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SAAF Atlas Cheetah

The SAAF desperately needed a fighter with which to tackle the Mig 23 threat in the skies over Angola during the Angolan Bush War. It was only superior SAAF pilot training that allowed the Mirage III, Mirage F 1 CZ and Mirage F 1 AZ pilots to survive combat against ever increasing number of Mig 21’s and 23’s that were flown by Angolan and Cuban pilots. However the Mirage III fleet were showing their age and it was decided to upgrade the Mirage III fleet with new avionics, radar, cockpit displays early warning equipment. Much of these upgrades were locally designed but some were produced with the aid of the Israeli’s. Thus the Cheetah shared similarities with the IAI Kifr. However, the Cheetah was supposed to have been replaced by the Atlas Carver air superiority fighter that would have been able to take on the Mig Fulcrum. The Carver project was cancelled due to the changing political climate in the early 1990’s in SA.

26 additional images. Click to enlarge.


12 responses to SAAF Atlas Cheetah

  1. Those are some great photos, Morne (and some equally great paint schemes)…strange place for the refueling probe, though – at least to MY eye. Thanks for taking the time to post ’em.

  2. More great pic’s Morne, I like the color-full ones.

  3. Thats a great walkaround, Morne. Thanks for sharing this and the other photo tours.

  4. Thanks Bernd!! Hope they can be of help to those wanting to build an Atlas Cheetah

  5. Hi Morne, what can I say, the good old days when we had a great Air Force. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Yes the good old days!!!

  7. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Very nice photos as well as detail shots. Thanks for sharing them Morne.

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