Tag Archives: South Africa

German Tornados in South Africa

Germany has deployed four Tornado fighter bombers to South Africa in an exercise named Two Oceans. The Tornados involved belong to Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33 at Buechel airbase and are of the latest ASSTA 3.0 (Avionics System Software Tornado Ada) variant, which means the jets are capable of using laser-targeted Joint Direct Attack Munitions.

The four Tornados along with 150 personnel operate from Overberg airbase in the Cape province of South Africa. Overberg is home to the South African Air Force’s Test Flight Development Centre (TFDC). Over nearby ranges, Tornado crews will test their JDAM-capability against moving ground targets, among other things.

The Tornado has been in German service since 1980, but the number of jets has been greatly reduced over the last two decades, with the Eurofighter Typhoon acting as replacement. Two wings continue to operate the Tornado though, and could very well do so for up to 15 more years. And that’s unlike the British, who will dispose of their remaining Tornado jets in 2019.

© 2017 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A German Tornado pilot explores the South African coast line. (Image © Luftwaffe)

(Image © Luftwaffe)

Boeing and Paramount give AHRLAC teeth

Boeing and the Paramount Group, a South Africa-based global defense and aerospace business, announced this week, they will cooperate to develop an advanced mission system for  the Advanced, High Performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (called AHRLAC).

The AHRLAC, which first flew in the summer of 2014, is a high-wing, two-seat aircraft. It is designed to incorporate advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and weapons systems.

Light strike

Boeing will develop an integrated mission system for the aircraft enabling ISR and light strike missions for the AHRLAC safety & security, and military variants. It will be named Mwari.

Jeffrey Johnson, vice president, Business Development, Boeing Military Aircraft, said;  “Through AHRLAC, we’ll not only bring a flexible, persistent and affordable aircraft to the international market, but we’ll also be developing world-class technology in Africa.”

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk
Featured image: Computer generated impression of the AHRLAC (Image © Paramount Group)

Future Brazilian Gripen missile successfully fired in South Africa

The A-Darter, the planned air-to-air missile for the future Brazilian Air Force SAAB JAS 39E/F fighter jet has been successfully test-fired by a South African Air Force JAS 39D Gripen at the Overberg range on 9 February 2015, the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) confirmed on 12 February 2015.

Brazil and South Africa are now co-operating on the A-Darter, with support from Swedish SAAB. The test was part of the continuing development of the weapon, ahead of the introduction into service of a dozen JAS 39C/Ds Brazil will lease from Sweden from 2016 forward. The C/Ds will be gradually replaced by the new E/Fs from 2019, with those aircraft been mainly assembled and partly produced by Brazil’s own Embraer aircraft company.

The recent launch of the A-Darter was aimed at testing the manoeuvrability of the missile, with the rocket launched towards a remotely-controlled aircraft. The heat-guided weapon is designed to perform while sustaining up to 100Gs, with targets within a 12 miles radius. The A-Darter’s sensor-eye is said to see the difference between the target aircraft’s infrared signature and flares the bogey might launch to fool the missile. South Africa’s Denel Dynamics is the leading company of the project.

The latest A-Darter test of February 2015 (Image © Denel Dynamcis via Força Aérea Brasileira)
The latest A-Darter test of February 2015 (Image © Denel Dynamcis via Força Aérea Brasileira)

According to the FAB the A-Darter is now 90 percent ready. The first test-firing was done on 20 July 2010, also at the Overberg range by a SAAF Gripen. Two Brazilian Gripen pilots made their first solo flights last month, marking a milestone of the project that will give at least 36 Gripen E/Fs for the Brazilian Air Force. The number might actually go up to 108.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by the Força Aérea Brasileira and Denel Dynamics
Featured image (top): The South African Air Force’s SAAB JAS 39D Gripen ’01’ which was involved in testing the new A-Darter in February 2015 (Image © Frans Dely / Gripen International)

↑ Check out our continuing news stream on the SAAB Gripen in Brazilian Air Force service

A SAAB JAS 39C Gripen of the South African Air Force (Image © Marcel Burger)
A SAAB JAS 39C Gripen of the South African Air Force (Image © Marcel Burger)