AMD is the aerospace, maritime and defence industries association of South Africa and has as its primary objective the representation of the industry in matters of mutual interest and the promotion of a profitable, sustainable and responsible industry.

The association is acknowledged as the only trade association of the South African defence industry (SADI) and is mandated by its members to promote and champion the collective interests of the industry. It comprises of a cluster of leading companies in the South African private and public sector engaged in industrial and trade processes of defence-related material, products and services.

AMD assists and provides guidance in harnessing the collective effort of the SADI as these companies play a key role in the defence acquisition and supply chain. This ensures that cost effective and sustainable solutions are offered to its broad client base that meets the most stringent technical requirements, comparing or even exceeding international standards.

AMD member companies supply products and services to the Department of Defence (DoD), government organisations and other contractors, both locally and internationally, in the defence and security marketplace. As the SADI is one of the cornerstones of a stable and growing South African economy, AMD is responsible for ensuring that a world-class indigenous defence-related industry capability is maintained in a sustainable manner. Providing high-tech solutions at competitive prices is a constant requirement to secure export orders, which in turn leads to skills development, job creation and retention. This also assists the South African government in executing its foreign policy imperatives and agreed upon international responsibilities in the region and African continent.

The South African National Defence Force, the South African defence industry’s primary client, operates in the diverse and exacting climatic and geographical conditions of the African continent, which means that the local defence industry’s offering is designed to function optimally in all conditions and is thus ideal for most defence applications globally.

The local industry also has a strong defence electronics bias, making it a good partner that is able to offer systems engineering and integration capabilities in upgrading and customising foreign defence systems for third-party markets. Further, the industry offers a range of capabilities that include the design, development, manufacture and maintenance of landward, aerospace and maritime systems, as well as the provision of mission specific systems and subsystems. It also provides the required enabling capabilities, like training, modelling and simulation.

The defence industry’s contribution to the local economy has been consistent in providing no less than 17,000 highly technical jobs in the past five years.
In the past, the defence industry has been a fertile ground for nurturing engineers, technicians and artisans with most of these now contributing significantly in key national projects in transportation, construction and power generation.

Further, the technology that has been developed for use in defence, has also found good use in rail safety, as well as reducing crime through the use of signal and data processing technology, and improving mine safety and productivity. The defence industry also contributes high value-added exports that improve the country’s foreign reserves, as well as its balance of payments.

Further, all this happens within a fairly depressed domestic defence market that has not only experienced severe production declines in the local defence-related manufacture, but also significant capital outflows of more than 70 per cent as part of the country’s strategic defence packages.
Growth in the industry is envisaged to be in the areas of unmanned aerial vehicles, space technology, as well as passive and active protective systems. Further, the industry can grow as a subsystem supplier through integration into the global supply chain.

Despite the industry’s continued exposure to severe budgetary declines, as well as strategic and systemic uncertainty relating to the defence industrial policy framework, the local defence industry remains resilient and competitive in the service of diverse client requirements locally and globally.

Under the auspices of the AAD partnership comprising of the SA Aerospace Maritime & Defence Industries Association (AMD), Armscor and the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) and with the full support of the Department of Defence, AAD is considered a premier event on the international aviation and defence exhibitions calendar. As a showcase of civil and military aviation, land based and maritime technologies products and systems, AAD is also the largest exhibition of its kind on the African continent. With the world-class infrastructure of South Africa, AAD remains uniquely positioned for exhibiting companies to market their products and services to the entire continent and beyond.

Following on the successful hosting of the exhibition in Cape Town during 2008, AAD this year returns to Air Force Base Ysterplaat from 21-25 September and will, as always, run over three trade days followed by two public days.

Covering the full spectrum of leading edge aerospace, defence and security related technologies; AAD2010 will highlight contemporary developments in these disciplines. Niche sectors incorporated into AAD2010 will cover commercial and general aviation, homeland security (aviation, maritime and land based) humanitarian relief, search and rescue etc.

Building on the success of the previous exhibitions, AAD2010 is set to again attract significant numbers of international participants such as defence ministers, acquisition and procurement chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry, entrepreneurs and representatives of local and foreign governments who seek potential trade opportunities and future business collaboration. AAD provides trade networking opportunities and face-to-face business interaction which is an imperative to ensure the success of this event as it affords exhibitors direct access to official delegations and decision makers.

A comprehensive flying programme, with ample slots for demonstration flights, will enable aerospace companies to demonstrate their products to potential clients.  In addition, a dynamic vehicle track will allow for the demonstration of various land–based products, while the close proximity of Cape Town harbour and the V&A Waterfront offers berthing facilities to SA naval vessels as well as foreign visiting ships.

The very deserving AAD Youth Development Program will again be staged, the object being to entice the youth of SA to pursue careers in the high-tech world of aviation and defence.

The SA government considers AAD as a national asset which it fully supports through the departments of Defence, Trade and Industry, Transport as well as Science and Technology.