Gen. Rudzani Maphwanya, the chief of General Staff of the Republic of South Africa, one of the most militarily powerful African countries, said on Monday that they are open to potential partnership and cooperation with Türkiye in the field of the defense industry.
“We are aware of the capabilities of the Turkish defense industry. We see that we can move forward by establishing partnerships with the Turkish defense industry,” Maphwanya said.
The South African army, considered the second largest military power in Africa regarding equipment and capability, is regarded as the “most powerful army” in the sub-Saharan region.
Standing out with its high rate of use of domestic weapons and ammunition, the South African defense industry has a wide range of products, including complex systems. The country exports these products to about 70 countries, including Europe and Gulf countries.
South Africa has a high rate of indigenousness, especially in the equipment of its land armies. Different types of armored military vehicles such as the G-6 Howitzer, Rooikat, Mbombe, Mamba, Ratel, Casspir, R5 infantry rifle, Vector SS-77 machine gun, Bateleur multi-barrel rocket launcher platform are some of the products produced by the South African defense industry.
The country’s defense industry can also produce more complex and advanced technology platforms such as surface-to-air missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, radar systems and electronic warfare systems.
Last week, at the African Aviation and Defense Fair (AAD 2022), held at Waterkloof Air Base near the capital of the country, Pretoria, the defense industries of Türkiye and South Africa had the opportunity to get to know each other better.
Türkiye participated in AAD 2022, one of Africa’s largest and the world’s leading defense fairs, at the level of a delegation and with 25 companies under the presidency of the head of defense industry, İsmail Demir.
South African Defense Minister Thandi Modise met with Demir on the first day of the fair and toured the stands of Turkish companies and got information about their products and technologies.
Expressing his satisfaction with Türkiye’s participation in the fair, Modise said, “We have to cooperate with Türkiye.”
This statement once again brought up the potential cooperation and partnership between Türkiye and South Africa, both of which are the largest military power in their regions and have strong defense sectors.
In addition, Maphwanya said that South Africa, which is interested in innovations in the defense industry, especially focuses on innovations in mobility and armor, and that they are open to cooperation with Türkiye in this field.
Noting that South Africans are already collaborating with the Turkish industry, Maphwanya said, “We see that we can move forward by establishing partnerships with the Turkish defense industry in meeting the needs we may have in South Africa in the short and medium-term.”
Expressing that this cooperation will benefit both sides, Maphwanya said that it is important for Türkiye and South Africa to be among the countries with advanced technology in terms of producing 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 said.