AMS opens UK office in support of its globalisation focus

July '99 News

Building on its successful export sales of aircraft flight safety equipment, AMS is ramping up its global marketing efforts, including opening a marketing and support office in the UK.

AMS is a member of the JSE-listed Spescom Group and this office is an additional significant drive towards globalising Spescom’s business and marketing its products into the major regions of the world.

A world leader in the development and supply of aircraft Health-and-Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) - effectively onboard aircraft information management systems - AMS has manufactured this equipment for, among others, the latest generation of British Aerospace Hawk advanced jet trainers, widely considered the most technically advanced aircraft of their type. The equipment is installed on Hawk aircraft being supplied to the Royal Australian Air Force and the NATO Flight Training Centre in Canada.

“The decision to position the office in the UK was dictated by a number of existing and potential clients, business partners and subcontractors being located there,” says Roelf Louw, newly appointed executive manager of the AMS UK office. “It offers good access into Europe, and will allow us to provide support more easily to our marketing agents in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.”

Louw emphasises that his role is primarily to get new business for AMS, while at the same time looking after existing customers.

“I will not be operating in Africa, as the local office has the continent covered. My brief is to seek opportunities in the rest of the world for our aircraft and land-based technology and products. The HUMS is AMS’s core business today and one in which we have achieved significant international success. We will be looking at other ruggedised computer applications such as mission computers, fuel computers, bulk storage and so on.”

AMS will also be offering a number of its locally developed Land Systems, such as the Meteorological Sensor, the AM2000 Computer, the TM2000 Torque Meter, Vetronics and the Overhead Servo System for Secondary Weapons.

To ensure communication is as direct and effective as possible, AMS will continue using a project model where the project manager in South Africa takes primary responsibility for ensuring the successful fulfilment of a project. “It is very important that I am not a go-between,” says Louw. “I am here to assist and support as necessary, but project contact will continue to be direct between customer and AMS project manager and engineers.”

AMS Director Christo Weder says the company’s globalisation drive is of paramount strategic importance for the company’s long-term sustainable growth. “Local defence business has been unpredictable over the past few years and, although the re-equipment programme brings hope for the future, we cannot rely only on local opportunities. Over time we plan to open more offices in other countries, but this will be customer driven.”

AMS is also eyeing the lucrative United States market and recently achieved an important breakthrough by being selected as part of a team supplying HUMS for light civilian helicopters worldwide. AMS will be supplying an Engine Monitoring Unit based on its modular AM1000 architecture and targets certification of this product for mid-year.

“Apart from identified opportunities in the USA, Europe and as far afield as China, this product is also eminently suited to the Agusta A109 selected by the SAAF in the Light Utility Helicopter role,” says Weder.

“Our ongoing relationships with companies such as British Aerospace, Rolls Royce and a multitude of technology partners, have provided us with a solid launchpad into Europe, the USA and Asia-Pacific.

For details contact Christo Weder, Director of Analysis, Management & Systems on tel: (011) 315-1002, fax: (011) 315-1645 or e-mail

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