defenceWeb, in partnership with SAAMDEC, is hosting a webinar on South Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Masterplan. Topics during the day will range from facilitating policy changes and leveraging key technologies to promoting public and private sector interests, furthering government, and industry support initiatives, and developing the aerospace, defence, manufacturing, and space sectors.
As part of efforts to build and restore the industry, the Aerospace and Defence Masterplan seeks to protect and create jobs; deepen sector capabilities; expand exports; and prepare for policy changes. The Masterplan will provide a clear, agreed, pragmatic and implementable plan for the industry going forward, rooted in evidence and agreed by industry, government and organised labour in a coordinated approach to industry growth and development.
South Africa has a solid aerospace and defence legacy but the sector has been eroded by budget cuts, the decline of Denel and increased international competition, amongst others. Nevertheless, South Africa has clear competitive advantages in some areas, such as missiles, UAVs, artillery, armoured vehicles and light aircraft manufacture, and other areas can be built.
Key South African developed technologies that can be further leveraged include 3D printing of titanium, aircraft design and integration of systems, avionics systems, electronic warfare systems, helmet sighting systems, laser rangefinders, missiles, multi-spectral cameras and gimbals, radar, unmanned aerial vehicles and welding technologies.
The intention of the Masterplan is to use aerospace and defence to grow the economy, develop skills, promote exports, develop local companies, preserve sovereign capabilities, develop new technologies and promote research and development and further the fourth industrial revolution.
The Masterplan aims to determine lessons for the South African industry from international cases; create a shared vision and mission for the sector; develop programmes for action and create group discussions and consultations; develop policy and regulation recommendations to government; create development targets for industry and labour; and implement a series of milestones/deliverables.