African Aerospace and Defence Exhibition
Waterkloof Air Force Base
Briefing from Peter-Paul Ngwenya of ATE
ATE is a private and independent company, specializing in the Integration of Mission Systems for Fixed Wing Aircraft, Helicopters and Unmanned Air Vehicles. ATE upgrades existing systems for Enhanced Operational Performance and develops new Systems. It is an Established and Proven Supplier to the SA Air Force, SA Army and various International Arms of Service.
We wish to share with you our most prominent and immediate ambitions in which:
ATE aims at Space Programme
ATE aims at Crime Prevention
ATE aims at Strategic Exports
ATE aims at Black Empowerment
ATE Aims at Space Programme
The new South African Space programme is in its infancy but has already passed the stages where Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Space Agency, where the Space Policy has been debated in public and were the DST and the dti will make further announcements at this Show. Our position regarding this National Strategic Programme is:
ATE fully supports the initiatives by the DST and the dti to launch this programme to the strategic benefit of South Africa.
ATE has been audited by both EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space and found to be ready for space.
ATE supports the creation of Long Term Strategic Alliances, which it has done , both locally and internationally, on all its aeronautical programmes and which it believes is a necessity for a successful space programme.
ATE has experience in executing major contracts on the African continent and therefore would be well accustomed in the framework of a possible future African Constellation of Satellites.
The successful development of the Hawk Navigation and Weapons System, underlines ATE’s ambition to offer Mission Computers, Mission Planning and Software Development to this Space Programme. The Hawk Avionics was an outstanding success in that:
It was the first time that BAE Systems awarded such a major part of a Hawk development to a country outside of the UK.
The software development, comprising more than 1 million lines of code and developed against the most stringent international standards, constituted the most complex and extensive airborne software development ever undertaken in South Africa.
BAE Systems is now transferring the Design Authority of the Hawk Avionics to ATE, such that the lucrative Hawk Upgrade Market can be pursued collectively.
The successful upgrade of Russian Mi-24 Helicopters for a North African Client, underlines ATE's further intentions to offer its System Integration Capability to this Space Programme. The upgrade of the Mi-24 comprised a multitude of varying equipment, all integrated into one system:
- Sighting Systems from Denel Optronics (now Carl Zeiss Optronics)
- 20 mm cannon from Denel Vector (now Denel Land Systems)
- Turret and ammunition feed mechanisms from IST (now BAE Systems)
- Mechanical structural modifications by Aerosud
- Ingwe anti-tank missiles from Denel Dynamics
- Ammunition from Denel PMP
- Data Links and IFF from Tellumat
- Integration support from Denel Aviation
- Flight Test support from TFDC
- Displays, Chaff and Flare from the Thales Group
- Currently ATE is integrating Ukrainian Missiles, South African Weapons as well as other foreign equipment on Russian Mi-24 Helicopters for an East European Customer
In further support of ATE’s intentions to offer its System Integration Capability to this Space Programme, ATE has most recently successfully upgraded and demonstrated an armed version of the Mi-17 Transport Helicopter in North Africa. It was indeed a world-first, where Ingwe Anti-Tank missiles have been launched from a Mi-17 Helicopter in anticipation of a production contract during the early part of 2009.
Confirming ATE’s capability in System Integration is the announcement that ATE is in the final phase of negotiations with Eurocopter for the development and qualification in South Africa of weapons systems on light and medium-weight helicopters produced by Eurocopter. All South African companies working in the field of onboard weapons systems will be involved in this development, as ATE has convinced its partner that the best option would be the South African Ingwe Missile. This first cooperation is leading to other more ambitious projects of cooperation. These are in the process of discussion and should materialise within the coming months.
ATE’s System Integration Capability is also about to find its way to the upgrade of Mirage III and Mirage V Fighters with Beyond Visual Range MICA Missiles, Fire Control Radars from suppliers such as Thales and Galileo Avionica, and Electronic Warfare from SAAB Avitronics.
The recent Technology Top 100 Competition, which is underwritten by the DST, saw ATE being announced as the winner in the category “Excellence in the Management of Innovation". ATE is therefore ready to bring its proven experience and track record on Mission Computers, Mission Planning, Software and complex System Engineering and Integration to the future South African Space Programme.
2. ATE Aims at Crime Prevention
The crime situation in South Africa has been the topic of serious debates, unending publicity and unrealised promises, the extent of which has left the public with the perception that no solution exists and that even less effort is being made to find one.
To make a difference, ATE has taken to the air with Unmanned Air Vehicles, as flying robots, to provide aerial imagery at low altitudes within urban areas, believing real time information to be the foundation of crime prevention. It is with pride that ATE announces that it is in the final negotiation stages with a Security Agency in South Africa for the procurement of Kiwit Mini UAV Systems.
The Kiwit UAV is carried in a suitcase, weighs 3,5kg, is assembled by a single person in 5 minutes and is hand launched. It features automated flight guidance, an endurance of 1 hour, a range of 5km, and uses a laptop as Ground Control Unit.
Upon the sounding of an emergency alarm at a property, the Security Agency would launch Kiwit from close proximity to fly to the endangered property. The aircraft would reach it in minutes and would not have to negotiate the traffic nor have to overcome high walls and dogs. Kiwit would loiter over the property and could follow escaping perpetrators, conveying both the position of the aircraft and the escaping vehicle being followed to the ground crew.
Never seen in South Africa before, is the Rhomboid or diamond winged Roadrunner Mini UAV, disclosed by ATE here at AAD 2008 for the first time. The diamond shape of the wings gives the aircraft a higher strength and reduces the size of the aircraft in comparison to larger aircraft with similar lift characteristics.
A particularly impressive Roadrunner mission is Path Clearance, where the aircraft is flown ahead of a cavalcade of vehicles, so as to determine the safety/security status well ahead of the arriving cavalcade. It can also be used as a high-speed compliment for Kiwit in pursuit of fast escaping vehicles.
With the Vulture Tactical UAV now in operation with the South African Army Artillery Formation under the command of Gen Abe Notshweleka, ATE displays at AAD 2008 the first member of the Sentinel Series, being the Sentinel 500M. Having evolved from Vulture, the Air Vehicle features a twin tail boom configuration together with an increased endurance from 3 to 5 hours. It is planned for Military Intelligence Missions that could extend into civil airspace, thereby sharing the skies with commercial aircraft.
Realising that the Kiwit, Roadrunner and Sentinel aircraft are all destined to fly in Civil Airspace, it is indeed applauded and opportune that the South African Civil Aviation Authority has created a workgroup, under the leadership of Mr Andy Mamba, aimed at regulating the use of UAVs in Civil Airspace. The workgroup comprises inter alia members of the CAA, ATE, CSIR, Denel and the SAAF, all of which have a vested interest in contributing to the definition of airworthiness standards and certification procedures to ensure the safety of the public when UAVs are being operated.
Imagine seeing UAVs gracing the South African skies, preventing crime and thereby taking back the image of a Rainbow Nation which it is rapidly losing - that would indeed be a glorious day and would ensure future international events from taking place in beautiful cities such as Cape Town where AAD 2008 is being hosted.
3. ATE Aims at Strategic Exports
ATE and BAE Systems have recently signed an agreement by which the Hawk Mission Systems Upgrades would be offered collectively. The first opportunity is the Hawk Mk 50/60 Upgrade where ATE is preparing an upgrade proposal for the next Hawk User Group scheduled to be held in Oman in early 2009.
ATE is also proud to announce the successful development of composite main rotor blades for Mi-24 helicopters and the commissioning of the newly created manufacturing facility at its premises in Midrand. Composite blades have an infinite operating life and infinite shelf life, thereby enabling one composite set to serve the lifespan of the helicopter, where previously six sets of metal blades were required. Flying at AAD, the ATE upgraded Mi-24 Helicopter will display its composite rotor blades as well as the new edition of sand filters, the development of which was done with PALL Corporation in the UK, such that it is expected to double the expected life of the helicopter's engines.
An ATE industrial product is the SPIM Gas Analyser aimed at detecting and identifying military and industrial gases. Having secured its first international export order, ATE is now planning to have this gas analyser installed on UAVs for unmanned detection and identification of escaping gases.
ATE is of the firm opinion that the Local Defence Industry can only grow and prosper through such Strategic Exports for which the South African Government support is critical.
For more information contact:
African Aerospace and Defence Exhibition
Waterkloof Air Force Base
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