Armaments Corporation of South Africa, a government supported weapon producing conglomerate was awarded a multibillion rand contract on October 1. Denel soc ltd a state owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate will be responsible for the production of the Badger. This entity will manufacture more than 200 armoured vehicles for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) over a period of ten years.
The badger project will allow Denel an opportunity to address most government industrial objectives with regards to high-end manufacturing, skill development, job creation and foreign currency earnings. The issuing of the contract will prove to have positive spin-offs for small and medium enterprises acting as sub-contractors and suppliers for the initial manufactures of the badger project Armaments Corporation.
“We have set our stringent conditions for ensuring local content and supplier development. The production of the badger is expected to create about 2000 job opportunities during its production period”-said acting chief executive officer of Armscor. The initial project will also generate international interest in the vehicle and also open numerous prospects when focusing on future exports.
The calibre of these vehicles was revealed at the military veteran’s industry event at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria. The badger provides the SANDF with un-rivalled fire power, mobility and maximum armoured protection to the soldiers it transports. “Production order of the badger vehicle represents a significant chapter in the history of the SANDF in that it provides much needed capability for troops involved in critical peacekeeping operations in other African countries”-said secretary for defence Dr Sam Gulube.
The 8×8 badger is a best of breed vehicles in its class and eventually will be the replacement for the SANDF existing fleet armour protected vehicles like the Ratel. Recent involvement in the DRC has again emphasized the need for protective mobility on the battlefield provided by the badger. “This contract entered with Armscor and Denel is the most significant signed with a South African company in at least 10yrs, demonstrating government confidence in the ability of local industry to provide frontline equipment”-said Denel group chief executive Riaz saloojee.
Edited By: M.D.B