Publication: Pretoria News Issued: Date: 2004-07-14 Reporter: Graeme Hosken

Pretoria Defence Firm Seals Bumper Arms Deal



Pretoria News

Date 2004-07-14


Graeme Hosken

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A South African defence company has clinched a multi-million rand arms deal involving the sale of more than 300 state-of-the-art lightweight helicopter rocket launchers.

The launchers, manufactured by research and development company Materials, Mechanics and Structures Technologies (MMS-Technologies) in Centurion, are to be delivered to the German and Australian air forces for their Tiger attack helicopters and their various utility helicopters later this year.

Constructed from composite materials such as carbon-fibre and glass-fibre, the launchers have been described by many of the world's defence forces as the best on the market.

If the South African Air Force (SAAF) buys the rocket launchers they will be fitted to the country's 12 Rooivalk helicopters, which are based in Bloemfontein.

MMS-Technologies spokesperson Piet Meyer confirmed the R120-million arms deal with the German and Australian air forces, saying they were currently in negotiations through the Belgian military hardware brokerage company, Forges de Zeebrugge, for the sale of the launchers to several other defence forces.

He said the three-year deal with Germany and Australia was a major step into the international military hardware market for South Africa.

"It is this kind of deal which South Africa needs to become recognised as a major player in the international military hardware market," said Meyer.

With acknowledgements to Graeme Hosken and the Pretoria News.