Airbus Military awards A400M tailplane work package to South Africa´s Denel Aerostructures
South African Deputy Director-General Department of Public Enterprises, Kgathatso Tlhakudi, celebrates after the signing ceremony
Airbus Military has placed a third work package with South Africa’s Denel Aerostructures (DAe) for the manufacture of structural components for the A400M military transport programme.
This multi-million Rand contract was received at the Paris Airshow today on behalf of South Africa’s Minister for Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba and Denel’s Group CEO, Mr Riaz Saloojee. It will see DAe producing the ribs, spars and swords (ie. the skeletal support structure) for the A400M’s vertical tail plane.
Airbus Military CEO, Mr Domingo Urena, said: “Denel, with its diverse set of expertise, capabilities and capacities, is central to Airbus Military’s ambition to develop an expanded and multi-faceted partnership with South Africa’s high-tech aerospace and defence industry, tied to South Africa’s military aircraft requirements and acquisitions”.
South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba, said: “The approximately ZAR200-million (€15.1m) work package is contracted to run over the entire life of the A400M programme and demonstrates Airbus Military’s confidence in Denel and South Africa’s design and manufacturing capabilities, coupled with our ability to deliver on time and within budgets.”
DAe has already begun preparing to launch production of the components at its plant near Johannesburg and will deliver the first finished shipset to Airbus’s specialised vertical tail plane factory at Stade, Germany in March 2014.
“Our success in establishing and maintaining partnerships like the one with Airbus Military is one of the pillars of our growth strategy, and it will make Denel profitable on a sustainable basis, improve our financial performance while also contributing to our national socio-economic imperatives. The contract strengthens Denel’s position in South Africa’s aerospace industry and reconfirms the company as a strategic national asset, its contribution to skills development and advanced manufacturing, as well as its potential to generate export revenue for the country,” Mr Saloojee said.
Under a renegotiated contract announced last September, the South African manufacturer is also responsible for two other A400M work packages involving the design, engineering and fabrication of the Wing-to-Fuselage Fairing and the fuselage Top Shells.
The wing-to-fuselage fairing is the largest single aerostructure component ever produced in South Africa and provides an aerodynamic shroud over sensitive equipment located in the centre wing part of the A400M. The fairing protects the equipment from lightning, hail damage and bird strikes.
The fuselage Top Shells are made up of more than 1 100 individual parts and a large machined skin, engineered out of an aluminium alloy. Each A400M is fitted with two Top Shells, positioned in front and behind the wings where they join the fuselage. They are also fitted with approximately 1 000 brackets which support electrical and electronic wiring, hot air and heat exchange pipes and the aircraft’s emergency life rafts.
About the A400M
The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world's Armed Forces in the 21st Century. It is ideally suited to the typical African peace-support missions which continue to be undertaken by South Africa in support of the African Union and United Nations mandates on the continent. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, the A400M is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high maneuverability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.