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Defence & Security News - South Africa

 
 
Monday, September 30, 2013 04:06 PM
 
Denel South Africa to produce 200 Badger 8x8 armoured vehicles for South African army.
The socio-economic impacts that will emanate from the multi-billion rand contract recently awarded by Armscor to Denel SOC for the production of over 200 Badger 8x8 armoured vehicles to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) over a 10-year period will significantly and permanently change the South African defence industry.
     
The socio-economic impacts that will emanate from the multi-billion rand contract recently awarded by Armscor to Denel SOC for the production of over 200 Badger armoured vehicles to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) over a 10-year period will significantly and permanently change the South African defence industry.
Badger 8x8 armoured infantry fighting vehicle variant at AAD 2012, Defense exhibition in South Africa.
     

Both government and the defence industry have welcomed the direct and indirect jobs as well as the enterprise opportunities that will be created as a result of the production contract for the full scale manufacturing of the Badger New Generation Infantry Combat System. In addition to job and enterprise creation, the contract will also lead to an increase in skills development and retention in the industry.

The new Badger infantry combat vehicle, proudly displayed at the Department of Defence and Military Veterans’ Industry Day event at the CSIR in Pretoria today provides the SANDF with unrivalled firepower, mobility and maximum armoured protection to the soldiers it transports.

“The production order for the Badger vehicle represents a significant chapter in the history of the SANDF in that it provides a much needed capability for troops involved in critical peace keeping operations in other African countries,” says Dr Sam Gulube, the Secretary for Defence.

The 8 x 8 Badger is a best-of-breed vehicle in its class and will contribute to the modernisation of the SANDF. In the future, it will eventually replace the SANDF’s existing fleet of armour protected combat vehicles like the Ratel. The recent involvement of South African troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has again emphasised the need for protective mobility on the battlefield which the Badger now provides.

“This is the most significant defence contract signed with a South African company in at least the last 10 years, and demonstrates Government’s and the SANDF’s confidence in the ability of the local industry to provide frontline equipment,” says Denel SOC Group Chief Executive, Riaz Saloojee.

The Badger project provides Denel with an opportunity to address most of government’s industrial objectives with regards to high-end manufacturing, skills development, job creation and foreign-currency earnings.

Job opportunities within South Africa’s defence will either be created or retained primarily in the development and manufacturing phases, covering the spectrum from graduate engineers, system designers and technical staff to skilled and semi-skilled workers. In addition, the contract will have positive spin-offs for small- and medium enterprises acting as subcontractors and suppliers for the project and bring benefits to the entire local defence industry.

The acting CEO of Armscor, Mr Sipho Mkwanazi, says the “the production of Badger will have significant benefits for the SANDF and for the local defence industry including the further development of the advanced manufacturing sector. We have set stringent conditions for ensuring local content and supplier development. The production of the Badger is expected to create about 2 000 jobs during its production period”.

Armscor concluded a contract with Denel in 2007 for the development of a new generation infantry combat vehicle. The initial development of the vehicle platform was done by the Finnish contractor, Patria, but the manufacturing of the production units will be migrated to South Africa. This will enhance South Africa’s vehicle design, manufacture and support capability. The final product will, however, be more than 70% local content, designed and customised to meet the unique requirements of operational deployment in an African environment.

In peace-enforcement operations it enables soldiers to dismount from the vehicle and interact freely with the civilian population. But the same vehicle also provides troops with effective protection and offensive firepower in high-intensity warfare.

This project will also generate considerable international interest in the vehicle and open a number of prospects for future exports that could result in the injection of foreign direct investment into South Africa.

As State-owned Companies, Armscor and Denel’s primary objectives are to support the strategic and operational needs of the SANDF, and this is done in a commercially viable environment that advances the strategic initiatives of a developmental state as defined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

 
 
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