The key role of Denel Overberg Test Range (OTR), as a world-class flight test facility in South Africa, was once again confirmed and relationships strengthened with the local defence industry partners during the Show and Tell event presented on 7 September 2023 at the Test Range.
Demonstration of achievements (Show & Tell) to the broader Department of Defence (DoD) community forms part of the performance review activities on major contracts to deliver products and services to the SANDF and Armscor. The opportunity is also used to market OTR’s Flight Testing capabilities to the SANDF. This year, the Test Range hosted their ninth Show and Tell and it was done in conjunction with the Air Force Base Overberg.
Ms. Bridget Salo, Chief Executive Officer of OTR says “The Show and Tell is a highlight on our calendar as it affords us with an opportunity to interact with our stakeholders and provides a valuable platform to showcase the latest developments in our industry. I am proud of the OTR team and all the role players who collectively made this such a memorable event.”
This year’s occasion was attended by 85 guests, which included the Chief of the South African Air Force, Major General Wiseman Mbambo, as well as representatives from the DoD, SANDF, Armscor, Air Force Base Overberg, the Defence Industry, other State Departments, as well as Denel’s Corporate Office.
After an introduction to Air Force Base Overberg by Colonel Donovan Chetty, Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, presentations followed on the overview and capabilities of the Air Force Base as well as their UAV technology in support of flight testing. Presentations on various aspects of the activities of the Test Range were also delivered by enthusiastic Test Range employees with topics which include flight test capabilities of the future, the Tracking Radar travelling wave tube replacement project, OTR target project for instrumentation validation periods, intercom replacement and OTR’s power supply.
Before the Show and Tell was concluded with a gala event, delegates had the opportunity to visit two optical instruments put on display as well the nerve centre of the Test Range, the control room where a real-time playback of a previous test was viewed.
During the gala event Maj Gen Mbambo, Chief of the South African Air Force, stated that “Openness can be costly but it’s critical in building strong relationships and I witnessed this afternoon OTR becoming open about their challenges. We must continue in that spirit to be open and frank as organisations because it is our strength – without it, we shall not proceed and reach our common destination”. “We must do everything to protect our national asset this – if we fail our future is bleak”, he stated. He also mentioned that “If we don’t work collectively with government with a common vision we shall fail continuously. We must educate all sectors of government about what we have and their role in ensuring its success and protection.”
Throughout the presentations on Denel Overberg Test Range and Air Force Base Overberg, it became evident that both entities’ collaboration is of utmost importance not only for their own existence but also as a national strategic asset for South Africa.
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