Bat Hawk Aircraft CEO, Terrence Pappas, left, the dti Director of Export Promotion, Asia and Middle East, Thulani Mpetsheni, second left, the CEO of South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Export Council, Sandile Ndlovu and Max Adventure Sports Founder, Vijay Sethi at the signing of the contract in India, right. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) on Thursday said the Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai in July assisted Mpumalanga’s Bat Hawk Aircraft to clinch a R50 million contract to supply 200 aircrafts to India over the next three years.

Bat Hawk Aircraft designs and manufactures light sport aircraft surveillance aircrafts primarily for surveillance and conservation purposes. 

The aircrafts are supplied as a complete ready to fly aircraft and feature a strut-braced high-wing, a two-seats-in-side-by-side configuration open cockpit, fixed tricycle landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration.

Bat Hawk CEO, Terrence Pappas, said the contract had been more than three years in the making.

“Previous discussions over three years were basically kicked-off with a commitment for ten aircraft, which we were scheduled to sign on the margins of the recent OSM," Pappas said. 

"Then with the help of the dti, the South African High Commission in India and the Confederation of Indian Industry, we succeeded in signing a contract to supply two hundred Bat Hawk Aircrafts to Max Adventure Sports in India.”  

Pappas said the contract would be signed and that thereafter Max Max Adventure Sports would undertake a site visit to their factory in Mpumalanga to finalise details of the contract. 

“The contract to supply 200 units that we signed will definitely lead to creation of more jobs at our factory, especially in the manufacturing side of things,"  Pappas said. 

"The huge advantage of manufacturing the aircraft in South Africa is the cost of our local aluminium and we source that locally. In terms of the company it will be quiet easy especially considering most of the labour for the aircraft goes into the installation of the engine and the wiring. 

"There will be 100% job creation in our factory on the raw material side.”   

The dti-led OSM included 27 South African businesses with specialisation in agro-processing, defence and electro-technical sectors.

The aim was specifically to showcase locally manufactured value-added products and services to India.

African News Agency (ANA)