Denel Aviation has the experience, skills and capacity to meet the aviation engineering requirements of any country in Africa, says the Chief Executive Officer, Mike Kgobe.
The company is using its participation at AAD 2014 to demonstrate and market its capabilities to a wider audience.
“Denel Aviation is the only company in Africa with the engineering skills to provide a comprehensive aviation integration service to clients,” says Mr Kgobe. This includes weapons systems, navigation, communication suites, avionics and mechanical systems.
With almost 50 years in the industry Denel Aviation (DAv) is Africa’s longest established aircraft engineering, production and maintenance facility. It is the design authority of both the Rooivalk combat helicopter and the Oryx medium-lift helicopter used by the South African National Defence Force.
Mr Kgobe says DAv offers African clients the benefits of distance, reduced costs, knowledge of local conditions and products that have been comprehensively tested in operational circumstances.
“We have the capabilities to either design new products from scratch or to provide upgrades or modifications to existing aircraft – depending on the needs of the client,” he says. Among these services are the protection of engines and sensitive equipment against particles and dust to extend the usage and life, bird strike and lightning strike testing, a reduction in the infra-red signature of the aircraft and the integration of modern avionics with weapons delivery systems.
A unique element of DAv’s service to clients is its capacity to perform full flight tests on any type of aircraft that are being serviced by the company. The company has a team of highly-experienced fixed-wing and helicopter test pilots who participated in Denel’s development of the Rooivalk, the Oryx and the Cheetah fighter jet.
The company is now increasingly taking the skills and experience it has gained in the defence aviation environment into the civilian markets. Denel Aviation will pursue new business opportunities to provide marine services to port authorities and expand into the rapidly growing oil and gas industry on the African coastline. The company has already made its debut in this space following the award of a five year contract by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to support its port operations. The Denel pilots currently undertake about 450 day- and night time flights per month and the company also maintains the three Agusta A109 helicopters in support of TNPA operations.
“Our market analysis shows that there is a growing need for this service at other port authorities on the continent and in the growing oil and gas industry,” says Mr Kgobe. “We can provide them with some of the most experienced pilots and hoist operators in the world who are fully qualified to provide this highly specialised service.”
Denel Aviation can operate the customer’s own fleet or supply the aircraft and all related services including maintenance and logistics support. Itcan also provide helicopter training in countries where it provides port services. The local contract is structured in a way that the company provides the entire service for the first year but gradually turns over the operation to the TNPA through the training of its cadet pilots.
Mr Kgobe says Denel Aviation is especially proud of the vital role it is playing in making the African sky a safe environment. This is also recognised by the growing number of original equipment manufacturers who have selected DAv as their partner to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul work on their products, including Airbus Helicopters, Lockheed Martin and Russian Helicopters.