Publication: SABC News Issued: Date: Reporter: Reporter:

The Hardware
What do we get?


What does R30 billion get you?

Cabinet made an announcement in September 1999 to purchase the following military equipment:

The cost of the equipment package is R21.3 billion over the next 8 years. If the option to procure additional equipment is exercised, the total equipment cost will rise by R8.5 billion to R29.9 billion over 12 years. The options must be exercised by not later than the year 2004.

The cost of R21.3 billion includes all statutory costs like VAT, custom duties, freight, export credit guarantees and programme management. This compares with the estimate last November of a costs of R31 billion, which included equipment cost of R29.7 billion, together with provisions for price escalation and the cost of financial cover required.

The conversion of 30% of the original contract value into options ensures that the SANDF can obtain the required equipment, as needed, taking full advantage of the excellent financing and industrial participation terms negotiated but without creating immediate fiscal pressures. Should the South African government decide not to take the outstanding equipment, it will not face any penalties or costs of cancelling the options.

Cabinet is fully satisfied regarding the offset arrangements attached to this package, which will benefit the economy and advance the socio-economic interests of the country.

The results of this whole process is an affordable defence package combined with an industrial and economic investment package spanning a variety of industrial sectors and under-pinning the government's industrial strategy.

Issued by GCIS, 15 September 1999

With acknowledgement to SABC News.

New Defence Equipment

South Africa’s largest-ever arms deal has its roots in the White Paper on National Defence, which was approved by Parliament in 1996. The White Paper provided for a Defence Review, which outlined a new force design for the SA National Defence Force.

The reasons why South Africa needs this particular equipment can be summarised as follows:

Corvettes (4)

The South African Navy is acquiring four Patrol Corvettes of the type MEKO® A200-SAN including support equipment from the German Corvette Consortium consisting of Blohm + Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werf (HDW) and Thomson CSF, France. The ships are due for delivery from Germany to South Africa from the end of 2003 and completing by mid 2005. Thereafter the combat suite element will be fitted in South Africa by the local defence industry. This will require an extra year of sea trials and in-service acceptance testing. The ships would be operationally ready by 2006.

The Patrol Corvette is a multi-purpose and multi-capable vessel for executing various naval missions. The combat suite element is about 40% the cost of the Corvette. The length of the ship is approximately 121 metres with a combined gas and deisel engine capability.

The Corvettes would be the workhorses of the SA Navy. They would be capable of conducting sustained operations with an optimum design to negotiate sea conditions like those found off the South African coast.

The Corvettes are designed to carry one helicopter, which would significantly improve and extend its surveillance, operational and sea rescue capabilities. The SA Navy has no ships in this class, having lost the last frigate type 12-class ship in 1986 due to obselence.

The tasks that it will conduct include:

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) (30/10)

The A109 LUH helicopter from Agusta, Italy is a twin engine Light Utility Helicopter. The first helicopter will be delivered in April 2003; thereafter delivery will be at An approximate rate of 10 per year. The acquisition will be for a quantity of 30 and includes support equipment.

The light utility helicopters will be operated at a lower cost level than the current aged French Alouette III Helicopters that will have seen service in excess of 40 years in the South African Air Force by the time they are replaced.

The helicopters will accommodate up to eight occupants including the pilot and co-pilot and can also be configured to accommodate two stretchers and a medical attendant in the passenger compartment.

The helicopters are to be used for training, providing emergency medical services and humanitarian aid, search and rescue, forward airborne control in operational conditions, patrol operations and SAPS support.

This helicopter will play a major role in internal security, border patrol and peacekeeping operations.

Submarines (3)

Three Class 209 Type 1400 MOD diesel-electric submarines with logistic support equipment will be acquired from the German Submarine Consortium, consisting off Thyssen Nordtsee Werke, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werf (HDW) and Ferrostaal. The submarines will be delivered between 2005 and 2007.

These submarines will replace the aged French Daphne submarines which have been in service since the 1960s and for which certain spares have become obsolete.

In terms of tonnage, more than 95% of South Africa’s imports and exports and over 80% in terms of monetary value pass through the country’s ports. The SA Navy’s primary function is to ensure that its sea-borne trade is not threatened.

Submarines’ inherent stealth makes them excellent vessels for obtaining information on illegal activities in territorial waters. They are used successfully against illegal shipping and/or fishing activities by discretely gathering information, which is passed on to surface vessels for action. In addition, they are used as force multipliers. Submarines are considered strategic equipment in the SANDF and are considered to be a vital force in protecting the security of South Africa.

The South African Navy will deploy its submarines in the following manner:

RSA Hawk Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) (12/12)

The South African Airforce (SAAF) will acquire 12 British Aerospace-supplied Hawk 100s, customised to meet specific South African requirements. All aircraft will be dual seat aircraft, and optimised for jet training as well as weapon-delivery training. The Hawk is powered by the latest Rolls Royce Adour engine and has a max level speed of Mach 0.85. The normal operating speed is 400 KTS in a typical training configuration. Assuming a contract effective date of 01 April 2000, the first 12 Hawks will be delivered by 2005 and the next batch by 2006, if Government should exercise the second tranche option.

The Hawk will replace the Impala trainers, which have been in use since the 1960s and have already been declared obsolete by the SAAF. The Impalas will be removed from the SAAF inventory as the Hawks are brought into service.

The Hawks will provide a cost-effective bridge in the training gap between the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Astra basic turbo propeller trainer and the front-line super-sonic fighter aircraft, the Cheetah C.

Pilots who have qualified on the Astra will do jet-type conversion and an operational training course on the Hawk at 85 Combat Flying School, followed by a consolidation period at operational squadron level.

The aircraft will be used in the following roles:

RSA Gripen Advanced Light fighter Aircraft (ALFA) (9/19)

The South African Airforce will acquire 9 British Aerospace/Saab-supplied JAS 39 dual-seat Gripens, customised to meet specific South African requirements to fulfil the role of an Advanced Light Fighter Aircraft (ALFA). The Gripen is a highly integrated multi-role aircraft, capable of flying air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is fitted with the Volvo RM12, a modern two-spool gas turbine engine, delivering 18 000 lbs of thrust in full afterburner. The aircraft's maximum speed is Mach 1.4. The nine dual-seat Gripens will be delivered between 2006 and 2008 and the next batch of 19 single-seat Gripens between 2009 and 2011, subject to Government exercising the option of the remaining aircraft.

The 9 dual-seat plus 19 single-seat will replace the dual-seat Cheetah D and the single-seat Cheetah C fighters currently in inventory, and due to be phased out between January 2008 and December 2012.

The Gripen’s superior handling and manoeuvring qualities are obtained through a state of the art digital fly by wire flight control system. The aircraft is equipped with a very modern, ring laser gyro inertial navigation system, augmented by a satellite navigation system (GPS) as well as a radio navigation system.

The Gripen will be used in the following roles:

With acknowledgement to GCIS.