Denel Integrated Systems Solutions (DISS) aims to grow substantially as it seeks commercial and defence business locally and abroad.
DISS which will be one of four divisions in the restructured Denel Group also hopes to continue delivering on the SA Army ground-based air defence system (GBADS).
According to South Africa’s defenceWeb, Dr Dawie Roos, Executive Manager: DISS said the division’s major priority is upgrading GBADS, since it is the prime contractor for the project.
“Phase one included integrating the Starstreak very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) missile into the system which entered service in 2014.
“Phase two added the Skyshield new generation gun fire control system for the 35 mm Mk 5 Oerlikon guns, as well as upgrading the Mk 5 guns to the new 35 mm Mk 7 air defence gun system configuration. This provides for the AHEAD ammunition capability.
Phase two was completed in 2020 and DISS is now supporting it for the Air Defence Formation headquartered in Kimberley, which is the primary user.
Also, DISS is responsible for next level integration, including a new generation command and control capability covering radars and radios (new generation radios acquired under Project Radiate). The current phase will conclude around mid-2023. Although designed for and able to use the Umkhonto surface-to-air missile, this has not yet been acquired by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
DISS is in discussions with several foreign countries regarding acquisition of its air defence system integration capabilities.
DISS is also part of Project Achilles, which equipped the SA Air Force (SAAF) Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) with image and video interpretation and exploitation tools. This was completed two years ago, on time and on budget.
DISS was formed in 2016 as part of Denel Dynamics before becoming independent in a restructuring process. It is now a separate divisions in the Group, which will comprise Land, Air, Guided Weapons and Integrated Systems Solutions.
“For us that’s a positive development. We are moving into a Level 5 system engineering role with the mandate to do multi-disciplinary system level integration,” Roos explained.
“It’s a major achievement and step forward for Denel.”
Part of DISS growth strategy is targeting the commercial sector. Denel is also looking at making its presence known in the Southeast Asian market after its restructuring process is completed,
The restructuring and new strategy would boost its position and ensure it continues to be a significant part of the international defence market, argued Hlakoane, despite Denel facing substantial challenges.