AAD 2016 South Africa

AAD 2016 South Africa

“Unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Potential”

Africa at times is a continent stewing in discontent and danger, rapid government changes, with outsider influences inflaming ancient tribal feuds, as well as manipulation of natural resources for the benefit of others. The rich natural resources call to the nations of the industrialized West, and now the East, as a place to do business. This is not always at the benefit of the African country targeted for such “Business.”

There are some very radiant stars in the countries of Africa; places that have seen almost a Renaissance of education, production, the Arts and the betterment of their people. Botswana comes to mind as in the early stages of this, as do others like Gabon. One shining spot in the Southern continent is, and has been, South Africa.

Denel Land Systems manufactured Y3 AGL marketed as GL1-40 Grenade Machine Gun in 40x53mm. This indigenous competitor to the MK19 is in service with South African Defence Forces as well as several others including Kurdistan.

On almost every level, this country is moving forward. Certainly there are internal problems, age-old resentments, questions about government over-stepping its boundaries (who doesn’t have that issue?) and dangerous areas one is ill-advised to go to. Unemployment is higher than one would like, but these basically normal hazards of today’s world aside, the industrial base is moving forward quite rapidly.

A jewel in the international defense industry is the trade show African Aerospace & Defence, held every two years. Many countries come to show their wares for Land, Sea and Air warfare, but the indigenous manufacturers shine as well. There are many local arms builders such as Truvelo Armoury, Milkor and Ripple Effect and some concentrated into the private company Denel SOC (actually, all shares are owned by the South African government). Divided into a variety of divisions, Denel PMP for ammunition, Denel ISM, Denel Vehicle Systems, Denel Dynamics, Denel Mechem, Denel Aerostructures, Denel OTR, Denel Aviation, Denel Technical Academy and others, the main one that concerns SADJ is Denel Land Systems. That is where the small arms are, and there is an amazing offering of them. Land Systems is in charge of infantry systems, artillery gun systems and combat turrets, as well as small arms. www.denel.co.za

The fact is that AAD is one of the best shows on the planet; it certainly has the displays and following among attendees, and it’s just about the only show in town—African defense shows are few and far between and concentrated more up to the Middle East. To say that most of Africa shows up would be an understatement. 33,862 attendees were there for the first three days of the Trade part of the show, and on the weekend, the two days of the Air Show logged 56,924 attendees from 105 countries (it was open to non-trade, families, etc., so if you’re exhibiting, be prepared to enjoy the air show, but exhibit to a different crowd on those two days).

Don Rickard from Less Lethal Africa Ltd, a local company that has been exhibiting at many shows around the world lately, had a full display of his products. In the display, you can see the rubber bullets for 7.62x39, 5.56x45, .50 BMG and 40x46mm, as well as the (Green) gel 12ga for door breaching. www.lesslethalafrica.com

There were 532 Exhibitors set up to display, from 34 countries including 13 National pavilions. 86 aircraft were on display on the airfield.

Perhaps more importantly, there were over 75 official delegations, including Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of Military and others, from the following countries:

Angola, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Czech Republic, DRC, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, Japan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, PRC, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

SADJ has had a presence at AAD for many years, and we consider it to be a “must-do” show. Many manufacturers from around the world agree, and at the very least are exhibiting there to attempt to get involved with the larger Denel program as partners, in addition to showing to the African attendees. Generally, the show is divided into about six or seven large aircraft hangers, with displays in between. The Chinese take up a large part of some pavilions, as do the Russians. It really is a diverse experience at the show where you can see many offerings not usually evident at the European or US shows.

Trijicon had a full display at AAD 2016, as they usually do. New Machine Gun Optics were on display as well as the standard catalog as shown. www.trijicon.com
Milkor’s SuperSix MRGL for the 40x51mm Medium Range grenades was a very popular addition to Milkor’s line at the show. As a local company, Milkor has a great success story, with their 6-shot launchers dominating the field of copies that have appeared internationally. www.milkor.com
Truvelo Armoury unveiled their CMS 20x42mm sniper rifle at the AAD 2016 show. This rifle can accurately engage up to 1000 meters, 2 MOA at 600 meters. It weighs 11kg, with a 380mm barrel and overall length of 980mm unfolded, 700mm with stock folded. Capable of firing HEI, API SAPHEI projectiles, the CMS 20x42 has opened a new field of options for anti-materiel snipers. www.truvelo.co.za
The iNkunzi Strike in 20x42mm is now mounted on the SDROW remote weapons station by Denel.
Denel’s Y3 AGL 40x53mm launcher mounted on a deck mount.
Tony Neophytou’s design, the NeoPup 20x42mm semi-automatic rifle uses a unique side-mounted pistol grip and firing mechanism. This is now the iNkunzi Personal Area Weapon (PAW) with Denel Land Systems.
Tony Neophytou’s design, the NeoPup 20x42mm semi-automatic rifle uses a unique side-mounted pistol grip and firing mechanism. This is now the iNkunzi Personal Area Weapon (PAW) with Denel Land Systems.
Pakistan Ordnance Factory’s LSR (Light Sniper Rifle) was a move away from POF’s HK/G3-based semi-automatic snipers of the recent past. This offering is bolt action, can be offered in 7.62x51mm or .338 Lapua Magnum and appears well made. www.pof.gov.pk
Pakistan Ordnance Factory’s LSR (Light Sniper Rifle) was a move away from POF’s HK/G3-based semi-automatic snipers of the recent past. This offering is bolt action, can be offered in 7.62x51mm or .338 Lapua Magnum and appears well made. www.pof.gov.pk
Denel Land System’s 60mm M6 Long Range Mortar is lightweight and extends the range of the basic 60mm to about 6km.
At the Ditsong Military Museum in Johannesburg, there were many cannon and weapons on display. Here was a British Rexer Light Machine Gun as used by the Machine Gun Brigade in 1914-1915. There were 27 bought for the Colony of Natal and issued to the Rifle Regiments; excess was issued to the MGB. Eventually used by commandos on recon, these .303 caliber Madsen LMG variants are quite rare.
Denel’s twin mounted DMG-5 machine guns in 7.62x51mm. Right: Denel’s 20x139mm GL-2 on a user mount for shipboard.