Denel will this month make its distinct presence felt by showcasing some of its products at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) expo at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

The interim Group Chief Executive, Mike Kgobe, said he sees participation in the expo as a redefining moment for the future of Denel. 

“AAD 2022 will be an ideal platform to demonstrate to the aerospace, defence and related technology sectors – and the public – that the company is, again, rebuilding and refocusing on growth,” he said on Wednesday. 

The AAD is Africa’s only aerospace and defence expo that combines both a trade exhibition and an air show. The exhibition returns after a long break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s event will attract exhibitors from all continents, a host of national pavilions, as well from the world’s leading aerospace and defence manufacturers.

“AAD brings together some of the world’s top aerospace and defence decision-makers and industry analysts, and we intend to showcase the products which built Denel’s global reputation and offer insights into our future strategy,” said Kgobe.

The State-owned aerospace and military technology conglomerate, said Kgobe, is taking bold steps to streamline and refocus its operations to build a sustainable business and return to profitability.

He said Denel remains an innovative company with the ability to deliver world-class products across the spectrum of aerospace, defence and related technologies – from land to sea, air to cyber and security environments.

Denel continues to play a critical role in meeting South Africa’s strategic security requirements, said Kgobe.

“It may have lost critical skills in recent years and suffered reputational damage because of lapses in governance and State capture, but it is recapturing lost ground following a complete overhaul of the board, executive and governance structures.”

Denel recently announced a comprehensive five-year plan to revitalise the company and reduce its operating divisions to focus on its core business areas that cover the air, land, sea and space domains, with a diversification drive into the security sector.

This will build on Denel’s market reputation and battle-proven products in aeronautics, manned and unmanned aircraft and target drones, inclusive of world-class test and evaluation capabilities, artillery and infantry weapons, combat vehicles, guided weapons and precision-guided munitions, as well as small to medium calibre ammunition.

Among the industry-leading Denel products that will be displayed are the Rooivalk attack helicopter, the G5-45 long-range gun-howitzer and the RG31 and RG32 ranges of mine-protected vehicles.

Denel will showcase its advanced guided weapons capabilities, including the A-Darter air-to-air missile, the Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles, and the Ingwe and Mokopa surface target missiles.

“These systems all represent the pinnacle of the South African aerospace, defence and related technology sectors. We want to demonstrate the fact that Denel remains capable of producing such systems while being at the forefront of research and innovation into new products,” said Kgobe.

He said AAD 2022 is a pivotal event for the South African aerospace, defence and related technology sectors, coming at a time when the global industry’s attention is shifting towards high-end research in fields such as integrated systems, artificial intelligence and other niche products.

“The South African public must have confidence that there is a high-technology company, which is also at the leading edge of research and product development.

“Denel is a significant public asset and adds immense strategic value to South African society by ensuring that our defence force, police and security services have access to modern technology and a dedicated support network.”

Kgobe said with the current turnaround and restructuring, which enjoys full backing from government, Denel is confident that it can return to profitability within the next five years.