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

Exhilarating aerial race heads to Africa

The world’s only long distance paramotor race, the Icarus Trophy, will visit Africa for the first time.

Bombardier reports fourth quarter and full year 2017 results

Bombardier has released its fourth quarter and full year 2017 results, highlighting solid financial and operational performance across the company.

Bruno Even appointed CEO of Airbus Helicopters

Airbus SE has appointed Bruno Even, 49, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Helicopters, effective 1 April 2018. He will report to Airbus CEO Tom Enders and join the company’s Executive Committee.

Lockheed Martin delivers 400th C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft

Lockheed Martin reached a major milestone with the delivery of its 400th C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on Feb. 9. This Super Hercules is an MC-130J Commando II Special Operations aircraft that is assigned to the U.S. Air Force’s Special

Flydubai adds Kinshasa to its African network

Flydubai has announced the start of flights to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 15 April.

Air Peace takes delivery of its second Embraer 145

Air Peace has taken delivery of its second Embraer 145 jet in a bid to end the travel difficulties of the nations’s unserved and underserved cities, reports The Afritraveller.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
Global Aerospace BT010518Aviation Africa BT18418