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.
 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

TATV - Newsround Feb 4: Bahrain's boost, Nigeria's plans and Dubai's training magic

The first TATV Newsround programme brings an overview of the main talking points in the news from the aviation, defence and aerospace industry in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

AFRAA to launch the Sky-Connect dialogues

On 10th March 2021, AFRAA will launch the Sky-Connect dialogues - a monthly top executive leadership series on developments within the aviation space in Africa and globally.

African airlines’ cargo demand soared 22.4% in January

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released January 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that air cargo demand returned to pre-COVID levels (January 2019) for the first time since the onset of the crisis.

Air Austral operates EVASAN flights between Reunion Island and Paris

Air Austral has obtained technical and regulatory approvals to operate Medical Evacuation flights (EVASAN).

Africa’s best airports for customer experience revealed

ACI Africa has revealed this year’s winners of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards in Africa.

AFRAA and ECA publish report on financial impact of COVID-19 on African airlines

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have published a report on the financial impact of COVID-19 pandemic on African airlines and insights for the recovery from the liquidity crisis.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
Aviation Africa 2021 BTNNWDS BT1202090322Aviation MENA 2021DAS21_BT