On Monday, chief of General Staff of South Africa General Rudzani Maphwanya announced that the country is open to taking on joint defence projects with Turkey in the near future.
‘We are aware of the capabilities of the Turkish defence industry. We see that we can move forward by establishing partnerships with the Turkish defence industry,’ said Maphwanya.
Additionally, Maphwanya spoke about South Africa’s interest in innovations in the mobility and armour fields in the defence industry. He is hopeful that the country will cooperate with Turkey in this particular field.
‘We see that we can move forward by establishing partnerships with the Turkish defence industry in meeting the needs we may have in South Africa in the short and medium-term’, said Maphwanya.
Maphwanya opined that the cooperation would benefit both sides, and spoke on the importance of the two countries being among the countries with technological innovations which could provide solutions to the problems in the world.
‘We look forward to our cooperation, which will also progress through technology sharing and education, within the framework of how we agree on how to develop our countries and military relations together,’ Maphwanya added.
Noting that the South African Navy is equipped with local products and technologies, Maphwanya also expressed hopes of working with Turkey in that regard as the Turkish maritime industry also has a high level of development.
The South African Army is considered the second largest military force on the continent with respect to equipment and capability, and is perhaps the most powerful military force in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The country boasts of a wide range of products as well as a high local production rate, with some of its products being exported to about 70 countries, some of which are in Europe and the Middle East. Its host of land forces’ equipment include armoured military vehicles such as G-6 Howitzer, Mamba, Ratel, Rooikat, weapons such as R5 infantry refile, Vector SS-77 machine gun and so on. The country also has numerous complex, high-tech systems such as surface-to-air missiles, tactical drones, radar systems and electronic warfare systems.
How the Two Countries Came Together
South Africa – one of Africa’s most developed and powerful nations in the defence industry – hosted 25 defence companies from Turkey in the African Aviation and Defence (AAD 2022) Fair which took place between September 21-25. It was at the fair that the two countries were able to establish a relationship, with the Turkish defence industry being chiefly represented by the Defence Industry Agency (SSB) and its president Professor Ismail Demir.
On the first day of the fair, South African Defence Minister Thandi Modise met with Demir to discuss the products and technologies offered by the Turkish companies present. Having been satisfied with Turkey’s participation in the fair, Modise expressed his resolve to work with Turkey, which also has one of the most powerful military forces in its region.
The Turkish defence industry also has ties elsewhere on the continent. Just in July, Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Air Force Oladayo Amao and Commander of the Turkish Air Force General Hasan Kucukakyuz spoke about a budding partnership between the 2 air forces on defence technology, in order to strengthen the fight against terrorism.
Speaking highly of Turkey, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao said, ‘Turkey has succeeded in developing a robust defence industrial sector capable of meeting up to a significant percentage of critical requirements of her armed forces and other security agencies.’
However, the nature of their partnership would be more on an operational basis, rather than the development of technology as with South Africa.
Sources: Daily Sabah, TurDef