European defence company EADS and SA's state arms company, Denel, are locking legal horns over the ICT to be fitted to the Army's upcoming Badger infantry fighting vehicle.
In dispute is the ICT, or command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) system to be fitted to the Badger as part of Project Hoefyster. The Army is said to have budgeted R300 million for Badger's C3I.
The Army is buying about 260 Badgers, at a cost of R8 billion, to replace the elderly Ratel in use with the mechanised infantry.
Neither EADS nor Denel were this morning prepared to comment about the spat. EADS SA head Hans L"ukin said: "I can't comment on that." Denel spokesman Sam Basch said: "Denel is not in a position to comment."
A source said EADS last week interdicted Denel from changing the Badger work share. In terms of an industry agreement, Denel is the prime contractor, while a Finnish company, owned 50:50 by EADS and the Nordic country's government, is supplying the chassis and intellectual property on which the Badger is based.
EADS was also to supply the C3I system. Another source says the trouble is government has decided to award an Army-wide C3I contract, called Project Legend, to Saab Systems SA and that the ICT underlying Legend and Hoefyster should be compatible. The easiest way to do that - considering that proprietary hard- and software is in play - is to award the work to the same vendor.
It is understood that the German company is unhappy with this outcome and in terms of the agreement want the matter arbitrated in London. As far as is known, Legend has not yet been awarded to Saab or any other vendor.
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