Sout African Airforce Air Capability Demonstration Day

The South African Air force held its annual Air capability demonstration at the Roodeval weapons range outside Polokwane last week.

The event was hosted by the Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Msimang. The spectacular demonstration of South Africa’s air capability was attended by VIP’s from the political sphere, high ranking officers from all armed services, defence attachés, journalists as well as representatives from Saab Grintek Defence. The spectators were flown in, courtesy of the SAAF, from air force base Waterkloof in Pretoria.

The capability display is an annual event and as usual, the SAAF delivered an impressive show that included Gripen fighters, Rooivalk attack helicopters, Hawk trainers, Special Forces and paratroopers and finally boasted a seven-ship fly-by of SA Gripen fighters.

The show opened with a keynote address from General Msimang and a tactical explanation of the day’s activities.

The exercise opened with a C130 dropping cargo behind “enemy” lines. Then two Gripen fighters and a Hawk simulated an unfair low level dogfight. Two Oryx transport helicopters then arrived to demonstrate airborne firefighting (a skill necessary during displays like this where live bombs, rockets and mortars tend to set the range on fire). Rooivalk helicopters attacked the enemy with a barrage of canon fire whilst paratroopers sent mortar shells into enemy territory. Finally Hawk fighter trainers strafed the targets with their automatic canon and lastly, a two-ship of Gripen fighters ended the simulated war with a deafening attack with Mk82 250 kg bombs.

Saab Grintek Defence’s self defence products were displayed from all types of aircraft during the show. It was an action packed display and the South African Air Force convincingly displayed its capability to defend the country.