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

Aviation Stakeholders Convention set to take place May 18-19

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Ethiopian Airlines are preparing to stage the 9th Aviation Stakeholders Convention (ASC) which will take place from 18 – 19 May 2021.

ACC Aviation see consultancy work in Africa increase

ACC Aviation, a UK-based aviation consultancy with offices in five global continents, reports a more than 20% year on year growth in the first quarter of 2021, despite the harsh impact on aviation brought about by the global pandemic.

Thales reports its order intake and sales for Q1 2021

Thales has released its order intake and sales for the first quarter of 2021.

RwandAir resumes services to Lusaka

RwandAir has resumed its services to Lusaka with two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Fridays effective May 7, 2021.

Azman Air cleared to resume 737 flights

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has lifted a suspension order against local carrier Azman Air after it implemented a corrective plan to address safety matters on the B737.

African airlines’ traffic sank 73.7% in March

IATA announced that passenger traffic fell in March 2021 compared to pre-COVID levels in March 2019 but rose compared to the immediate month prior to February 2021.

EDGE SK2601300621
See us at
Aviation Africa 2021 BTOCDAS21_BTAviation MENA 2022WDS BT1202090322Shields Africa