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South African Air Force

January 3, 2017 in Photo Collections

These are just a small sample of photos that I have on South African military hardware. Hopefully it would be of help to those modellers wishing to build SAAF aircraft. Since 1994 the SAAF has undergone a transformation during which most of the apartheid-era and Angolan Bush War equipment were either scrapped or sold to South American countries like Peru that bought most of the SAAF’s ageing Canberra bombers. The North American Harvard (Texan) trainers, Douglas Dakotas and Skymasters were scrapped. The Lockheed C 130 still soldiers on. The SAAF has also procured Hawks for training purposes and the SAAB Grippen as air superiority fighter. The locally produced attack helicopter the Atlas Rooivalk (Red Falcon) can compete on equal footing with the best attack helicopters today.

19 additional images. Click to enlarge

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20 responses to South African Air Force

  1. Interesting article.
    I recall a piece in AFM from a couple of years ago which asserted that the Grippen fleet was down to around 8 serviceable airframes and that the pool of fully qualified pilots (and QFI’s) was very shallow.

    Hopefully that situation has eased some since that piece was written.

    Ian.

    • The SAAF has been hampered by budget cuts which had an impact for sure. However, the SA government’s commitment to peace keeping missions in Africa meant that more money was channelled to the South African Army for the procurement of equipment that makes it superior to any other African nation and the SAAF subsequently suffered.

      • Robbing Peter to pay Paul, huh?
        That’s an interesting selection of aircraft.
        I’m someahat behind the curve, but is that the Cougar version of the Puma?
        The attack heli looks familiar, Augusta?
        Love that Cheetah!
        Rats, no Harvards or Daks! Always like to see something older than I am.

        • The Puma helicopter originally procured from the French was one of the workhorses of the Angolan Bush War for nearly two decades. Post 1994 it was upgraded and is now called the Oryx. The Cheetah is also an upgrade of the SAAF Mirage fleet to Israeli Kifr standard. The Cheetah was a stopgap aircraft pending the delivery of the much anticipated Project Carver air superiority fighter. You can Google Project Carver for more info on the Atlas Carver. A truly beautiful design that was overshadowed by political change in SA and subsequently cancelled. The Carver had a similar profile to the Dassault Rafale and Israel and France was also involved in the design and development of the Atlas Carver. The Daks and Harvards still do duty at airshows in SA and are firm favourites with the spectators.

  2. Quite the formidable array…nice photos as well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That Grippen is a real show-stopper.

  4. Much inspiration, thanks for sharing! The Grippen does the business!

  5. I always wanted to do a Cheetah, and when High Planes put their new one out this last year I snagged one! I’m hoping to get her done in 2017.

    • I will post some more photos of the Cheetah so that you have an authentic looking replica. There are some nice commemorative colour schemes for the Cheetah like the Cheetah C nicknamed Spotty.

  6. Nice photos, thanks for the look see.

  7. Great pics Morne, the Herc’ is interesting with the contrails showing how the props bite ! I have a couple of SAAF subjects to model.

  8. Thanks Allen. The Herc is undoubtedly one of those aircraft that will one day, like the B 52, P 51 and the Dakota, go down in Aviation history as one of the greatest American aircraft.

  9. Great collection, Morne. Guess very helpfull for modelling or just enjoying aviation photos.
    The Harvard for example would be a real eye catcher.

  10. The Kittyhawk Harvard kit looks awesome in the SAAF dayglo scheme.

  11. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Nice pictures Morne . I am with Rob, that Grippen is a show stopper, thanks for sharing these images.

  12. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the Grippen but having seen it perform at an airshow I was motivated to change my opinion.

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