“Today’s clients have modern airborne
systems which are faster, with GPS
capability and wider flight ranges”
measure the performance of new or
upgraded weapon systems and offer the
environment to calibrate weapon systems
accurately in a real environment. The
equipment under test can be evaluated in
an operational environment to ensure
that the effectiveness of new doctrines
and concepts is confirmed.
WHAT SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
DOES WEAPONS TESTING NEED?
Talented, skilled and experienced
personnel are very important because of
the complex instrumentation systems and
supporting infrastructure. Focused
training is an important part of achieving
this. Personnel must be able to assess the
current situation and take appropriate
action which in line with operating
procedures and scenarios during tests
may vary depending on technical issues,
flight maneuvers and weather conditions.
This kind of testing needs specialized
skills and knowledge that are only
available on ranges. The test range
personnel must work very closely with
weapon manufacturers and must
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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR
DENEL OVERBERG TEST RANGE?
The test range is a state-owned enterprise
and has been confirmed as a strategic
asset for South Africa. For this reason, the
future of the test range is directly linked
to government/shareholder funding and
decision-making. The test range is still in
demand based on international requests
received and the number of local and
international visitors hosted annually.
The aim of the test range is to broaden
this market-base by increasing the
number of potential clients who would
want to conduct tests and evaluations of
complex weapon systems at Denel
Overberg Test Range.
ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE THINKING
ABOUT A CAREER IN AEROSPACE?
It’s a very interesting discipline and can
offer a satisfying career to anyone. There
is always something new in a challenging
environment that is not normally known
beforehand or foreseen. Tasks are mostly
done in an environment where decisions
have to be taken quickly with the
information at hand. If one is interested
in aerospace, a test range like Denel
Overberg Test Range can offer an
interesting career. There’s a range of
different roles available to aerospace
engineers and technicians in R&D,
testing, production and maintenance. The
field has ample opportunities for
creativeness and innovation and it is very
exciting and exhilarating. \\
understand test and evaluation concepts for these
complex systems. The test range is equipped with
complex measuring systems to support the evaluation
processes. Normally these skills and knowledge can only
be obtained on the test range with in-house training.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU
That we must continually improve in terms of technology
to meet our client’s requirements. Operating procedures
and readiness are important, because instrumentation
systems only have one chance to provide good quality
data to a client during tests.
However, the test range offers more of a service than
a product, making it is more difficult to quantify the
quality. It is therefore important that all clients are
satisfied with the testing service at all times. To ensure
this, feedback from clients is very important to change
processes where needed.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACHIEVING
DURING YOUR CAREER?
Taking a leap of faith and joining an industry unknown
to me when I joined Denel. Following my appointment, I
had the opportunity to make a difference in the
surrounding poor communities by engaging, uplifting
and supporting them through the Denel Community
Social Investment programs. It still is very fulfilling to
see the changes.
4 & 5 // Overberg’s central
control room connects to
several remote control
rooms located elsewhere on
the 430 km2 range