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General African Defense discussion

This is a discussion on General African Defense discussion within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; The Navy needs to be given the funding to: • Acquire sufficient offshore patrol vessels of adequate size to be ...


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Old October 13th, 2012   #46
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The Navy needs to be given the funding to:

• Acquire sufficient offshore patrol vessels of adequate size to be able to conduct effective patrols of South Africa’s EEZ, assist other SADC countries and complement the frigate in the anti-piracy role.

• Acquire two additional frigates or large ocean patrol vessels of similar general capability, to enable it to maintain an effective presence in the Mozambique Channel for extended periods.

• Acquire a second support ship, to make sustained regional patrol operations practicable.

• Acquire landing platforms, to enable it to deploy a light mechanised battalion group or similar force and supporting helicopters in a single lift, and to support that force until logistic support can be established.
1. Many designs available off the shelf. Price depends largely on size & equipment fit.
2. The two surplus Holland class oceanic patrol vessels would fit the bill, & are available.
3. Several types can be bought off the shelf easily & quickly.
4. Again, several types: very basic & cheap (e.g. the Daesun-designed Makassar class in service in Indonesia), to rich country amphibious assault & intervention types (Rotterdam/Galicia, Mistral, new Fincantieri designs, Dokdo, TKMS MRD 150). Different sizes, capabilities & prices, but all could do the job to some extent.
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Old October 13th, 2012   #47
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1. Many designs available off the shelf. Price depends largely on size & equipment fit.
2. The two surplus Holland class oceanic patrol vessels would fit the bill, & are available.
3. Several types can be bought off the shelf easily & quickly.
4. Again, several types: very basic & cheap (e.g. the Daesun-designed Makassar class in service in Indonesia), to rich country amphibious assault & intervention types (Rotterdam/Galicia, Mistral, new Fincantieri designs, Dokdo, TKMS MRD 150). Different sizes, capabilities & prices, but all could do the job to some extent.
1. The informal "shortlist" so far has: MEKO100, Gowind, Lurssen PV 80 and Avante.The Holland class seems too big for this role.
2. The SAN would clearly prefer two more MEKO A200. Holland class is basically the same size (tonnage) but far less capable - no missiles.
3. The current AOR of 12 500 tons dates from the mid 1980s and is clearly inadequate.
4. The "reference point" everyone in SA is talking around is Mistral, the flexibility seems to be a major attraction - they like the C2I capability and the large hospital.

There is a clear trend of a preference for higher end technology, smaller crews more automation and lower direct operating costs rather than lower tech needing more bodies on board and more frequent upgrades.

Last edited by Dodger67; October 13th, 2012 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Add one
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Old October 14th, 2012   #48
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I was wondering, Why has Denel not been able to bag any overseas orders/contracts for it's Rooivalk.

Is it due to political restraints on the sale of the helicopter,or simply due to better alternatives ?
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Old October 14th, 2012   #49
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I was wondering, Why has Denel not been able to bag any overseas orders/contracts for it's Rooivalk.

Is it due to political restraints on the sale of the helicopter,or simply due to better alternatives ?
The only comparable western (NATO compatible) competitor is the Apache.*

According to my friends and contacts in Denel and ATE:

When Rooivalk went head-to-head against Apache for the British Army deal the Americans could use economy of scale as a strong argument: hundreds of Apaches already existed versus only 12 Rooivalk.
However that alone was not enough to swing the deal their way - as an aircraft, the British preferred Rooivalk over Apache.

What killed the Rooivalk sale to the UK was:
Rooivalk did not have a long range ATGM integrated yet.
The British Army was already a committed Hellfire user.
The Americans refused to allow Denel to integrate Hellfire on the Rooivalk.

Since then everything went down hill - no other potential buyers would seriously look at Rooivalk because it lacked a fully operational long-range ATGM.
The development of Mokopa ran into a series of snags that caused long delays.
The integration of Mokopa (10000m range compared to Hellfire's 8000m) has only been completed a few months ago.
As I write this only two of the eleven existing Mark1 Block F production standard Rooivalk are in fact fully equipped and certified to use Mokopa. The SAAF have not yet ordered any.

Basically the American refusal to allow Hellfire and the extreme delay in certifying Mokopa killed the Rooivalk.

*The Tiger and Mangusta are about half the MTOW of Rooivalk and Apache so are not considered to be in the same class.
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Old October 14th, 2012   #50
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Thanks, that's interesting. Even India was looking at the Rooivalk, but I think it's been taken over by the Apache in that department.

Mod Edit:
Please don't quote the entire preceding post when replying to it.

Last edited by swerve; October 14th, 2012 at 06:27 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2012   #51
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I was wondering, Why has Denel not been able to bag any overseas orders/contracts for it's Rooivalk.
Malaysia came very close to signing a deal for 12 Rooivalks but then came the Asian Economic Crisis in 1997, which in my opinion was a blessing in disguise for Malaysia as it was still early days for the Rooivalk in terms of development. I'm not sure if Denel is still trying very hard to sell the Rooivalk to Malaysia. Back in 1997, as part of the Rooivalk deal, Denel had offered to supply a few Oryxs, to be assembled in Malaysia. It was fun though watching the Rooivalk perform air displays at the LIMA exhibition, for which the Rooivalk was a regular visitor during the 1990's!

Dodger67, another problem for the Rooivalk with regards to fulfilling the British army requirement was that in the 1990's, I doubt if it was integrated with a mast mounted sight yet. I remember reading somewhere that Denel intentionally omitted a mast mounted sight as the Roovalk was designed to be operated in the field and additional support gear would have been needed to maintain the mast mounted sight.
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Old October 15th, 2012   #52
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No more Rooivalk will ever be built. It's been off Denel's sales menu for quite a few years already.

A mast sight was never developed and in fact the production standard Rooivalk has ended up with the main optronics unit of the Eurocopter Tiger bought off-the-shelf. Take a look:
Rooivalk - http://www.groundshout.co.za/misc/ro...00D_004771.jpg
Tiger - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...helicopter.jpg

A mast sight would also hugely complicate the disassembly required to fit it in transport planes (One of the strong arguments for originally selecting the A400 was that it could swallow an Oryx or Rooivalk without removing the gearbox.)

Last edited by Dodger67; October 15th, 2012 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Cleanup quote after completing my post
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Old October 16th, 2012   #53
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Dodger,

What was the rationale behind buying so many A-109s, especially given the limited number of passengers it can carry? Are there long term plans to get a larger helicopter to supplement or replace the Oryx?

At Dubai 1993 and LIMA the same year, the Rooivalk was seen with a pair of 4 round [empty] launchers for missiles, was this intended for the Mokopa?
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Old October 16th, 2012   #54
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The A109 is a "direct" replacement for the Allouette III but in nothing like the same numbers - some commentators were surprised by how few they bought!
Only 30 A109s versus over 100 Allos.

Unfortunately they have found the A109 to be nowhere near as robust as the legendary "Jeep-like" all round utility of the old Allo - they are often accused of being "hangar queens". One comment I remember is "You can't just put a bookkeeper in uniform and expect him to turn into Rambo - cammo paint can't turn a flying limo into a utility chopper".

The A109's unsuitability in the maritime environment has forced the SAAF to keep their handful of BK117s long past their "sell by" date.
Quite a few SAAF heli aircrew have said to me they should have bought the EC-645/UH-72 instead of the A109 but we all know how "other factors" played a role in the choices made.


IIRC the Oryx (IAR Puma airframe with Super Puma powertrain) is expected to continue until about 2020. I'll have to dig through the Defence Review 2nd draft to see what they say about the replacement but I expect they'd be look at basically a similar type.

You can get the review at defence review publications The first list of chapters and section pdf files are the second (latest) draft. Don't confuse it with the first draft listed lower down!

At that time the Rooivalk was being displayed with Ingwe (ZT3) launchers.The Ingwe is a 5km range tandem warhead laser beam riding ATGM (roughly TOW class). It's used on a variety of ground vehicles and the Algerian Mi-24s upgraded by ATE as the "Super Hind" - http://www.ate-group.com/ate_Product/10/index.html
There are a really confusing array of launcher types and configurations for the Ingwe missile.
The Mokopa is not tube-launched - it uses an "open rack" launcher like the Hellfire - at first glance they even look the same.

Last edited by Dodger67; October 16th, 2012 at 11:37 AM. Reason: fix a typo
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Old October 19th, 2012   #55
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The A109 is a "direct" replacement for the Allouette III but in nothing like the same numbers - some commentators were surprised by how few they bought!
Thanks for pointing this out. I totally forgot about the SAAFs Allouettes and was under the wrong impression that the A-109s were meant to supplement and gradually replace the larger Oryxs, which of course I found to be quite strange . Have you ever looked inside the cockpit of the SAAFs A-109s? The Malaysian A-109s have sights on the starboard side of the cockpit - for unguided rockets - wondering if the SAAFs A-109s have similar sights?

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The A109's unsuitability in the maritime environment has forced the SAAF to keep their handful of BK117s long past their "sell by" date.
Do you mean corrosion on the airframe cause by operating near the sea or on vessels? Do the SAAFs A-109s operate from the SANs Meko-100s during joint service exercises?

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The A109 is a "direct" replacement for the Allouette III but in nothing like the same numbers - some commentators were surprised by how few they bought!
Were any SAAF Allouettes fitted with a 20mm cannon for use in Angola and Namibia? The RMAF fitted a few of its Allouettes with a Mauser 20mm cannon - having got the idea from the Rhodesians - and these were used against the communists in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Funny how you should mention that the SAAF is not very satisfied with its A-19s, I've heard rumours to that effect regarding the RMAFs A-109s too.
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Old October 19th, 2012   #56
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I've never heard of any plans to arm the 109 - they're probably scared the rivets might fall out from the recoil! LMAO!

The Allo IIIs used a gun mounting system called the GA-1 to fit a 20mm MG151/20 in the cabin (a bit more sophisticated than the Rhodesian K-Car) The same mount could also fit 4 x FN-MAG 7.62mm machine guns.

The MG151 was also called the GA-1 - probably to disguise it's true origin!

Take a look at
The South African Air Force

You might want to also follow the link near the top of that page to the forum.

It's where I start a lot of my research on the SADF/SANDF - much like this forum people there can give you good leads to follow on sometimes very obscure topics!
We're also just a fun crowd to hang out with - many of the regulars are expert photographers and master model builders.
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Old October 19th, 2012   #57
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The Allo IIIs used a gun mounting system called the GA-1 to fit a 20mm MG151/20 in the cabin (a bit more sophisticated than the Rhodesian K-Car) The same mount could also fit 4 x FN-MAG 7.62mm machine guns.
The RMAF also used the MG151/20. The mounting looks similar. Perhaps they got the idea from South Africa and not Rhodesia! Prior to using the MG151/20, there were plans to get the Aden gun pod. I first saw the Vektor GA 1 in 1991 at an exhibition here.
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File Type: jpg 22.jpg (46.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 33.jpg (40.2 KB, 6 views)
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Old October 19th, 2012   #58
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The GA-1 mount was quite a bit more sophisticated than the Rhodesion original.
The Control handles and reflector sight was mounted in a fixed position in front of the gunner's face - not attached to the back of the gun itself. That meant the gunner stayed seated comfortably while using the gun - the gun cradle was moved by servos following the movement of the sight unit.

I've attached photos showing both the MG151 and the 4 x FN-MAG mountings.

The Vektor GA-1 cannon is a "reworked" MG151 with some components improved and simplified. The total parts count is also reduced.
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Old October 19th, 2012   #59
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From the pics I posted, would you agree that the Malaysian mount looks more like the GA-1 mount? Or does it look more like the Rhodesian one - sorry I can't make out which is which, though I did try to make a comparison with the pics you posted.

Last edited by STURM; October 19th, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2012   #60
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Looks like the earlier type with the handles and sight fixed to the back of the gun, so the gunner manually moves the gun.

On the GA-1 the sight/handle unit is on the top of a non-moving "console" with the gun mount operated by servos - just like it would be if it was mounted under the nose of a gunship. I'm trying to find video that shows it clearly.
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