AAD 2016: Airbus, Denel to cooperate on Rooivalk
Airbus Helicopters and Denel Aviation announced on 15 September that they are entering a cooperative arrangement to enhance and modernise South Africa's Rooivalk attack helicopter.
The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at African Aerospace and Defence, in which they committed to a programme of enhancements for the Rooivalk helicopter.
The programme aims to improve the supportability of the current fleet of Rooivalk Mk1 helicopters focusing on reliability and updating obsolete items. A statement said that work done during this phase of the upgrade will be utilised for future developments of the Rooivalk.
‘As part of the Rooivalk roadmap we developed, we will launch a market assessment and feasibility study into a modernised version of the Rooivalk incorporating enhanced operational capabilities. Our ultimate objective is to offer a South African product which will provide an attractive solution for potential export customers around the world,’ said Mike Kgobe, CEO of Denel Aviation.
Airbus Helicopters' senior vice president, Olivier Lambert, added that the collaboration ‘showed both parties' willingness to strengthen and deepen their relationship with a view to establishing a long-term strategic cooperative partnership’.
Following the feasibility study into the next generation Rooivalk, the MoU also sets out a proposed action plan with additional areas of cooperation which could be followed upon approval by South Africa's Government.