The establishment of State-owned aerospace and defence technology company Denel’s new Integrated Systems and Maritime division (DISM) will strengthen the company’s position as a high-end technology powerhouse and expand the range of products and services it now provides for the South African defence and security sectors.
The DISM will add to Denel’s existing strengths in the landward and aerospace arenas, while opening up new markets for the company, enabling Denel to remain globally competitive, says group CEO Riaz Saloojee.
“The creation of DISM is the next step in the evolution of Denel as a company. We are opening up a new strategic area of business that will ensure Denel’s activities cover the broader spectrum of defence and security markets, enabling us to meet the needs of our primary client – the South African National Defence Force – more effectively,” says Saloojee.
He says the creation of the maritime division will enable Denel to meet the recommendations of the 2014 Defence Review, which calls for the company to develop sovereign capabilities in strategic areas, such as command-and-control and electronic warfare.
DISM will also develop local South African capacity through research and investment in maritime systems, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyberwarfare and security, integrated defence and security systems and civil security.
Saloojee maintains that establishing a presence in the maritime environment is a natural next step for Denel. He says the company has been a global name in landward defence for several decades, as well as a leader in the development of long-range artillery and mechanised infantry vehicles.
“In the aerospace sector, we designed, developed and manufactured the Rooivalk, which is broadly recognised as the best-of-breed among combat helicopters,” he says, further revealing that Denel will soon launch its new-generation unmanned aerial vehicle, the Seeker 400, and that the A-Darter surface-to-air missile is at an advanced stage of development.
“Denel’s greatest strength is to integrate different systems and to provide our clients with a complete and comprehensive solution.”
Saloojee adds that modern defence forces require different branches to interact with one another and to use systems that can be easily integrated into a single command-and-control network.
“With DISM, we now close all the gaps and offer the South African and global security markets a single point of entry into an all-inclusive defence solution,” he says.
Saloojee maintains that the new business opportunities that will emanate from the division will strengthen Denel’s business model, create new job opportunities in the high-technology sector and lead to more investment in research and development.
“This is another important step in our journey to grow from being a good company to becoming a great company,” he concludes.