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AAD 2018: Hensoldt Consolidates South African Subsidiaries

First Step in More Comprehensive Growth Strategy

Hensoldt is to consolidate its South African subsidiaries GEW Technologies (Pty) Ltd and Hensoldt Optronics (Pty) Ltd (formerly Zeiss Optronics) under the Hensoldt brand, thus creating a single point of entry for its South African business.

Consolidating GEW and (Hensoldt) Optronics under the Hensoldt brand is an important strategic step towards future growth of our South African business. We will leverage the power of the Hensoldt brand and our global footprint to open new market opportunities for our South African business,” commented CEO Thomas Müller.

This is only the first step towards a more comprehensive Hensoldt South Africa Growth Strategy and the creation of a South African sensor solution house that trades on the reputation of the European parent. It also means that legacy Hensoldt customers in South Africa (and 25 other countries) from GEW Technologies will still benefit from the same – if not improved – levels of service as they enjoyed over the past fifty years.

The company is “…committed to further investing in the growth of our South African footprint and support President Ramaphosa’s announced investment drive. Our experience in the country shows that international investment and cooperation added to local infrastructure, skills and capacity is the perfect mix for business success and local economy growth,” explained the Executive Committee member responsible for strategic development in South Africa, Celia Pelaz.

GEW Technologies, with approximately 300 employees, is a leading solution provider for electronic warfare, spectrum monitoring and security, which complements Hensoldt’s expertise in sensor solutions across the entire electro-magnetic spectrum.

Using the Hensoldt brand will help [with] marketing our products and we are looking forward to becoming Hensoldt South Africa, together with our sister company Hensoldt Optronics. We are definitely growing our business and continuing to serve our customers with the solutions and support they have come to expect from us in (the past) five decades,” commented Hennie Venter, who has been responsible for the GEW Technologies business since the beginning of September.

Hensoldt Optronics South Africa focuses on design and supply of specialised optical payloads, such as the ARGOS (found on the Milkor MA380 unmanned aircraft), the GOSHAWK airborne targeting and surveillance electro-optical system, associated multi-spectral sensors, laser rangefinders, handheld observation systems and periscopes for submarines. The company has been in business for over 45 years and has a rich and varied history, fitting comfortably into the Hensoldt family of ‘detection and protection‘ products.

Uniting with our sister company GEW Technologies under the Hensoldt brand will help to strengthen our footprint in South Africa and also open new business opportunities and markets for us,” observed Hensoldt Optronics South Africa Manager, Deon Oilver. With 12 sites worldwide, Hensoldt is now one of the fastest growing companies in the market, having recently acquired Kelvin Hughes.

An observer of the defence electronics market commented to MONCh that passive radar, wireless technologies, cyber and the creation and marketing of “an inherently secure solution for the embedded IT market” will likely characterise Hensoldt’s next major step forward. 

Curtis Hand



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