Key.Aero Network
Register Free

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 31 to 55 of 55

Thread: South African Air Force in crisis?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NI, UK
    Posts
    292
    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    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.
    Doesn't seem to have been the best choice for the SAAF. The Alo III had a 250 shp flat-rating reserve, but the A109 seems to be at the red-line all the time. Not a chance of two crew + brick of four troops + LMG.

    The true spiritual successor to the Alo III was the SA361H with a stonking 1,400 shp Astazou XXB on a 3-tonne helicopter; hovering ceiling up around 15,000 ft and 3,000 fpm climb rate, but no-one bought it and it was withdrawn from sale. Bizarre.

    The Swiss are hanging-on their their SA.316s due to their power reserve in the mountains; exchange pilots are still taken by surprise as how sprightly it is.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3,561
    My input on the problems.

    Radically reduce the money personnel and equipment of the South African airforce and spend it on welfare of its people. South Africa has no enemies and there for needs only a token air force for petrol. I would have wanted the same for India (its entire armed forces and space programme in fact) had India had no external threats.
    Love Planes, Live Planes

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by quadbike View Post
    My input on the problems.

    Radically reduce the money personnel and equipment of the South African airforce and spend it on welfare of its people. South Africa has no enemies and there for needs only a token air force for petrol. I would have wanted the same for India (its entire armed forces and space programme in fact) had India had no external threats.
    The thing is that South Africa, and therefor the SAAF, have committments in the peacekeeping role in Africa.

    If anything, it needs additional funding and equipment.
    The UN in particular wants SA to increase its role in peacekeeping, having criticized it for "punching below its weight".
    It currently has peacekeeping soldiers in Darfur in Sudan, and the Congo.
    It also has 400 troops deployed to the Central African Republic.

    The South African defence budget is 1.3% of GDP, almost half the world average of about 2,2%.

    That level is about the same level as New Zealands, but with far bigger committments.

    Video of the 3 Oryx helicopter deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2012.


  4. #34
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,549
    RDC looks stunning from this video shots.

    Nic
    Last edited by Nicolas10; 23rd January 2013 at 13:10.
    "allah akbar": NATO's new warcry.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest414 View Post

    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.
    Project Saucepan is a C-47TP/C-212/C235 replacement programe, encompassing both the light/medium transport and maritime surveillance (not maritime patrol) roles.

    The 2013/14 budget may start to reflect this project. Eads, Raytheon and SAAB have been making noises about their respective products, but I can't see how the SAAB 340 MSA or Beech 350ER, both aimed at the maritime surveillance role, could replace the medium transport role.

    For me it appears that the EADS CASA C295 is the forerunner to take this. The main concern with that platform is that it doesn't have the range to patrol the prince Edward Islands group EEZ, 1800 km south of Port Elizabeth on South Africa's SE coast. 60 Sqn used to fly there with their Boeing 707's, after the Shackletons retired, but the 707's have been retired now themselves.

    I guess that is why the maritime patrol option is being kept open for a different platform.

    Basically, there were 8 A400M's on order, now cancelled. The requirement hasn't gone away, and so it may yet still be ordered. The requirement being that an airlift capability is required that can transport an Oryx (and Rooivalk) without having to remove the gearbox first, and the capability to deliver 20 tons of cargo anywhere in sub-saharan Africa wihout having to refuel.
    Denel are also part of the manufacturing process of the A400M, so let us see what transpires...

    It appears the 8 C-130BZ's are good to go until the 2015-2020 timeframe.

    Saucepan seeks to replace 3 different types, so between the maritime surveillance and transport airframes, you might be looking at around 20 aircraft.

    Finally, there is strong speculation that the SAAF may deploy the Rooivalk attack helicopter to the DRC to support the Oryx and troop deployment.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 23rd January 2013 at 13:09.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    755
    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    Project Saucepan is a C-47TP/C-212/C235 replacement programe, encompassing both the light/medium transport and maritime surveillance (not maritime patrol) roles.

    The 2013/14 budget may start to reflect this project. Eads, Raytheon and SAAB have been making noises about their respective products, but I can't see how the SAAB 340 MSA or Beech 350ER, both aimed at the maritime surveillance role, could replace the medium transport role.

    For me it appears that the EADS CASA C295 is the forerunner to take this. The main concern with that platform is that it doesn't have the range to patrol the prince Edward Islands group EEZ, 1800 km south of Port Elizabeth on South Africa's SE coast. 60 Sqn used to fly there with their Boeing 707's, after the Shackletons retired, but the 707's have been retired now themselves.

    I guess that is why the maritime patrol option is being kept open for a different platform.

    Basically, there were 8 A400M's on order, now cancelled. The requirement hasn't gone away, and so it may yet still be ordered. The requirement being that an airlift capability is required that can transport an Oryx (and Rooivalk) without having to remove the gearbox first, and the capability to deliver 20 tons of cargo anywhere in sub-saharan Africa wihout having to refuel.
    Denel are also part of the manufacturing process of the A400M, so let us see what transpires...

    It appears the 8 C-130BZ's are good to go until the 2015-2020 timeframe.

    Saucepan seeks to replace 3 different types, so between the maritime surveillance and transport airframes, you might be looking at around 20 aircraft.

    Finally, there is strong speculation that the SAAF may deploy the Rooivalk attack helicopter to the DRC to support the Oryx and troop deployment.
    As far as Prince Edward Islands C295 can make the distance on paper but I don’t think I would want to if you loss an engine its an long way from home. But as an transport type it would be good for the SAAF and if they were to order 3 or 4 A400M they may start to get them in 2020

    Wilhelm do you think the SAAF needs 8 A400Ms and would the SAAF look at something like NATO’s 757 combi

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    I think that SA do need 8 A400M's, and actually probably more IMHO.

    It was slated to complement, and eventually replace the 8 C-130BZ's for a start.

    The 5 Boeing 707's had an ELINT/Early Warning/jamming/air-to-air refuelling capability and role, and these will need to be replaced. Certainly the A400M was to fulfill the tanking role from what I can gather.

    There is certainly a need for at least 8 therefor, especially when you consider that leased Il-76's are being used to support SANDF peacekeeping missions in Africa.

    South Africas order was for 8 A400M's, with an option on another 6, before the massive cost overruns and delayed introduction of that type raised concerns and the cancellation.

    Other manufacturers have leapt in, offering products, like new C-130's.
    The problem remains that they don't fit the required performance indicators that led to the A-400M in the first place.
    Even C-17's have recently been offered, but it is extremely unlikely this will be considered due to the operational funding issues discussed in this thread.

    There is talk also of Embraers C390, but once again, this will not meet the requirements.

    I personally think the A400M will be chosen, as there is no real other competitor out there, apart from the An-70, or the new Japanese Kawasaki C-2.

    As for Boeing 757's, I suspect that South Africa will want to try and limit the amount of types in service, and thus would want a dual role airframe ala A400M.
    You can see the same thing with the Casa 212/235/Turbo-Dakota transport/maritime patrol programme, looking at a single airframe. Whether that works out, we'll see.

    In context of the thread, the chief problem really is the low defence budget as a % of GDP.
    They have been buying new equipment, but I really think an increase in operational funding is really needed.

    Below is old, but gives an inkling I think of SA's continued involvement in the A400M, which actually increased after the cancellation.


    South Africa back in play for Airbus Military A400M after refund

    04:26 19 Dec 2011
    Airbus Military has cleared a key hurdle to pursuing further business with South Africa by refunding pre-delivery payments on an order of eight A400Ms cancelled two years ago.

    The undisclosed refund to Armscor, the official weapons trader for South Africa's military, allows Airbus Military to offer the A400M or other transports to its former customer.

    Reacting to cost overruns and schedule delays, South Africa cancelled the order in November 2009 after joining the programme as a full industrial partner four years earlier. At the time, South Africa intended to claim a R2.9 billion ($379 million) refund, but negotiations dragged on for two years.

    Meanwhile, other competitors emerged to fill South Africa's requirement for a new tactical airlifter. Lockheed Martin has said South Africa is a prime candidate to buy the C-130XJ, a lower-cost variant of the tactical airlifter.

    However, South Africa still has close links with the A400M programme. Denel Aerostructures and Aerosud are still members of the A400M supply chain, producing aircraft top shells, wing-fuselage fairings, wingtips, insulations and galleys, Airbus said. Cobham South Africa also builds the A400M satellite communications antenna in Cape Town, Airbus added.

    Airbus Military is struggling to complete the A400M's flight-test schedule. Type certification has been delayed by up to three months to the second quarter of next year because of engine problems and performance shortfalls.

    The first A400M is scheduled to be delivered in March 2013 to France, according to contract requirements.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...refund-366174/
    Last edited by wilhelm; 23rd January 2013 at 16:39.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    755


    I understand the want to keep the number of types down however at this time with the low %GDP if we look at the 757 combi as a types that could have good value when we take in account

    Cost $65million in 2002 (Probably less today) A400m $181million today
    Load 37 tons on 15 pallets or 200 people A400m 30 tons
    Range 3150 nm with said loads A400m 2450 nm with said load
    Speed 458 knots A400m 421 knots

    Add to this the optional supplemental fuel tank in the aft lower hold and if you were to let Denel carry out the fitting of two Cobham 905E on the wings you could have a useful type small MRTT that could also carry out VIP work and maybe get them at 3 for 1 A400m so again maybe 7 A400m’s and 5 757’s for the price of 9 A400m’s and not over work the 400m's

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    11,976
    But a Boeing 757 can't carry large loads such as vehicles, or use short strips. Nor can it fly slowly enough to refuel helicopters.

    It's not an alternative to a military freighter. It could be a supplement.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    755
    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    But a Boeing 757 can't carry large loads such as vehicles, or use short strips. Nor can it fly slowly enough to refuel helicopters.

    It's not an alternative to a military freighter. It could be a supplement.
    taking the long way round that's what I am trying to say. Use the 757 for the main work of A2A refueling and moving men and pallet loads where you can and ease the work load on the more costly tactical types

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Tempest, the figures you have listed certainly look attractive, and I suppose as a personnel transport and tanker, it looks attractive.

    Swerve hits on some important points though. South Africa might have European levels of airport/airbase infrastructure, but in a lot of the places where SA will deploy to in Africa, infrastructure will be spartan or minimal.

    On the topic, the recently retired Chief of the Airforce Lt Genl Carlo Gagiano's wiki entry may give some indication of the pressures this thoroughly professional fast jet combat pilot had to contend with, if you read between the lines.

    It is also very instructive to compare his pedigree with his successor.
    A brief perusal of the Minister of Defence under whom he served, and her successor, also should provide everything there is to know about the calibre of people appointed by the ANC to oversee defence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Gagiano
    Last edited by wilhelm; 24th January 2013 at 16:20.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,126
    Interesting comment about the General Cagiano's successor:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Msimang

    Trained in USSR,
    Combat in Angola in 1986 but spent 89-91 in flying training in USSR so I assume his combat experience in ground based.
    Flew helicopters
    Worked on A109 acquisition program
    Commanded Helicopter Flying School

    The really interesting thing is rapidity of his promotions:

    2005 - Promoted to Colonel (Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit )
    June 2007 - Promoted to Brigadier General (Director Helicopter Systems )
    November 2010 - Promoted to Major General (Chief Director Air Policy and Plans)
    October 2012 - Promoted to Lieutenant General (Chief of Air Force)

    Either he is really good at his jobs or his promotions were expedited.


    Another interesting comment on the page about General Cagianao:

    In 2012 Sisulu cancelled a parliamentary committee appearance by Gagiano after it appeared that he would make public detrimental information about the state of the service
    They did that here in Tasmania too where they refused to allow Treasury officials to talk to a Parliamentary Committee on the state of the economy.

    Basically covering up a dire state of affairs.
    Last edited by thobbes; 24th January 2013 at 22:12.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    755
    The new chief of the air force has had an interesting career path I think the question is what new or relevant strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation. Were down to him in his last post as *Chief Director Air Policy and Plans

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by thobbes View Post
    Interesting comment about the General Cagiano's successor:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Msimang

    Trained in USSR,
    Combat in Angola in 1986 but spent 89-91 in flying training in USSR so I assume his combat experience in ground based.
    Flew helicopters
    Worked on A109 acquisition program
    Commanded Helicopter Flying School

    The really interesting thing is rapidity of his promotions:

    2005 - Promoted to Colonel (Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit )
    June 2007 - Promoted to Brigadier General (Director Helicopter Systems )
    November 2010 - Promoted to Major General (Chief Director Air Policy and Plans)
    October 2012 - Promoted to Lieutenant General (Chief of Air Force)

    Either he is really good at his jobs or his promotions were expedited.
    Definitely expedited.

    Examples such as these are found across the board, not only in the armed forces.

    This is also directly related to the points made by various journalists and officers, Genl Gagiano's included, about the loss of capable and highly qualified and experienced staff due to "lack of career prospects" and "lack of career path definitions".

    There would have been highly qualified officers, many with combat experience, or running squadrons in a combat theatre, with proper relevant education and experience, that were overlooked purely based on their colour.

    Genl Msimang was basically a guerrilla before going to Khirgizstan where he was trained as a helicopter pilot. MK guerrillas cadres did not partake in aviation activities.

    He at least is a qualified pilot, I suppose.

    The current Minister of Defence has absolutely no qualifications for her job, apart from having joined MK in 1984.
    She has a teachers diploma from a nondescript college.

    The reason I mention these things is not to court controversy, but that it is entirely relevant to the way the SAAF is currently operated and funded.

    The professionals within the SAAF excel in spite of this environment.

    The thing is, a modest increase, not just in line with inflation, would actually do quite a lot for operations.

    South Africa can afford this, being either the 28th or 24th largest economy in the world, depending on the criteria, and having had sustained growth over the last 2 decades.
    They are thus hovering just outside the top 10% largest economies, and spend well under the world average on defence.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 25th January 2013 at 10:49.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    324
    Hows the unemployment rate? It was quite high when i used to live in Cape Town.

    BTW: do you know of any plans to replace those CF-5 of Bots Air Force? Apparently, there was some news that the CF-5s could be replaced by F-16

  16. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Bump.

    It appears South africa has deployed 4 Gripens armed with IRIS-T to the CAR region.
    They will be based in neighbouring Uganda or Zambia.

    There are also whispers that the Rooivalk is being deployed, but so far this cannot be confirmed.

    Certainly, Il-76 and An-125 flights have been ferrying equipment from SA to the region.

    This as a result of the attack on the paratroopers recently by rebels.

    Below are the 4 Gripens pictured in Northern Zambia from the last day or two. Looks like a twin seater and 3 single seaters.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by wilhelm; 9th April 2013 at 13:40.

  17. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    4,902
    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    Like all those R1 rifles that were expensively destroyed to wipe that memory away.
    Just to pick up this point, I don't think so. The R1 as in the licence made FN-FAL! An obsolete 7.62x51 battle rifle adopted in the 1960's! South Africa more then likely retired it for the same reason everybody else did, worn out receivers and barrels not to mention the general move to 5.56 by Western leaning nations. Anyhow you theory that it was done to wash away the memory of the Apartheid military is rather sunk by the fact that the current Galil based service rifle the R4/R5 was adopted during that era. Anyhow what about all the other equipment they have retained like the G5. Now come on that is a rather silly theory that doesn't stand up to scrutiny!

    Apparently by the time the British army started to retire their own SLR they were in a rather dangerous state to say the least. Just like aircraft, guns (especially the rather overstressed FN FAL) don't have an infinite life! Thousands of rounds and the care of the average squaddy tends to sap the life of a service rifle!

    http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Squaddy_Proof
    Last edited by Fedaykin; 9th April 2013 at 14:02.
    Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

  18. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,073
    Quote Originally Posted by wilhelm View Post
    Bump.

    It appears South africa has deployed 4 Gripens armed with IRIS-T to the CAR region.
    They will be based in neighbouring Uganda or Zambia.
    IRIS-T only? No a2g munitions?

  19. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,011
    Quote Originally Posted by Loke View Post
    IRIS-T only? No a2g munitions?
    Does a 27mm mauser cannon count?

  20. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    virginia beach,VA.
    Posts
    770
    Do SAAF Grippens have BVR missiles?

  21. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by Loke View Post
    IRIS-T only? No a2g munitions?
    No idea.

    I can only see that they deployed with underwing tanks and the IRIS-T.

    The Il-76 and An-125 flights may of course be bringing those Paveways.

    The Gripen certainly wouldn't self deploy with them.

    There are rumours also going around that a couple of Rooivalk combat helicopters are being deployed, although, as said earlier, there is no confirmation of this of yet.

  22. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,861
    Quote Originally Posted by 19kilo10 View Post
    Do SAAF Grippens have BVR missiles?
    AMRAAM as in other countries i guess.

  23. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by 19kilo10 View Post
    Do SAAF Grippens have BVR missiles?


    No.

    The R-Darter BVRAAM was retired along with the Cheetah C, although at one stage they were thinking of integrating it on the Gripen.

    The A-Darter is close to production, and Denel have stated recently that they have everything in place for a BVRAAM, just not the funding.

    I think they may be hoping Brazil hops on board with this BVRAAM as they did with A-Darter.

    So, it will be either the local BVRAAM, or Meteor.

    The fact that Meteor hasn't been bought yet suggests they may be waiting to see whether another investor country steps in on their own BVRAAM.

  24. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    virginia beach,VA.
    Posts
    770
    Thanks for the info. Kinda sad to see what has become of the SAAF in the last 17 years or so.......

  25. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by 19kilo10 View Post
    Thanks for the info. Kinda sad to see what has become of the SAAF in the last 17 years or so.......
    They are operating on a much reduced budget, much like many airforces worldwide.

    Still, South Africa spends considerably less than the global average on defence, as a proportion of GDP.

    That is the big factor that will need to change.

    On the local BVRAAM:

    In addition to the A-Darter, the company has a project to develop a new radar-guided, beyond-visual-range AAM (BVRAAM), currently known as the B-Darter. This will be based on ten years of investment since the deployment of South Africa’s last indigenous BVRAAM, the V4.

    Central to this project has been the development of powerful radar technology compact enough to fit into the airframe of a BVRAAM. (Denel Dynamics has confirmed that this technology will be directly employed for the seeker head of the radar-guided version of the Umkhonto.)

    “We are ready to produce a BVRAAM demonstrator,” affirms Wilson. “But we need an investment partner for full-scale industrial development, like on the A-Darter. At home, we need government support and a user requirement from the SAAF.”

    The proposed B-Darter would probably have a maximum range greater than 80 km. “Our target is to be in the middle of the market –medium range and medium cost,” she asserts.
    http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/art...ers-2011-08-26

    It's called B-Darter, and it looks like it will share a radar seeker, or rather the technology, that was developed for the Radar Umkhonto ER. Even recently, it was mentioned that it may yet be a ramjet.
    Then of course, it may just look similar to the Umkhonto R, of which there are pictures out there.

    This deployment has highlighted the need for a lifter better than the C-130.
    This was the original force behind selecting the Airbus A400M.
    It needed to take a Rooivalk or an Oryx as a load, and deploy over a certain range without the need to refuel.

    This is why the recent Lockheed proposals for new C-130's, or projects such as the EMBRAER KC390 are unlikely to succeed, certainly for that specified role.

    Recently, C-17 were offered, but unless the defence budget is increased properly, this will not happen.

    I suspect the A-400M will be back in the picture sooner or later.
    Last edited by wilhelm; 9th April 2013 at 16:33.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

- Part of the    Network -

KEY AERO AVIATION NEWS

MAGAZINES

AVIATION FORUM

SHOP

 

WEBSITES