South Africa’s Denel Group is eyeing the South-East Asia market as countries in the region start re-equipping their defence forces in response to changes in the regional security environment.
“South East Asia is an important market for Denel with significant potential for business growth,” says the Group CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe. Besides Malaysia, Denel has identified opportunities for business growth in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Singapore. “We already have well-established relationships with a number of countries and regional defence manufacturers and are pursuing major opportunities that will soon open up,” Ntshepe says.
The Malaysian Army in March conducted firing trials of the Denel Dynamics ZT35 Ingwe antitank missile system from the anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) variant of its 8×8 Deftech AV8 Gempita armoured fighting vehicle. The firing trial at the Asahan range located in Syed Sirajuddin Camp, Gemas, is believed to be the first in-country firing trial of the missile systems since deliveries of the ATGW variant began in 2016.
“Our capabilities in landward defence, artillery and armoured vehicles are well-known in the region because of our long and strong relationship with the Malaysian defence industry. We will also focus on our proven capabilities in missile technology, especially the Umkhonto surface-to-air missile system which can be deployed in both the landward and maritime environments,” says Ntshepe.
Denel has been active in Malaysia for 16 years. Its primary contract is for the supply of 177 modular turrets to be fitted onto 8X8 armoured vehicles for the Malaysian Army. The R4-billion contract is the largest export contract in Denel’s history and the turrets are manufactured in partnership with the Malaysian Company, DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (Deftech).