installed in the following aircraft – AgustaWestland A-109 and Super Lynx 300, BAE Systems Hawk 100, Denel Aviation Oryx and Rooivalk, Eurocopter Cougar, Puma and NH-90, and Lockheed Martin C-130B and C-130H Hercules.

“Another of our products that is unique is our miniaturised electronic surveillance payload for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs),” he adds.

The payload has a total mass of 16 kg, divided into a controller and an antenna array.

The payload on the UAV acquires and analyses radar emissions and then transfers this information via a datalink to a ground-based remote terminal for display.

The remote terminal also controls the system and the UAV.

“Our customers give us feedback on the operational performance of our systems, which allows us to update and upgrade them,” explains Ash.

“Even just participating in an evaluation by a potential customer teaches us a lot, whether or not our product is chosen,” he adds.

The company’s increasing success is marked by its growing roll of employees and backed by the company’s increasing in-house research and development (R&D) budget.

In June 1999 the company had 182 staff members and was overmanned.

It now has 385, including 66 new posts created this year, and the company plans to create a further 60 new jobs next year.

“About 60% to 70% of our people are highly skilled and around a quarter of our staff are involved in product development, some of which is funded by the customer, some by Saab and some internally by us,” reveals Ash.

“More and more, we’re doing our own funded R&D and we’re growing our joint R&D with Saab, which we fund together,” he elucidates.

The company has benefited significantly from both direct and indirect defence industrial participation (Dip) from South Africa’s strategic defence re-equipment programme.

“For example, it was cooperation with Saab through Dip that led to shared R&D and Saab’s taking nearly a half share of the company, and this, in turn, opened international markets to us,” says Ash.

“The relationship with Saab opened many minds to the fact that a South African company can produce high-quality advanced technology products,” he explains.

The company won a contract with the Swiss Air Force for its helicopter self-protection system as a direct result of its part-ownership by Saab.

Indirect Dip has also brought Avitronics orders from Greece, South Korea, Sweden and an undisclosed customer for the Super Lynx 300.

Ash is “pretty bullish” about the company’s future.

“We have a growth strategy for the next five years and I expect we’ll more than double in size in terms of both volume and people,” he concludes.
Edited by: Keith Campbell
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Defence News
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
A key area of interest and concern in the South African Defence Review 2012 is “defence intellectual property”. The review recognises that a “vibrant defence industry remains a critical component of an effective South African defence capability”. Research,...
South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has agreed to set up a joint Centre of Excellence (CoE) for radar and sensor technology with the National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM). The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) covering this was...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks