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Thread: South African Air Force in crisis?

  1. #1
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    South African Air Force in crisis?

    Third South African Defence Force accident in 3 months:

    http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...ace&Itemid=107

    While not necessarily indicative of anything by itself, other issues have been plaguing SAAF as well:

    1. Lack of pilots for combat fleet

    2. Inability to maintain flight hours for pilots due to funding and staff shortages.

    3. Inability to pay electricity bills for some SAAF stations.

    4. Ageing transport/maritime patrol fleet (C-130BZ, C-47TP) with no replacement in site.

    5. No maintenance contracts post March 2013 - big layoffs at Denel as a result.

    6. Issues with rampant illdiscipline

    7. Loss of highly trained staff to civil market.

    8. Even acquisition of new uniforms a problem.



    Other SANDF issues include:

    - Ongoing corruption scandals involving arms procurement

    - Inability to deploy Navy

    Is the SAAF approaching crisis point?

    Is there risk of SAAF going the way of many other African airforces - poor capability, inability to maintain aircraft and general irrelevancy?
    Last edited by thobbes; 22nd January 2013 at 00:26.

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    Is anyone really surprised the RSA has devolved into another corrupt African nation since the ANC took over? Expect government bureaucrats to divert treasury monies and bribes to their personal accounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djcross View Post
    Is anyone really surprised the RSA has devolved into another corrupt African nation since the ANC took over? Expect government bureaucrats to divert treasury monies and bribes to their personal accounts.
    I would love you to elaborate on your remarks above because as they are written they come across to me as words with an undercurrent of racism to them.

    Anxiously awaiting some clarification.
    "It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault only failed of success because dead men can advance no further."

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    That happens does it not, when the wealth lay with a minority they could spend it on whatever they wished, now that they are aiming for more inclusive development for all of its citizens may be certain things will have to suffer. Not that RSA is under threat from anyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgnewf View Post
    I would love you to elaborate on your remarks above because as they are written they come across to me as words with an undercurrent of racism to them.

    Anxiously awaiting some clarification.
    because it is a race issue.

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    I don't have personal contact with the SANDF but I do know, from working with South African ex-pats, that the forces suffered considerable brain-drain after the ANC policies began to be applied.

    Many ( both competent and not so, I assume ) left as they were unable to secure promotion or opportunities under the Affirmative Action programme, some being told that there were too many of their "type" in roles such as pilots and that they would be replaced to fulfill "quotas".

    There was also a huge impact to morale after former MK and Alpa [terrorists|insurgents|freedom fighters|whatever] were merged into the ranks, severely undermining discipline.

    In addition the SAAF has been burdened by unnecessary, expensive and disruptive procurements such as the Gripen. The Cheetahs had plenty of flying-life remaining but were politically unacceptable as a reminder of "the old regime". Like all those R1 rifles that were expensively destroyed to wipe that memory away.

    These policies were not invented within the SANDF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djcross View Post
    Is anyone really surprised the RSA has devolved into another corrupt African nation since the ANC took over? Expect government bureaucrats to divert treasury monies and bribes to their personal accounts.
    South Africa was corrupt before the ANC took over. The beneficiaries have changed, & to some extent the style of the corruption. It's no longer legislated for in the way it used to be.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

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    Last year Casa send a C-295 to South Africa, and a SAAF delegation was visiting the 35th Wing in Getafe, they were interested in a dual role like the Portuguese Air Force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thobbes View Post

    - Inability to deploy Navy
    They have just concluded the ATLASUR IX, with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, 3 months ago.


    The South African participants were the frigate SAS Amatola, submarine SAS Queen Modjadji, maritime patrol aircraft, BAe Hawks, and special forces operations.

    The excercise happens every 2 years.

    Last excercise, in 2010, the SAN deployed the SAS Drakensberg Combat Support Ship, and the submarine SAS Charlotte Maxeke across the South Atlantic to Argentina.

    The SAN also partook in the Ibsamar III in 2012, another excercise that takes place every 2 years. Participants are South Africa, Brazil, and India.

    The SAN deploy on anti piracy patrols off the Northern Mozambique coast, as part of Operation Copper.

    Since 2011, the Combat Support Ship SAS Drakensberg, Frigates SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana, SAS Mendi, SAS Spionkop, and a supporting Turbo-Dakota MPA have all deployed as part of Operation Copper, on deployments lasting between 4 to 6 months.

    SAS Amatola is currently there are on deployment as I type.



    The SAAF participated in excercise Lion Effort 2012 in Sweden.

    There were plans to replace the C-130 with the Airbus A400M, but this was cancelled due to the well known problems with that programme at one stage.
    The requirement is still open, and the A400M may still enter into it.

    There is a programme that will look at the Dakota replacement. It will most likely be a single platform for transport and MPA, so might be the EADS CASA 295.

    On many of your other points, I agree.
    The problem is actual funding of operations and personnell.
    Buying the new equipment also needed correct levels of funding, that hasn't been given. There have possibly been noises made to remedy this.

    I disagree about loss of highly trained staff to the civil market being SAAF specific. This is an issue for most airforces across the globe.

    The Denel maintenance issue should be a concern. A big one, IMHO. But noises are being made in the press about it, so let's see what transpires.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 09:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgnewf View Post
    I would love you to elaborate on your remarks above because as they are written they come across to me as words with an undercurrent of racism to them.

    Anxiously awaiting some clarification.
    Seriously?

    It has been a problem in Africa for decades, not helped by unethical companies from outside, with particular emphasis on Europe and the US.

    Where have you been all this time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    South Africa was corrupt before the ANC took over. The beneficiaries have changed, & to some extent the style of the corruption. It's no longer legislated for in the way it used to be.
    It was nowhere near as corrupt as now Swerve.

    Because of sanctions during Apartheid, there was a measure of "black" budgets (no pun intended) that were a necessity.
    The nuclear weapons programme is an illustration of this.

    There was scope for abuse with this, but surprisingly little, relative to what happens now, went on for actual personal enrichment.

    The ANC would love to prosecute for that if it did go on, for reasons of monetary and diversion tactics, and the lack of anything wrt to legal cases in that regard supports this wholly.

    It seems to be a common thing to state that, but with never any evidence to support the comparison to what is going on now.

    There was surely corruption, as in all countries, but it was a drop in the ocean compared to the current crowd.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 09:59.

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    I think you're forgetting the corruption inherent in apartheid. Job reservation, for example - that's corrupt. It was a system whereby the power of the state was used to boost the income of members of one group. Ditto the parallel education systems, housing area reservation, etc.

    There was a completely open policy of economically boosting Afrikaners for many years. When they lacked skills - no problem. They were given government jobs anyway. This was probably before you were around, but read up on it. It wasn't at all secret. It was state policy. "Vote for us & we'll guarantee you jobs". Affirmative action for Afrikaners. If necessary, pointless jobs would be invented for them to do.

    Apartheid, as well as its inherent corruption, created many opportunities for corruption at a personal level. The pass system, for example, which dominated the lives of most non-white South Africans, functioned as an income generating system for policemen. Not what it was designed for, but it was an almost inevitable consequence of creating such a system.

    A rarer thing, but one I know sometimes happened, was racial re-classification when competing for jobs with people with powerful friends. I've met people who were re-classified. Imagine changing from 'white' to 'coloured', & therefore no longer being allowed to do the job you're employed to do, or live with your (classified as white) family, & seeing a bloke with a brother in the racial classification board get the job you'd just been shortlisted for.

    When you have a system which creates so many opportunities for abuse, it will be abused - and it was.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post

    A rarer thing, but one I know sometimes happened, was racial re-classification when competing for jobs with people with powerful friends. I've met people who were re-classified. Imagine changing from 'white' to 'coloured', & therefore no longer being allowed to do the job you're employed to do, or live with your (classified as white) family, & seeing a bloke with a brother in the racial classification board get the job you'd just been shortlisted for.
    Never known that to happen.

    I have for instance known the reverse.

    I was in school with people who were obviously of mixed blood, and who had perhaps one parent who seemed to have been misclassified!

    My best friend in school was an example.

    Not that it bothered me or anyone else in the slightest.

    A couple of sidenotes, the Army was deracialised to a much larger extent than civil society.
    My Major in the army being a prime example, as were 2 members of my platoon. Both in Infantry School, which is where the leaders of the Infantry were trained. This was way before the end of Apartheid.

    Another little anecdote is that petty Apartheid was being dismantelled long before FW de Klerk appeared on the scene. PW Botha was the initiator of this, and for some reason rarely gets the credence for it.
    Desegregated public transport happened in the early 80's already, well, certainly in the Cape, not that Hollywood let's that get in the way of a script. He also initiated talks to release Nelson Mandela, years before, on the sole proviso that he forsook violence as a means for change.

    The unjust system had to go at some stage. It was about the timing wrt to the political violence that was the driving force, as well as the Cold War.

    The topic is more about the outright theft of public funds, and the impact it has on budgets, such as the SANDF. In this regard, the ANC are head and shoulders above the previous government.
    It is no coincidence that the Western Cape is consistently run better than the rest of the country. It is also the only province run by the opposition, and the large amount of "coloured" people who live there are responsible for an important part of that voting.

    Anyway, we digress..

    I would prefer sticking to the topic.

    It is the operational funding of the armed forces that is the issue.
    The branches, the SAAF and SAN in particular, do still deploy, and carry out their roles.
    As stated above, the Navy regularly excercises and deploys, and has a permanent deployment outside territorial waters, which is presently ongoing.
    The airforce does involve itself in excercises, and has done so recently.
    Lion Effort 2012 in Sweden last year is an example already mentioned.

    They could certainly do with more funds for operations, and that is the truth.
    Many airforces and navies worldwide are struggling with this though, in the post Cold War environment, and current global recession.

    An example is that certain countries, such as New Zealand for example, have given up any real combat function of their airforce.
    A brief look at the Royal Navy shows a much reduced fleet, with 10 submarines, and 18 destroyers and frigates.

    These are the times we live in.

    Another issue is that the ANC allowed the armed forces to waste away by using it as an employment agency for ex MK guerillas, and by not wanting to intimidate other neighbouring countries. I kid you not.

    Certainly Apartheid South Africas aggessive and successful operations had a role to play, but on the political and strategic level, that pose ranks as lunacy.



    Anyway, this is from the SAAF Air Capability Demo at Roodewal Range 3 months ago...



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VpL_hJQMa8
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 12:08.

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    I am not trying to defend the unfortunate corruption that currently exists in SA but PW? Don't make me laugh. Possibly the most corrupt and dictatorial of all the apartheid era leaders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tantrum View Post
    I am not trying to defend the unfortunate corruption that currently exists in SA but PW? Don't make me laugh. Possibly the most corrupt and dictatorial of all the apartheid era leaders.
    Nonsense.

    I would ask you for examples of personal corruption of his, but we both know there are non.

    Please let us not derail the thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    Nonsense.

    I would ask you for examples of personal corruption of his, but we both know there are non.

    Please let us not derail the thread.
    None, really? Just search the web and you will find plenty of evidence of large scale corruption on a national scale involving areas such as military spending and the media. He was also involved in covering up evidence of National Party corruption (such as the Muldergate Scandal) that had occurred prior to his own presidency. He did this by threatening members of the countries judiciary.

    On a smaller scale I have a personal recollection (from living in Mossebaai for two years) of an unusually expensive bridge built, with public funds, to gain access to his holiday home in Klein Brak. In his old constituency of George tales of PW's corruption are well known.

    Right that's it I'm done. I'm not going to derail this thread any further or bother to argue with yet another South African apartheid apologist, and believe me when I say I have met too many of them over the years...

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    http://www.scribd.com/doc/302020/18/...d-F-W-de-Klerk

    Interesting information on corruption under the Botha and de Klerk presidencies..

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    Quick question: did the SAAF ever operate the SA.319 or just the Artouste-engined SA.316?

    On several web sites and books I've seen "316 / 319" listed as having been in the inventory but I've never seen a picture of a SAAF Alo III other than a 316.

    And I see the BK117s are still hanging-in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tantrum View Post
    None, really? Just search the web and you will find plenty of evidence of large scale corruption on a national scale involving areas such as military spending and the media. He was also involved in covering up evidence of National Party corruption (such as the Muldergate Scandal) that had occurred prior to his own presidency. He did this by threatening members of the countries judiciary.

    On a smaller scale I have a personal recollection (from living in Mossebaai for two years) of an unusually expensive bridge built, with public funds, to gain access to his holiday home in Klein Brak. In his old constituency of George tales of PW's corruption are well known.

    Right that's it I'm done. I'm not going to derail this thread any further or bother to argue with yet another South African apartheid apologist, and believe me when I say I have met too many of them over the years...
    I see.

    The quick and easy slur of "Apartheid Apologist".

    So quick with it, whilst not even knowing who I am or what my or my families ethnic backround is.

    Seriously?

    I want you to point out where I've been an Apartheid Apologist. When you can't I will accept your much needed apology for that.

    This is what I said:

    The unjust system had to go at some stage.
    So far, you have provided:

    A study leaning hard on the TRC for "evidence".
    Did you read it?

    A Carmel Rickard blog. I take it you don't know her.

    Muldergate had absolutely nothing to do with personal corruption, and was in fact what is considered Psyops, as practiced by the CIA and MI5.

    The bridge built in The Wilderness serves a community and a tourist resource that crosses a river that is continually flooded in one of South Africa's rainiest regions, home to a rain forest.


    Nelson Mandela:
    "while to many Mr Botha will remain a symbol of apartheid, we also remember him for the steps he took to pave the way towards the eventual peacefully negotiated settlement in our country."

    So far, after your threadjack, you have provided not one shred of evidence for personal corruption by him.
    You haven't seemed to provide evidence against the fact that he did in fact start putting an end to Apartheid, starting with the "petty apartheid" laws.
    Nelson Mandela seems to agree with me, and not with you.

    You seem to be labouring under the impression that living within 100km of him for 700 days is enough evidence.
    I once spent 5 years in the UK, getting married there at the end. I don't assume I know about the political system more than the British as a result.

    Right that's it I'm done. I'm not going to derail this thread any further

    Please, and thank goodness for that.


    Let us stick to the topic.
    I have provided 2 detailed posts filled with information on the topic.
    Maybe you should contribute similarly to the thread, or start a political thread in the General Discussion forum.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 15:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    Quick question: did the SAAF ever operate the SA.319 or just the Artouste-engined SA.316?

    On several web sites and books I've seen "316 / 319" listed as having been in the inventory but I've never seen a picture of a SAAF Alo III other than a 316.

    And I see the BK117s are still hanging-in there.
    The SAAF operated the Alouette II, and the Artouste powered Alouette III.

    The SAAF ordered 7 Alouette II's, delivered from December 1960.
    4 years later, they also bought an additional Alouette II from a private company, Anglo American.

    South Africa was an early customer for the Alouette III, and in fact the 4th Alouette III off the production line was the first South African airframe, delivered in 1962.
    Approximately 120 were operated.

    All South African Alouettes have been of the Artouste SE-3160 (SA-316A) and SA-316B variety.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 15:54.

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    Eish!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    ...
    All South African Alouettes have been of the Artouste SE-3160 (SA-316A) and SA-316B variety.
    Fantastic info, thanks wilhelm. That closes the question I've had on file for YEARS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tantrum View Post
    Eish!
    Ahh look now Tantrum, we can joust in another forum perhaps.

    I took you for a Welsh Trade Unionist there for a second!

    Maybe we shake hands, and rather keep this to the topic..



    On the topic, I remember the Chief of the SAAF stating that the C-130BZ had in fact less hours than most USAF C-130E's.

    I cannot recall the exact average across the fleet.

    Basically, SAFAIR, which I believe was a subsidiary of Transnet, operated between 17 to 20 stretched Hercules L100's (a stretched civilian C-130) during the 1980's.

    This was the largest "civilian" L100 fleet worldwide, and it was regarded as a de facto SAAF squadron. It performed a lot of the hauling during the 1980's thus preserving the flying hours of the C-130BZ's.

    The main problem, apart from age, of the C-130BZ's is it's capacity.
    The SAAF want something that can carry the Badger/Patria, as well as an Oryx helicopter without having to remove the rotor hub.

    This was why they bought into the A400M originally, so as not to rely on chartered Il-76's as they currently do when deploying on peacekeeping missions outside the country.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 22nd January 2013 at 17:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    Basically, SAFAIR, which I believe was a subsidiary of Transnet, operated between 17 to 20 stretched Hercules L100's (a stretched civilian C-130) during the 1980's.
    I remember an article in Flight during the 1980s that mentioned SAFAIR running lucrative "parachute parties" for groups of civilians; basically take 80 guys up at once and they'd all jump out.

    They also shipping racing horses around, the advantage of the C-130's pressurisation being that the horses arrived ready to race.

    Despite such civvie functions I'm still baffled that Lockheed was granted export licenses; we ALL knew that SAFAIR was basically a SAAF squadron.

    Update:

    Delivery totals I have for SAFAIR L100s are:
    1970 1 ( -20 )
    1972 3 ( -30 and same model from here on )
    1974 3
    1975 3
    1976 8
    Last edited by Cherry Ripe; 22nd January 2013 at 17:32.

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    Apartheid had a racial element to it, that alone makes it more despicable than anything the ANC has done since it came to power. I wish there was an invasion of South Africa during the Apartheid era and their leaders all tried in the Hague and sent to life imprisonment.
    Love Planes, Live Planes

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadbike View Post
    Apartheid had a racial element to it, that alone makes it more despicable than anything the ANC has done since it came to power. I wish there was an invasion of South Africa during the Apartheid era and their leaders all tried in the Hague and sent to life imprisonment.

    The ANC also have their own policies with racially based elements.

    Educate yourself rather before showing your attention levels.

    You seemed to have ignored the Australians, Indians, Israelis, British/Northern Irish and certain US states in your little temper tantrum, all of whom also had official/semi-official discriminatory practices. Their leaders can also go to the Hague in your vision of things, I imagine.

    Do you have anything of substance to offer the thread on the SANDF, the SAAF in particular, instead of trolling?

    What is your opinion on the thread topic, and solutions?
    Last edited by wilhelm; 23rd January 2013 at 09:14.

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    The Oryx is about 20 years old now, and so can probably go for a while yet.

    The A109's were purchased to replace the Alouette, and it is instructive to see what the end of the Cold War did to aircraft numbers, a fact mirrored globally.

    The SAAF used to operate around 200 helicopters in the late 1980's, and probably operates around 100 today.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 23rd January 2013 at 09:22.

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    Anxiously awaiting some clarification.
    I just love the "anxiously"

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    Let’s look at this point by point

    1) Lack of pilots for combat fleet. This may be due to lack of spending or lack of leadership/planning and it is something all air forces have suffered in the past last year in the UK the RAF only put through 200 candidates for officer and NCO aircrew and so the system and staff are being used to vet VRT officers

    2) Inability to maintain*flight*hours for pilots due to funding and staff shortages. Again this is something all air forces are suffering in some form

    3) *Inability to pay electricity bills for some SAAF stations. This is just poor management

    4) Ageing transport/maritime patrol fleet (C-130BZ, C-47TP) with no replacement in site. This in my view is the biggest problem for the SAAF at this time and I feel they should look at a new transport fleet of 3 A400m’s and 10 C295’s of which 4 should be MPA’s as a start and if the cost is to high maybe as a stop gap replace 6 of the C295’s with BAE 146m these are not as fixable but working on the cost of the RAF ones would only cost around £45 million for the six air frames and if brought in service around 2015 might just make 2030 at a push.

    5) No maintenance contracts post March 2013 - big layoffs at Denel as a result. Denel’s needs to look outside SA for contracts such as Ecuador

    6) Issues with rampant ill discipline. Discipline only comes from good leadership and training

    7. Loss of highly trained staff to civil market. Again something all air forces suffer from

    8. Even acquisition of new uniforms a problem. Last year the UK MOD had big problems with uniform acquisition due to new contacts

    And last of all ongoing corruption scandals involving arms procurement. Please show a country that is not suffering from this .

    In all the SAAF has issues but it has some good kit it needs a new transport fleet and in 2020 will also need to start looking at it helicopter transport fleet so only time money and good leadership will tell

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