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Rob King
Picture by: Duane Daws/Creamer Media A Husky being assembled at the new plant

South African armoured mine protected vehicle manufacturer DCD Protected Mobility believes that there needs to be greater cooperation within the local defence industry and between the industry and the government. The company is part of the DCD Group.

"Due to the global economic downturn and increasing competition, challenges lie ahead," stated company GM Andrew Mears on Thursday. "We need to revive 'Brand SA'. Not a single company is going to achieve this on its own. We're going to have to work together."

"This is likely to result in some sort of consolidation in the local industry," he observed. His comments were echoed by those of DCD Group MD Rob King, who noted that skills development was one area in which there needed to be greater cooperation within the local defence industry. "We've [DCD] invested over R23-million a year on skills," reported King. "It is showing results."

They were both speaking at the formal opening of DCD Protected Mobility's new factory in Isando, Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg. The establishment of this new facility was the result of a 2011 decision by the DCD Group board to split its rolling stock and defence business into two entities, each focused on its particular speciality, thereby stimulating the growth and development of both.

"We are also here to convince you of the South African defence industry's capabilities," asserted King. "We have everything in place to support the local market and the defence industry – a state-of-the-art factory, skilled personnel, established processes for design, manufacturing, quality assurance and configuration management and key strategic alliances in place," enthused Mears.

DCD Protected Mobility is best known for its unique and highly successful Husky armoured mine detection and destruction vehicle and associated trailers and systems. This year alone, the Husky has been ordered by Spain and Turkey. The system is already in service with Australia, Canada, France, Kenya, Uganda and the US (both army and marines). The UK also acquired Husky systems and subsequently donated them to the Halo Trust.

The company acquired the design of the Springbuck armoured personnel carrier from Drakensberg Truck Manufacturers last year, and has been improving it. The vehicle has been ordered by the Nigerian Police. DCD Protected Mobility has also developed an all-new mine resistant ambush protected vehicle, the Mountain Lion. These steps are in line with the company's strategy to diversify its markets and its products.

This article was originally posted on http://www.engineeringnews.co.za and can be read here.

Posted in: DCD Defence
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