in Defence

Denel hints at new Rooivalk on the cards

Posted 27 July 2015 · Add Comment

Group chief executive of South African state-owned Denel, Riaz Saloojee, hopes to get approval from the government to restart the Rooivalk combat helicopter production line.

He was briefing the media on the group’s financial results for 2014/15, which showed Denel posting a profit for the 5th consecutive year. It increased revenues by 28% to R5.9 billion (approx. US$ 500 million). With Denel claiming a global footprint across Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and South America, its exports now account for 52% of business.

“We hope to get a decision within three to six months from the Department of Defence to indicate the roadmap for Rooivalk,” Saloojee said. “The Minister of Defence is on record lauding the helicopter’s performance and wants us to further exploit it operationally and technologically.”

This follows the routing of rebel forces in late 2013 in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where the helicopter was deployed as part of United Nations peace enforcement operations.

Whilst characterising the Rooivalk as a “very credible attack helicopter,” Saloojee acknowledged that it needed upgrading, saying discussions with the DoD are under way. “But if we get the go-ahead on a Rooivalk Mk. 2, it would be a completely new attack helicopter, though based on the existing machine.”

He said the SARA (South African Regional Aircraft) concept unveiled at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show in September last year was still being pursued. It is a collaborative project with technical and government institutions, including universities. Aimed primarily at the African market to serve low-density routes, the SARA project will also build on Denel’s skills development initiatives to groom engineers and technicians in the aerospace environment.

On the Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle system (UAVS), Saloojee said it was entering production shortly for an unnamed launch customer.

Derived from Denel’s smaller and successful Seeker 200, it is more capable with a dual payload capacity for different tactical missions. Cruising at 150km/h, at an operating altitude of 18,000ft, it has endurance of 16 hours. Making use of a tactical ground station it has a line-of-sight range of up to 750km.

Shown in an armed configuration at IDEX in Abu Dhabi recently, this variant named ‘Snyper’ was likely destined for a foreign customer.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

How space can help Africa reap its rewards

Making greater use of space – or at least Earth orbiting satellites – could greatly help African farmers and the wider population, the Airbus Aerospace In Africa forum heard. Alan Dron was there.

EgyptAir and Ukraine International Airlines in codeshare

EgyptAir and Ukraine International Airlines have launched their new codeshare partnership.

Additive manufacturing coul be addictive

The potential applications in MRO are among the many attractive features of additive manufacturing (AM).

Kotoka terminal lightens the load

The new Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport (KIA), opened in September 2018, has considerably lowered pressure on the two other terminals, writes Vincent Chappard.

Zambia on course for air ambulance service

The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Zambian Ministry of Health have agreed to partner in establishing a national air ambulance service using a dedicated emergency response aircraft, writes Jon Lake.

2019 is a good year for business aviation

All of the signs indicate a good year for business aviation in 2019, in particular in North Africa, according to Ali Alnaqbi, founding & executive chairman of the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).

TAA SK0104311219
See us at