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Atlas Aviation

Denel (Pty) Ltd

Registered as a private company at Kempton Park, Transvaal, in 1964 to establish an aircraft industry in South Africa, jointly with the Industrial Development Corporation. Completed manufacture of Impala (M.B.326M) under Aermacchi license. Developed C4M Kudu utility STOL light transport, first flown February 1974. First flew in 1986 its Cheetah multirole fighter, fighter-bomber, and reconnaissance aircraft conversion of the Mirage III for the SAAF, allowing initial operational capability in 1987. ACE all-composite turboprop trainer first flew April 1991 but later canceled. Developed Rooivalk attack helicopter, Puma gunship, and Oryx. Company also held marketing rights for several foreign aircraft and undertook extensive maintenance and overhaul work for SAAF. Merged with Simera in April 1996 under new Denel Aviation name, having been a division of Denel (Pty) Ltd. within the latter's Aerospace Group.

1995: A division of Denel (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 11, Atlas Rd, Kempton Park 1620, South Africa.

Earlier Denel (Pty.) Ltd. encompassed Atlas Aviation  and Simera  as divisions of its Aerospace Group. Took the Denel name in April 1996 after merging Atlas and Simera, with new subdivisions created as Tactical Aircraft Support, Transport Aircraft Support, Aircraft Manufacturing and Airmotive. Cooperating with DaimlerChrysler of Germany on AT-2000 Mako program. Cooperates with Aerospatiale of France on aircraft and missiles. Full range of maintenance, repair, and modification facilities, plus component manufacturing. Continuing programs of former Atlas include Cheetah C and D fighter conversion of Mirage III, development and production of AH-2A Rooivalk antiarmour/ attack helicopter (first flown February 1990 and for delivery from 1999), development of the Cirstel (Combined Infra-Red Suppression and Tail rotor Elimination system) tail-rotorless conversion of an Alouette helicopter as a technology demonstrator (first flown 1998), development and production of a variant of the SA 330 Puma helicopter as the Oryx, and development of a modular weapon suite for the Puma helicopter to convert it into a gunship.

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