Press Office
Group Tab

The South Africa-based DCD group has recently concluded delivery to the US Army of its flagship defence product, the Husky Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector ("Husky"), in a dedicated build programme that has brought in R10,3 billion in foreign exchange to the South African economy and created 1 320 new local jobs. The Husky is the US military's only mandated mine-clearing truck for use in warzones.

DCD managing director, Rob King, says the group's Protected Mobility operation is at the forefront of protective defence vehicle manufacture internationally, and the Husky specifically has the distinction of being the only South African armoured vehicle to achieve full approval for use by the US Army and Marine Corps. He says: "The Husky epitomises DCD's strategic objectives of global competiveness, leading R&D, local content capability and job creation."

The Husky has been deployed around the world since the 1980s, constantly evolving in line with new technologies and dynamic client requirements. King explains that the US Army first expressed interest when the Husky was being used in Southern Africa and Bosnia by NATO countries including the UK and France.

"The US Army initiated a Foreign Comparative Testing programme in the mid-1990s, which saw the Husky approved for route clearance activities and subsequent deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq," says King. Despite the Husky having taken over 7 000 strikes in theatre to date, only single digit casualties have been recorded.

The US Army's formal verification process was initiated in 2008 and confirmed in September 2011, when DCD started production on the current supply. The programme will now move on to the sustainment phase extending over the Husky's 20 year lifespan.

General manager of DCD Protected Mobility, Andrew Mears, explains that the sustainment phase of the programme offers potential for continually enhancing the Husky. He adds that ongoing engagement with US government provides the further benefit of considerable leverage to "expand our presence in the G7 markets".

Mears says although DCD Protected Mobility has focused almost exclusively on export, this is set to change going forward. Locally the company is also well positioned to take advantage of demand from the SANDF's Vehicle Replacement Programmes. "Our new R100 million manufacturing facility, which was commissioned in June 2013, has established DCD's local supply chain."

King is passionate about meeting government's local content demands. "Boosting the capability of the local manufacturing sector to meet localisation requirements will continue to stimulate the local economy and create jobs," he says.

A recent DCD initiative in this regard is the newly formed manufacturing partnership between group subsidiary, DCD Venco, and international Southwest Group, called Gravico. Southwest designs surface mining equipment, which is manufactured by DCD Venco. In terms of the Gavico partnership, Southwest has now commissioned DCD Venco to also manufacture the draglines and attachments for the equipment at its Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal facility.

Kings says the Gavico partnership provides an attractive alternative to imported, standard OEM parts, as not only are the products now set to be made in South Africa but can also be customised according to different client specs.

DCD group provides heavy engineering products and services globally through four clusters – Rail, Mining & Energy, Defence and Marine - and is a partner to the South African government in developing appropriate local content parameters for manufacturing.

Posted in: DCD Defence
Actions: E-mail |