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Atlantis Chairman celebrates his official retirement

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On Friday 3 November, the Atlantis Chairman, Gordon Blackbeard, officially celebrated his retirement with a close group of colleagues and work associates.  The announcement was made shortly after his 67th birthday in October.

Gordon started his working career some 49 years ago as a naval technician in the Navy and was selected for officer training.  During his tenure at sea, he quickly climbed up the ranks serving as sea going executive branch officer in both submarine and surface ships. He also qualified as a navy diver and helicopter controller. He was awarded service and theatre medals, the Chief of the Navy’s Commendation Award and Chief of Defence Force’s Military Merit Medal.

In order to adapt to a civilian career, he completed University of Pretoria technology diplomas and was accepted for the UNISA Executive Management Development programme.

In 1981 he left the permanent force to take up a position as Project Manager for the ESD Naval Division in Durban where he was Project manager for Electronic warfare installations on the strike craft.  He later transferred to their manufacturing department, managing the CACTUS Computer upgrade programme, Submarine RWR system and SAAF secondary radar manufacture projects.

He was then promoted and transferred to the Radar Division where he managed and delivered the Overberg Test Range S Band tracking system for the RSA 1 vehicles and the delivery of the ATC radar to Subang airport Malaysia.His working career further extended to Fuchs Electronics as Marketing Director where he achieved export successes to India, UAE and Switzerland. He was also promoted to Group Marketing Director by the Reunert Group. After 17 years of service with his brother Brian they established Atlantis Corporation in 1998.

With many successful local and export projects to their credit, by 2012 the operational needs required the split of the Oil and Gas sector and Defence divisions due to differing accreditation and compliance requirements.

Gordon selected a new management team to further expand the Defence division which has grown exponentially and re-branded as the Atlantis Group earlier this year to accommodate more commercial and industrial product offering.

Gordon is succeeded by CEO Terence Dumont who brings with him a wealth of defence-related manufacturing and high-level project management experience.

Triton MkIII Submarine Launched Markers & Signals

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Atlantis Manufacturing Management Services was previously the appointed THALES Australia distributor and was a supplier to the SA NAVY with submarine signals until THALES ceased production. As the Intellectual Custodian for Naval Signals Atlantis sought an alternative international supplier that was qualified aboard the A209 Class submarine.

Lifetime Engineering, located in Sweden, was identified as a suitable supplier and a Representation Agreement was closed with the Company. The LTE Signal is used by NATO and has official numbering and is released by the German and Swedish Authorities for several submarine classes including the A209-1400.

Triton MkIII - Performance Submarine Launched Markers & Signals

Life Time Engineering AB has developed the modern submarine launched marker Triton MkIII. Triton MkIII is built to be deployed from the ejection tube of a submarine to indicate the vessel’s position. There are three different versions of Triton MkIII designed for op­erational use as well as for emergency situations. All markers have the same external configuration and ignition system. The different signaling effects are obtained by separated pyrotechnic design.

Performance

Performance reliability is built in by means of two parallel fuzing systems, maintenance-free userface and no use of electronics or critical software in the design. The design enables unloading in a safe manner with the aid of a tool, if the marker becomes jammed in the tube barrel. Triton MkIII is designed according to safety and environmental standards: STANAG 4187, MIL-STD-331C and MIL-STD-810F.

Color Red (flare) Green (flare) White (smoke)
Length [mm]* 480 480 480
Caliber [inch]* 4 4 4
Weight [kg] 3.2 3.2 3.2
Illumination time [sec]* 40 40 240
Height above sea level* 300 300
Light Intensity [Cd]* 60000 15000 10000
Visibility at sea level [km] 20 15 15
Dye marker Yes
Message carrier Yes
Launch Depth [m] <800 <800 <800

Enhanced Effect & Function

The Triton MkIII has an improved parachute rocket function. The upgrade will improve the function capability in heavy seas, making the flare to be able to fire through high water waves. The illuminating time is increased to 40 sec ,combined with a higher trajectory height above sea level making it easier to spot.

Safe to Use

Transportation safety devices are positioned at the rear part of the marker and are to be removed during loading. The firing mechanism does not contain any stored energy and is activated when the marker exits the tube muzzle. The safety unit holds an interrupter of the explosive train and provides safety features according to valid standards, e.g. STANAG 4187. The lifecycle profile of the fuzing system has been verified in environmental tests according to MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-331C. The design enables unloading in a safe manner with the aid of a tool if the marker becomes jammed in the tube barrel.

Easy to Handle

Triton MkIII are easy to set and make ready for use. An hydrostatic device gives the operator an easier decision during stressed out situations. Every smoke signal/flare initiates at sea surface regardless of launch depth. Performance reliability is built in by means of two parallel fuzing systems, maintenance-free user interface and no use of electronics or critical software in the design.

AST Develops Special Purpose High Volume Drilling Machine

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AST was contracted in-house to develop a dual spindle, high volume, automated and computer controlled drilling machine for use in the production of the propulsion system for the 40mm HV project.

The machine was designed to be capable of running 18 continuous hours per day, producing over 2000 components, totalling an effective 13 000 drilled holes, per day.  Special features added into the design to decrease running costs included a tool sharpening interval of 1200 holes per drill as well as a high-wear “violet” coating on the drill bits, leading to lower tool consumption rates as well as a power consumption of less than 1,5kW.  This in turn led to lower operating costs.

Atlantis Aviation leads consortium at AAD

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Last week the consortium consisting of Atlantis Aviation, AeroRescue Pty. Ltd., Aerodata AG and Avex Air Transport were on display at the Aero Africa Defence held at Air Force Base Waterkloof from 14 – 18 September. They have teamed up to provide a turn-key surveillance solution to the South African Government.

The Dornier 328 – call sign VH-PPG was at the static aircraft display and visitors to the stand had an opportunity to see the latest version of AeroMission, Aerodata’s fully integrated mission system.

AMMS Appoints Two New Board Members

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Following a very successful 2015 which saw the Defence Group double earnings for the third successive year the Chairman, Gordon Blackbeard and CEO, Terence Dumont, decided to expand the Board of Directors in the early part of 2016.

This expansion is also part of a well thought-out succession plan addressing the Exco Board, expansion of technology development and implementation of major production exports.

The expansion saw the first two female directors invited to the AMMS board – Caren Jordaan was promoted from Financial Manager to Group Financial Director and Ginette Blackbeard was promoted from Operations Manager to Director and General Manager of AME.

Caren completed her Bachelor of Accounting degree at the University of Stellenbosch and attained an Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science degree through the University of South Africa. She passed the Board Exams and qualified as a CA (SA) in 2005. After qualifying Caren gained valuable experience in financial management in various industries including manufacturing and retail. Her no-nonsense attitude and savvy financial management and planning has earned her a well-deserved place on the board. She now oversees the full financial function of Defence Division within the Atlantis group of companies.

Ginette’s background was largely in marketing and advertising prior to joining Atlantis in 2014. She co-owned and ran a successful advertising agency for 10 years focusing on the real estate industry and had the pleasure of working with premium clients such as the V&A Waterfront and One&Only before deciding it was time for a change of direction. Since joining the company, she has continued her studies at Stellenbosch University’s Business School and was awarded the Directors Award for best student of her class in 2015. In parallel her performance of establishing a manufacturing logistics hub proved she’s definitely a competent force to be reckoned with.

Farewell Col. Haywood

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It is with regret that ATLANTIS DEFENCE said farewell to Col. R. Haywood JCM.MMM.SSA at the St Margarets church in Constantia.

He served the Atlantis Defence Board as Strategist Consultant.

Uncle Ron was a passionate professional whose infectious enthusiasm affected all he came into contact with, be they Princes, Businessmen or Privates.

Ron partook in every challenge, and lived to achieve forging teamwork and delivering excellence.

From Jeppe High School for boys to establishing the Honda brand in South Africa and leading the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce to finally being invited to be the ARMSCOR Chairman he served to the best of his ability always putting himself last.

During this period he served in the South African Airforce and then the Reserve force at Lt Colonel. Here again his passion led him to be appointed as Honorary Colonel to 44 Squadron when he had logged many hours during both peace and war.

Uncle Ron is greatly missed leaving behind a vortex of success, which is much admired by many people living life and work by the saying “Never leave your wingman”.

Atlantis invests in its Research and Development Capability

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Following the successful conclusion of Phase One of the contract to upgrade a semi knock-down High Velocity production line to a complete knock-down solution for a client in the Middle East, Atlantis decided to invest in expanding its research and development capability.

The strategic move to acquire AET under the Atlantis Specialist Technologies umbrella afforded Atlantis the opportunity to gain the services of additional highly-skilled engineers, thereby effectively increasing its R&D capability in the areas of Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT), Compliant Robotics and Process Monitoring, as well as capabilities in industrial automation and design and build of process automation equipment.

Graeme Hulme-Jones was appointed as the General Manager of AST. Graeme’s global experience comes from his background in building services consultancy, capital projects engineering and turn-key project development at AET where he served as the owner and lead engineer.

He is joined by James Blakey-Milner and Joel Sousa. James is a qualified mechatronics engineer with significant experience in programming and embedded system development in multiple object orientated programming languages. Joel is a qualified mechanical engineer who specialises in conceptual and 3D design work.

Oyster BPLJ exhibiting at DSEI in London

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Oyster Ballistic Protected Life Jacket on show at DSEI with partner Zero industries as part of DTI initiative

DSEI – The World Leading Defence and Security Event
15 – 18 September 2015

As part of the Department of Trade and Industries on-going initiative to promote locally manufactured products in international markets, Zero Industries was once again invited to promote the Oyster Ballistic Protected Life Jacket (BPLJ) which was designed by Atlantis Specialist Technologies at DSEI, The World Leading Defence and Security event to be held from 15-18 September in ExCeL, London.

The Oyster BPLJ is key to the safety of maritime law enforcement and marines at sea or in riverine operations and allows operators not only ballistic protection but automatic inflation of the life vest should the crew member be injured or rendered unconscious.

In 2015, the DSEI is expecting more than 32 000 attendees which will include top level international military staff, major procurement officials, and the entire industry supply chain, from large prime contractors to supplying companies. DSEI has a proven track record of bringing the entire supply chain together on an unrivalled scale.

The DSEI will have six themed zones (Land Zone; Air Zone; Naval Zone; Security Zone; Unmanned Zone; and Medical Innovation Zone) in conjunction with an enhanced seminar programme and facilitated networking opportunities. A seminar theatre dedicated to global partnerships and helping business to make the most of export opportunities in new geographical markets is sure to be well-received by both the defence and security community.

Zero Industries will be part of the Dti Exhibition at Stand N3-110. For more information on the DSEI visit www.dsei.co.uk.

Recognising Loyalty and Commitment

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Retaining your best employees is a challenge for any business, so when an employee achieves such a milestone it needs to be recognised and celebrated.

Study after study has shown that what workers want from their jobs is not more benefits or money – it is more recognition for work well done. People tend to think pay is the biggest motivator, but pay rarely corresponds closely to overall satisfaction.

At Atlantis, we recognise that employees want to be noticed and respected for their contribution at work. This year the management decided to start an Employee Recognition Programme whereby employees with a long-standing service history would be given some recognition for their dedication and commitment in helping to create the successful business that Atlantis is today.

The theme for award programme was gold – the perfect colour to symbolise success, achievement and triumph. The first recipients of the more than 5 years of dedicated service were Lane Groenewald and Marc Blackbeard. Both employees were issued with beautifully designed golden certificates and ¼ Golden Kruger Rands.

Well done Marc and Lane, we hope Atlantis will continue to bear the fruits of your hard work!

Team building at its best

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A fun-filled afternoon of escapism at Hint Hunt at the Old Biscuit Mill.

Every business owner knows that a cohesive team is imperative to the success of any project. In today’s times employees are urged to work smarter and not just harder, in an effort to deliver the desired results. Though it definitely contributes in its own way, individual brilliance does not singlehandedly decide the fate of an entire project. Almost always, it is the joint efforts (or the lack thereof) of the whole team that eventually decide the success or failure of a project. As the well-known saying goes “there is no I in team work!”

With this in mind, Atlantis organised a fun-filled afternoon of escapism at Hint Hunt, situated in the heart of the vibrant Old Biscuit Mill – the hangout of South Africa’s most talented, innovative designers, artists, photographers, and connoisseurs of fine taste and décor.

HintHunt® is a new simple and fun live escape game, designed for small groups of 3-5 people. You get 60 minutes to climb a mountain of puzzles and mysteries in a tiny room. The goal is simple yet challenging: GET OUT IN TIME!

Success rate is low with only 40% making it out of the room in the allotted time. Of course the Atlantis has the best and brightest and one of our teams made it out with 1:29 to spare! Better luck next time to the losing team whose 5 min time penalty cost them dearly.