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AAD 2016: Airbus Helicopters and Denel Aviation to cooperate on modernisation of the Rooivalk

Posted 15 September 2016 · Add Comment

Airbus Helicopters and Denel Aviation will cooperate on a programme to enhance and modernise South Africa's Rooivalk Attack Helicopter programme.

The two organisations signed an MoU at the biennial African Aerospace & Defence show, in which they have committed to a programme of enhancements for the Rooivalk helicopter.

The programme aims to improve the supportability of the current fleet of the combat-proven Rooivalk Mk1 helicopters focusing on reliability and updating obsolete items.  Work done during this phase of the upgrade will be utilised for future developments of the Rooivalk. This is logical as the current Rooivalk fleet utilises Airbus Helicopters technologies for the vital helicopter dynamic components.

"As part of the Rooivalk roadmap we developed, we will launch a market assessment and feasibility study into a modernised version of the Rooivalk incorporating enhanced operational capabilities. Our ultimate objective is to offer a South African product which will provide an attractive solution for potential export customers around the world," said Mike Kgobe, CEO of Denel Aviation.

Airbus Helicopters' senior vice president, Olivier Lambert, said the collaboration "showed both parties' willingness to strengthen and deepen their relationship with a view to establishing a long-term strategic cooperative partnership".

Following the feasibility study into the next generation Rooivalk, the MoU also sets out a proposed action plan with additional areas of cooperation which could be followed upon approval by South Africa's Government.

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