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South Africa and Pakistan commit to strengthening defence ties

Following her meeting with Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain, the South African Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown called for the two countries to strengthen their defence relations, especially amidst growing bilateral economic trade.

“However, while both our countries have continued to enjoy cordial bilateral and trade relations I believe that the defence sector remains one area in which our countries have more opportunities to explore cooperation. It is for this reason that we met today,” said Minister Brown, adding, “We must be able to come up with a concrete plan on how best we can explore all possible areas of cooperation in the defence industry for the benefit of our countries. The partnerships will enable both countries to share experiences and transfer technology, as well as the know-how.”

Lynne Brown is on a three-day official working visit to Pakistan. Her delegation also includes the Director-General of the Department of Public Enterprises Mogokare Richard Seleke and Denel Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe. The South African delegation is visiting Pakistan on invitation from the MoDP.

According to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), the MoDP had “highlighted the importance of defence cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries, including joint production.”

The APP reports in the delegation’s meeting with the MoDP, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) officials had briefed Minister Brown on PAC’s “ongoing defence projects and their potential.” The South African delegation is also expected to visit “strategic sites” in Pakistan in order to explore how Denel Group could engage with the Pakistani defence industry and the Pakistani armed forces.

In March, Pakistan and South Africa signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) committing to boost defence ties, especially through the “acquisition of defence equipment [and] cooperation in Research and Development … Transfer of Technology, Co-production/Joint Ventures in public as well as private sector.”

Denel Group engages in many defence design, development and production activities. Its diverse product range include artillery howitzers, sophisticated air-to-air and guided air-to-surface munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles, small arms, armoured vehicles as well as aircraft maintenance and production work.

In turn, there are many potential areas for technical cooperation between South Africa and Pakistan, such as – among others – producing guided munitions for the JF-17 multi-role fighter (see Quwa’s earlier article for additional details on this subject).