Pretoria, South Africa / 19 September 2012 – Denel Aviation, South Africa’s largest defence equipment manufacturer, and UIC Oboronprom, the parent company of Russian Helicopters, announce that they have signed a Teaming agreement to create a servicing hub for Russian-made military and commercial helicopters in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Teaming agreement was signed today at the 7th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) at the Air Force Base Waterkloof in Tshwane. Denel Aviation is accredited to perform maintenance and in the future repair and overhaul (MRO) services for military and commercial models produced by Russian Helicopters, in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mike Kgobe, the Chief Executive of Denel Aviation, said that the agreement will significantly expand the company’s business in Africa and strengthen its position as the premier provider of MRO services in the Sub-Saharan region.
“Our objective is to become the maintenance hub for most of the modern commercial and military aircraft operating in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Mr. Kgobe. “The agreement represents the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the two companies.”
Helicopter aviation is a high-growth market in Africa, and Russian Helicopters is well positioned to be a market leader on the continent for years to come, said Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov.
“We see great potential for our helicopters in countries across Africa, and are delighted to be working with Denel Aviation to provide a complete customer care programme for our clients on the continent,” Mr Petrov said.
MRO accreditation includes a lengthy process of training and auditing of skills, equipment and facilities. From October, Denel Aviation technical staff will attend an intensive training programme on the latest Russian Helicopters technology and procedures in the eastern Siberian city of Novosibirsk.
“Our knowledge of the African geography and climatic conditions and the track record of our products that have been extensively deployed in operational conditions, make us a logical partner of choice to the military and civilian markets on the continent,” Mr. Kgobe said.
Russian Helicopters manufactures an extensive line-up of versatile and resilient helicopters that can be used for purposes from cargo and passenger transport to medevac and search-and-rescue missions, fire-fighting, corporate transporation and offshore in the oil and gas sector.
Russian-made helicopters enjoy an excellent reputation across Africa, with airlines and international humanitarian organisations making extensive use of the Mi-8/17 and Ka-32 series. There are an estimated more than 500 Russian-made helicopters flying today in African countries.
At Africa Aerospace and Defence, Russian Helicopters is showcasing a diverse line-up of civilian and military helicopters (the latter jointly with Oboronprom and Rosoboronexport).
Denel SOC is the largest manufacturer of defence equipment in South Africa and operates in the military aerospace and landward defence environment. Incorporated as a private company in 1992 in terms of the South African Companies Act (No 62 of 1973), Denel’s sole shareholder is the South African Government. Denel is an important defence contractor in its domestic market and a key supplier to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), both as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and for the overhaul, maintenance, repair, refurbishment and upgrade of equipment in the SANDF’s arsenal.
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