SAAF to extend Saab contract

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 17 Sept 2007

The SA Air Force (SAAF) is asking the State IT Agency (SITA) to extend - by a further two years - a maintenance and support contract, awarded to Saab Systems SA in April 2005, for its integrated command and control system.

Saab Systems SA, then ISIS and later Grintek Integrated Defence Systems, installed the system, known as the South African Surveillance Control and Air Defence System (SA Scads), as part of the SAAF's projects "Bedmaker" and "Janitor".

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) says the SAAF is paying Saab R649 572 per month, including VAT. An amount of R15 764 750 was paid to the Swedish-South African defence giant since the start of the contract to May 2007.

"The tender was awarded in April 2005 for a period of three years, but with the option that it will be extended for another two years if requested by the SAAF to do so," the MOD told Parliament. "The initial three-year period ends in March 2008. SITA has recently received a request from the SAAF to extend the contract for another two years as per the above-mentioned contract clause."

The MOD explains that Scads is an "advanced, mission-critical system that is of national and strategic importance to the SAAF and SA National Defence Force, in particular, and SA at large.

"The system is used to provide a real-time and visual presentation of the current 'air situation picture' over SA."

The sub-systems that make up the integrated command and control system are:

* An air picture display system
* A ground command and control system
* A current intelligence system
* A radio switch network system
* A recording and playback system

ISIS Information Systems developed the system in the 1980s. Saab Grintek acquired and incorporated ISIS into Grintek Integrated Defence Systems in August 2003.

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