IST takeover gets competition nod

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 26 Sept 2008

The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition of IST Dynamics by BAE Systems Land Systems.

The Government Gazette says the tribunal approved what it calls a merger "without conditions".

BAE Systems completed the acquisition of Pretoria-based IST Dynamics on 22 August and renamed the business Land Systems Dynamics.

It is now an operating division of Land Systems SA - a business 75%-owned by BAE Systems and 25%-owned by black economic empowerment group DGD Technologies.

"BAE Systems' investment in Land Systems Dynamics adds new dimensions to our South African business," says Land Systems SA MD Johan Steyn.

"With the addition of Land Systems Dynamics' expertise and superior products in fire control, turrets and training systems, we're able to offer our customers a comprehensive set of solutions from concept to through-life support," he adds.

The new business took part in last week's African Aerospace and Defence exhibition under its new name, and debuted its Mobile Fully Interactive Rifle Shooting Training (MFIRST) system there.

MFIRST is a marksman training system for soldiers optimised for assault weapons such as the R4-series rifle, inclusive of recoil simulation.

The system follows a holistic approach, with visible and verbal coaching instructions that provides a self-training environment for the soldier.

Another new product in the company's range is the Ballistic and Thermal System (BATS). This is an affordable fire control upgrade for infantry combat vehicles, such as the Ratel, used by SA, Jordan and Morocco, among others.

"The system's accurate measurement and ballistic calculation increases the first round hit probability and it can be used at night. A consequential benefit is the observation capability that the system provides to the crew at night and in conditions of poor visibility," says Steyn.

The BATS consists of a camera unit with un-cooled infrared laser range finder, optional day cameras and a colour display unit, with an easy menu-driven user interface.

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