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Defence & Aerospace

Spitfire restoration project secures high-performance sponsor

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2019 The South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum Spitfire Restoration Project is set to take a major step forward, thanks to the announcement of a very significant sponsorship agreement between the Friends of the SAAF Museum association and local automotive company Performance Centre. “The Performance... 

New entity launched to stimulate SA space sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2019 Not-for-profit company ZASpace Inc. was recently launched in Pretoria and is intended to stimulate the development of the local space industry and especially the geospatial sector, to meet the rapidly growing needs of South Africa and Africa. This will include skills development and innovative... 

Parliament seeking submissions on the Defence Amendment Bill

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th December 2019 The National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has called for written submissions from “stakeholders and interested parties” on the Defence Amendment Bill (Bill 18 of 2017). The National Assembly is the lower house of the South African Parliament. “The objective of... 

Newly appointed South African army chief dies

By: African News Agency      11th December 2019 The chief of the South African army, lieutenant-general Thabiso Collin Mokhosi, died on Tuesday morning at Unitas Hospital following a short illness.  Mokhosi was promoted to the position on November 1.  

SANDF splashes R20.5m on luxury German cars, but says funding shortfall is impacting on maintaining military base in Centurion

By: News24Wire      11th December 2019 While the South African National Defence Force was unable to maintain the Thaba Tshwane military base in Centurion due to "predominantly a lack of funds", it has managed to find the cash to spend R20.5-million on "luxury vehicles", valued at over R600 000 each, for senior management in the... 

SANDF splashes R20.5m on luxury German cars, but says funding shortfall is impacting on maintaining military base in Centurion
Defence & Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

SA defence industry cultivates interest in Egyptian market

By: African News Agency      9th December 2019 South African Aerospace, Maritime, and Defence Export Council (SAAMDEC) CEO Sandile Ndlovu has urged the South African defence industry to cultivate a healthy interest within the Egyptian market, as it is the biggest on the continent, spending well over US4 billion, the trade and industry... 

Regulatory, financing snags curbing SA aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2019 The past few weeks have seen a series of important conferences in South Africa, as far as the aerospace and defence sectors are concerned. And the aerospace and defence sectors are a significant part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing industry. They were the 2019 Aeronautical Society... 

South Africa needs more startups but local space SMEs are competitive

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2019 Start-up companies must not be confused with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), highlighted Co-Open Innovation (COOi) Studios Director Sandiso Sibisi at the South African National Space Agency’s recent 2nd Space for National Development Conference, in Pretoria. She explained that there was a... 

Govt’s demand for in-situ inspections at defence equipment clients damaging local industry - union

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd December 2019 Trade union Solidarity has appealed to the Government and to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) to withdraw a demand that customer countries of the South African defence industry allow South African officials to visit and inspect their military installations. These... 

London showdown looms for Nato frenemies

By: Bloomberg     2nd December 2019 For movie fans, the words “Brain Dead” usually bring to mind a cult New Zealand zombie splatter flick directed by Peter Jackson. It’s not the verbiage you’d expect leaders to be throwing around when the member states of Nato – Europe’s security umbrella since World War II – meet in London. But... 

Zuma and Thales’ leave to appeal dismissed with costs

By: African News Agency      29th November 2019 The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's appeal against its decision not to stay his corruption prosecution. Zuma launched a leave to appeal bid, arguing the Supreme Court of Appeal could arrive at a different decision to the High Court. 

 Zuma and Thales’ leave to appeal dismissed with costs
Photo by Reuters
Former president Jacob Zuma

Government sets ambitious growth targets for SA defence industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th November 2019 The South African Government has set growth targets it hopes that the local defence industry will achieve over the next few years, reported Secretary of Defence and Military Veterans Dr Sam Gulube. He was delivering the keynote address at the recent 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and Defence... 

Future structure of Denel starts to emerge as turnaround plan advances

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th November 2019 Denel Chief Financial Officer Carmen Le Grange has indicated the businesses that the State-owned defence group was exiting or was planning to exit, as part of its turnaround strategy. She did so in an address to the 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference in Pretoria.  

New entity launched to stimulate and coordinate the South African space sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th November 2019 Not-for-profit company ZASpace Inc. was launched in Pretoria on Thursday. It is intended to stimulate the development of the local space industry and especially the geospatial sector, to meet the rapidly growing needs of South Africa and Africa. This will include skills development and innovative... 

Merkel rebukes Macron with spirited defence of Nato alliance

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2019 German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a spirited defence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato), saying Europe is currently too weak to defend itself without the support of the US-led military alliance. Merkel’s comments in a speech Wednesday to the Bundestag were clearly directed at... 

South Africa blocks arms sales to Saudi and UAE in inspection row 

By: Reuters     25th November 2019 South Africa is blocking arms sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an inspections dispute, endangering billions of dollars of business and thousands of jobs in its struggling defence sector, according to industry officials. The dispute centres on a clause in export documents... 

Hoedspruit air force base solar water heating system proves efficient

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd November 2019 A solar water heating (SWH) installation at the South African National Defence Force’s air force base in Hoedspruit has proven to improve efficiency, as well as act as a catalyst for upskilling personnel from the Department of Defence (DoD). The training has produced 20 artisans, who have... 

Paramount subsidiary powers US firm's first Mirage F1 flight

21st November 2019 Paramount Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of aerospace and technology company Paramount Group, has provided upgrade and engineering support for US tactical flight services provider Draken International's first regenerated Mirage F1 that took to the skies on its maiden flight over Lakeland Linder... 

Paramount subsidiary powers US firm's first Mirage F1 flight

SIU investigates possible IP theft from defence firm Denel  

By: Reuters     20th November 2019 South Africa is investigating the alleged misappropriation of intellectual property rights belonging to State defence firm Denel, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) confirmed on Wednesday. The IP relates to air-to-air missiles, stand-off weapons, surface target missiles, air defence and... 

SIU investigates possible IP theft from defence firm Denel

Mine workers demanded more protection before deadly Burkina Faso attack 

By: Reuters     19th November 2019 Five months before an ambush killed 39 colleagues, local workers at a Canadian-owned gold mine in Burkina Faso pleaded with managers to fly them to the site rather than go by a road that was prone to attacks, two people present at the meeting said. The employees wanted the same protections as... 

Mine workers demanded more protection before deadly Burkina Faso attack
Photo by Reuters
Semafo's Burkina Faso headquarters

New shape for Denel beginning to be unveiled 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th November 2019 Denel CFO Carmen Le Grange on Friday indicated the businesses that the State-owned defence group was exiting or was planning to exit, as part of its turnaround strategy. She was addressing the 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference in Pretoria. The turnaround plan had ten elements, she... 

South African government seeks growth in the local defence industry 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th November 2019 The South African Government has set growth targets it hopes that the local defence industry will achieve over the next few years. This was reported by Secretary of Defence and Military Veterans Dr Sam Gulube on Friday. He was delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and... 

South African government seeks growth in the local defence industry
Photo by Creamer Media
Secretary of Defence and Military Veterans Dr Sam Gulube

SAA starts receiving latest-generation jets

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th November 2019 State-owned national flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed that it will soon be operating four latest generation widebody Airbus A350-900 airliners. This announcement coincided with the delivery to the airline of the first of these advanced aircraft (the A350-900 airframe is made... 

France won’t pretend everything is okay with Nato

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2019 France can’t keep pretending all is right within Nato, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, another sign it will continue its public critique of an entity that’s been Europe’s security umbrella since World War II. Speaking on Tuesday at an interview in his offices in Paris, Philippe defended... 

Vusumuzi Masondo takes new role as Military Ombud

By: African News Agency      13th November 2019 The South African military ombud office welcomed its newly appointed Military Ombud, Lt Gen (Ret) Vusumuzi Masondo at a swearing in ceremony on Friday at SAMHS Training Formation in Thaba Tshwane. Masondo has replaced Lt Gen (Ret) Temba Matanzima who served in the position for aseven years, after... 

Denel achieves record distance, accuracy during long-range testing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2019 State-owned arms manufacturer Denel achieved record distances and unmatched accuracy during long-range artillery testing, in the Northern Cape, last week. Tests of long-range guns manufactured by Denel Land Systems, and ammunition produced by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, were conducted at the... 

SAA may fire a fifth of its workforce as part of restructuring  

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2019 South African Airways (SAA) has started a restructuring process that could see the cash-strapped State-owned carrier cut its workforce by almost a fifth. As required by South African law, the airline has started talks with labor unions about its plans, which could affect 944 of its 5 149... 

SAA may fire a fifth of its workforce as part of restructuring

If South Africa has the will, it could have its own satellite constellation

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2019 South Africa has the technological capability to create its own constellation of nano- or micro-satellites to enable the country, the Southern African region, or even the whole African continent, to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP) across the country, region... 

Radical new engine precooler technology passes critical test

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2019 UK advanced aerospace propulsion technology development company Reaction Engines has successfully tested its revolutionary engine precooler at airflow temperatures representative of Mach 5 – that is, five times the speed of sound. Mach 5 marks the start of the hypersonic speed regime. The... 

While some local aerospace sectors are thriving, others are in a rough patch

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2019 The South African aerospace industry embraces the public and private sectors. It includes manufacturers; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers; and research and development (R&D) institutions. It covers general, commercial and defence aviation (including manned and unmanned... 

While some local aerospace sectors are thriving,  others are in a rough patch

Thales files to challenge permanent stay denial with SCA, ConCourt

By: African News Agency      5th November 2019 Thales, the multinational French arms manufacturer that has been accused of graft alongside former president Jacob Zuma, has filed a conditional application with the high court for leave to appeal the denial of its permanent stay of prosecution at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). At the same... 

Zuma files notice appealing permanent stay of prosecution ruling

By: News24Wire      5th November 2019 Former president Jacob Zuma says the Pietermaritzburg High Court "mis-focused" on the gist of his permanent stay of prosecution application and was biased against him when it dismissed it. Zuma said this in his notice, dated November 1, appealing a ruling by the court which dismissed his... 

Aerial evolution is not just for the birds

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st November 2019 Evolution has played almost as important a role in the development of aircraft as it has in the development of birds, although the timescales are very different, argued Boeing 787 Dreamliner chief test pilot Ricardo Traven at the recent 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference in... 

Air warfare being changed by a revolutionary fighter

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st November 2019 Fifth generation (5th Gen) combat aircraft are totally transforming the nature of air combat, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II test pilot Billie Flynn told the recent 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria. The F-35 multirole fighter is the second 5th Gen combat... 

Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th October 2019 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus released its consolidated financial results for the first nine months of this year on Wednesday. The company also released is guidance for the full year. Revenues for the period came to €46.2-billion, which was 14% up on the €40.4-billion achieved in... 

Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year
Photo by Airbus
Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year

SOEs adding to govt spending pressure; e-tolls to remain 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th October 2019 South African Airways is one of a number of State-owned enterprises adding to spending pressures on government, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reiterated on Wednesday. He pointed out that the airline was insolvent and, in its current configuration, unlikely to ever generate sufficient cash flow... 

Event seeks to stimulate earth observation sector in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th October 2019 The 2019 Earth Observation (EO) Challenge is now under way. This is the fourth iteration of the competition, conceived by the South African National Space Agency (Sansa), designed to stimulate and promote the local Earth observation products and services sector. In this year’s challenge, which... 

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