South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Friday that its tenth and last offset project for Malaysia, being provided in return for the Asian country’s order for armoured gun turrets and integrated weapons systems for armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), was launched last week. The AV8 contract is the biggest export contract in Denel’s history and the group’s offset obligations total €342-million.
The South African turrets and weapons are being fitted to the Malaysian Army’s new 8 x 8 wheeled AV8 Gempita AFVs, which are based on the Turkish Pars AFV family. (Gempita means Thunder.) The AFV will have about 12 variants and an initial number of 257 have been ordered, of which more than 118 have reportedly been delivered.
Denel is providing 69 two-man LCT-30 turrets armed with its GI-30 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun for the AFV30 variant and 54 LCT-30 turrets armed with four of its Ingwe anti-tank missiles in addition to the 30 mm cannon, for the anti-tank variant. It is also supplying 54 remotely-controlled weapons stations. The deal reportedly includes 216 Ingwe missiles.
The latest and last of the offset programmes will see South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) provide courses to personnel from the Malaysian armed forces and provide an internship to a senior researcher from the National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM). The first of these courses has already been held, and was attended by 34 specialists from the Malaysian armed forces and academia. It was focused on radio frequency and microwave principles in electronic warfare.
The CSIR will also act as a consultancy for the NDUM, to help the latter set up an electronic defence centre of excellence. This programme, with the CSIR, is expected to be concluded during 2021, at which point Denel plans to have delivered 100% of its offset obligations.
“The collaboration will deepen the cooperation on technology and research between South Africa and Malaysia,” highlighted Denel Group CE Danie du Toit. “The experience we gained on the AV8 offset programme will benefit Denel in future initiatives and can contribute to the promotion of the broader South African defence and manufacturing industries.”
“This serves as an example of what can be achieved with well-designed offset programmes,” he affirmed. “The experience gained can contribute towards similar future projects to benefit the broader industry in South Africa and open doors for other defence and manufacturing companies to gain footholds in the Malaysian and regional markets.”