R23bn in arms contracts authorised

2014-12-02 13:03

Arms contracts totalling almost R23 billion were authorised during the third quarter of this year, according to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).

In its third quarterly report, which covers the period July 1 to September 30, it says the “total value of contracts authorised” is R22 992 117 979.

A total of 119 contracting permits were authorised, and two denied. The contracts involve 54 countries.

The NCACC report, tabled in Parliament, provides no details of the authorised contracts.

On the value of arms exports authorised during the three-month period, it says these totalled more than R1 billion, to 62 countries.

The total value of arms imports authorised was R10.5 million, from 45 countries.

According to an appendix attached to the report, the biggest single authorised export deal is for the supply of six large calibre artillery pieces, described as “gun/howitzer”, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at a cost of R229.2m.

The second-largest is seven “turret, light combat”, with the final export destination listed as Malaysia. The value is R2.6m.

The greatest quantity of authorised export armaments are bombs and rockets. A total of 16 762 high explosive, 2 376 illuminating, and 9 504 smoke mortar bombs are marked down for the UAE.

The Netherlands is listed to receive 26 000 mortar bombs.

The UAE is also down for 10 lots of so-called imaging or counter-measure equipment, described as “system, airborne observation”, valued at R90m.

A total of 50 armoured combat vehicles are authorised for export to various African countries, including Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, and Senegal, as well as African Union operations in Somalia. The total value of these is about R124m.

A further appendix lists authorised imports, the most expensive of which is a R6m “thermal imager” from Switzerland.

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