Denel to Benefit from Arms Deal
Saab chose it to
manufacture fuselage for Swedish Air Force's Gripen fighters
CAPE TOWN State-owned
aerospace business Denel Aviation and hi-tech company Grintek Electronic Systems
are among the first SA entities to benefit from government's controversial R43bn
made by Saab CEO Bengt Halse, comes as evidence continues to emerge of
government's hand in the selection of subcontractors for the deal, despite state
officials' insistence to the contrary.
In a contract worth
$3,6m, Denel has been selected by Swedish manufacturer Saab to manufacture a
section of the fuselage for the Swedish Air Force's Gripen advanced fighters.
Denel begins the work in May. Saab's joint venture with the UK's BAE Systems
produces and markets the Gripen.
The Denel contract is
an element of the $1,5bn industrial participation obligation government linked
to its purchase of 28 Gripen swing-role fighters and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter
Halse would not be
drawn on allegations that government has made decisions about who should be
He maintained that his
company won the contract through "sophisticated and rigorous process"
such he had not seen in his 20 years in the arms business.
The fuselage section
of the Gripens which Denel will build houses the main undercarriage and the
fuel, electrical and hydraulics systems. It requires advanced precision
engineering and manufacturing processes. Halse said that a group of Denel
engineers, technicians, pilots and logistical support officers had already been
sent to Linköping in Sweden as part of the skills and technology transfer
programmes that was agreed upon in terms of the contract with government.
Between 30 and 40
South Africans will benefit from the programmes.
In addition, Halse
said, a fully equipped state-of-the-art computer-aided manufacturing design
centre had been established at Denel's facilities in Kempton Park near
Johannesburg. Denel business development executive Grant Sampson said the
parastatal would also use the computer facility on other aircraft and
components, thereby raising additional revenue.
will supply locally developed communications units for the advanced swing-role
Gripen fighter, in a contract worth $4,3m. The units Grintek will supply form
the core components of the Gripen pilot's essential communication system.
Grintek group MD Sybrand Grobbelaar said Sweden's international export version
of the Gripen would also be equipped with the SA-developed system, giving
Grintek a chance to be a recognised player in the defence electronics market.
Halse said: "This clearly demonstrates our
ability to meet industrial participation commitments, and proves that the
unprecedented industrial participation package negotiated by SA will deliver the
economic benefits promised."
With acknowledgement to Vuyo Mvoko and Business Day.