Tag Archives: DenelAeronautics

Denel Joins Local Drive To Develop Ventilators

Denel is mobilising its resources and expertise towards a priority project for the local design and development of medical ventilators in support of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Danie du Toit, Group Chief Executive of Denel says engineers from Denel Dynamics and Denel Aeronautics are already working round the clock on Project Sabela – ‘we are heeding the call’ – in partnership with other state-owned entities, research bodies and medical technology companies.

“We are still in the early stages of the project, but we are optimistic that this local initiative will help to alleviate the dire need for medical ventilators that are required in great numbers at both public and private hospitals,” says Du Toit.

The defence and technology company is also considering other initiatives in which it can repurpose its current operations and technology to assist the national efforts. This include the production of sanitisers and the conversion of Casspir mine-protected vehicles into ambulances.

“We are proud to respond immediately and positively to a request from the Department of Public Enterprises to drive the ventilator project. As a state-owned company we are committed to utilising our skills, technology and experience in support of the national objectives to combat the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic at our doorstep”.

A task team has been formed consisting of experts from Denel, Armscor, Eskom, the CSIR and other entities to investigate designs and produce a prototype of a local medical ventilator.

Denel Dynamics is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of sophisticated missile and precision-guided weapon systems and also pioneered research and design for the production of unmanned aerial vehicle systems. Denel Aeronautics is the original equipment manufacturer of the Rooivalk combat support helicopter and design authority of the Oryx medium transport helicopter.

Rooivalk Attack Helicopter
Oryx Helicopter

Du Toit says Denel employs some of South Africa’s top engineers, researchers and scientists who have worked on sophisticated technology projects in the past. This accumulated knowledge and expertise will now be mobilised to work closely with medical scientists to produce life-saving ventilators.

Globally the defence industry has been a catalyst for the development of products that have brought immense benefits to the broader society. Innovations that have been derived from Denel’s defence research are vastly used in areas such as border security, agriculture, mining, construction and civilian aerospace within the country.

“Through Project Sabela we are now focusing all our efforts on the current medical and humanitarian crisis facing South Africa and the world,” says Du Toit. “We are confident that we will soon make huge strides in the development of locally-designed ventilators at a time when global shortages are experienced.”

Denel PMP, Africa’s leading manufacturer of small- and medium-calibre ammunition is looking at options to produce sanitisers for industrial and medical uses once the product certification issues have been clarified. Many of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of explosives can also be utilised to make sanitisers.

The Casspir, is a highly mobile and versatile vehicle used extensively in conflict zones in demining and protection operations. Denel Land Systems are looking at options to convert Casspirs into field ambulances, says Du Toit

Draken International Goes Supersonic Against The U.S Air Force

Draken International, the global leader in advanced adversary air services, has successfully commenced supersonic radar equipped F1M missions in support of USAF combat readiness training at Nellis AFB. The fully modernized Mirage F1Ms, predominately flown by the Spanish Air Force in the past, now challenge US and coalition 4th & 5th Generation fighters over the skies of the Nevada Test and Training Range in the development of warfighter’s tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Mirage F1M

Draken remains the only commercial air service provider to have purchased, imported, certified, and executed sustained flight operations with threat-representative fighter aircraft. These critical capabilities inherent to the Draken F1 fleet, are essential for supporting the Nellis ADAIR II contract, which provides adversary training for the prestigious USAF Weapons School, Red Flag exercises, operational test support, Formal Training Unit support, and Combat Air Forces abroad.

Mirage F1M

Over the past two years, the collaborative efforts between Draken International and Paramount Aerospace Systems has resulted in the reassembly, restoration, and certification of the fleet of Mirage F1s. This extensive project was accomplished at Draken’s maintenance facility in Lakeland, FL. Draken has also begun the acceptance of the fleet of Denel Cheetah’s from the South African Air Force; a 4th Generation supersonic radar-equipped fighter that joins Draken’s operational fleet.

Ex South African Airforce 2 Squadron Cheetah C

Sean Gustafson, VP of Business Development at Draken stated, “Draken is fully committed to enhancing adversary support for the USAF. These fleets of supersonic assets highlight the dedication to fulfilling combat readiness training objectives at Nellis and Air Force bases across the U.S. Our ever-growing fleet of advanced fighters enrich our capabilities and challenge Airmen, Sailors, and Marines alike.”

Mirage F1B

Draken International is the world’s largest operator of ex-military aircraft. The company is based out of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL. The organization sets a new standard in airborne adversary support, flight training, threat simulation, electronic warfare support, aerial refueling, research, testing, as well as other missions uniquely suited to their fleet of aircraft. With over 100 tactical fighter aircraft incorporating modern 4th generation capabilities, the company is ideally positioned to answer the growing global demand for commercial air services. Draken employs world class, military training fighter pilots including USAF Weapons School Instructors, Fighter Weapons School Graduates, TOP GUN Instructors, Air Liaison Officers, and FAC-A Instructors, For additional information, visit http://www.drakenintl.com.

22 Squadron to the Rescue-Toitskloof Western cape

Big wall rescue for Base Jumper this past weekend in the Cape. Rescue 37 of 2020 for the Western Cape teams.

Picture by Brett Jennings/MCSA

A foreigner was critically injured after striking a cliff while BASE jumping in Du Toitskloof near Cape Town.

Picture-MCSA

A small WSAR team of 3 (2 medics and a climber) were deployed with the AMS (Western Cape Government Department of Heath) helicopter just before dark on the 14th. They abseiled 170m to the patient, where a Metro ALS Paramedic stabilised the patient overnight on the cliff face.

Picture by MCSA

At first light on the 15th 21 members of MCSA Mountain Rescue team assembled as part of a greater WSAR team.

A South African Air Force (SAAF) Oryx helicopter from 22 Squadron Airforce Base Ysterplaat inserted a MCSA Technical Rescue Climbing team, who assisted in retrieving the patient, the gear as well as the rest of the team on the cliff face.

After extraction the patient was treated at the landing Zone by doctors and paramedics then flown by AMS Air Ambulance Agusta A119 to Cape Town for further urgent treatment.

On behalf of the MCSA and patient we would like to extend our gratitude to the South African Airforce!

22 Squadron Oryx Helicopter

We wish the patient a speedy recovery.Thank you to the MCSA for the upbove detailed wording on the weekends rescue operation!

First Rooivalk Flight 11th February 1990-30 Years On!

The Denel Rooivalk is an attack helicopter manufactured by Denel Aviation of South Africa. Rooivalk is Afrikaans for “Red Falcon”

16 Squadron Rooivalk SAAF Museum Flying Day 1 February 2020

The Rooivalk attack helicopter First Flight Rooivalk XDM was 30 years ago on the 11th February 1990,back in the days of the then Atlas Aircraft Coporation now known today as Denel Aeronautics.

Fitting the gearboxes to the Rooivalk XDM

Development of the type began in 1984 by Atlas Aircraft Coporation its development is closely connected to the Denel Oryx medium transport helicopter, both aircraft being based on the Aerospatiale SA330 Puma Helicopter and having started development at the same time on both projects.

Denel Oryx

Development of the Rooivalk was protracted due to the impact of limited budgets during the 1990s, and a desire to produce a highly advanced attack helicopter.

Being towed out for the first test flight from the Atlas Aircraft Coporation

Developing an entirely new helicopter from scratch would have involved designing and developing many accompanying subsystems and components, such as the turboshaft engines and the dynamic systems, such as the main and tail rotor systems and the gearboxes.

Rooivalk XDM during a test flight

Due to the great difficulty posed by the prospects of designing and manufacturing a clean-design helicopter, which would have substantially increased the cost and timescale of the project, it was decided to base the attack helicopter upon an existing design. At the time, the SAAF operated two principal helicopter types – the Alouette III and the SA330 Puma.

SAAF Museum SA330 Puma & Alouette III

 The Alouette III was a small helicopter which originated from the 1960s; due to the age of the design and a lack of engine power, it was not considered a favourable candidate for further development work.

The Puma was substantially larger and was equipped with more powerful engines; both factors provided a broader basis for the accommodation of additional equipment and for potential growth.

Another key factor for its selection was the parallel development of a localised and improvement model of the Puma in South Africa, known as the Atlas AS32 Oryx. The Oryx possessed an increased power-to-weight ratio and had improved performance in the high temperature climate that the type was typically being operated in; development of the Oryx was far quicker than what would become the Rooivalk as it was a more straightforward program.

 Other potential sources were mooted, such as the use of propulsion elements of the Aerospatiale Daulphin ; the adoption of these components has been speculated to have likely resulted in a smaller and potentially more economic rotorcraft.

Ultimately, it was decided to adopt both the powerplant and dynamic systems of the Oryx—which bore significant similarities to their Puma and now Airbus Helicopters AS332 Super Puma ancestors—as the basis for the planned attack helicopter;

Commonality with the Oryx systems would simplify logistics and reduce maintenance costs. This meant that the attack helicopter would have a significantly large airframe, giving it long range and the capability to carry many sensors and armaments.

During the 1980s, the defence budgets of South Africa were relatively generous, especially in contrast to later decades, thus Denel sought to provide a rotorcraft that would be amongst, even potentially superior to, the best attack helicopters in the world.

The helicopter, later named the Rooivalk, was envisioned as an agile, highly sophisticated gunship, especially suited to the threats of the Angolan conflict and countering vehicles such as the T-55 battle tank.

Rooivalk on display in Farnbrough International Airshow, United Kingdom

Three Rooivalk attack helicopters have been deployed with the United Nations to support of the stabilization in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013.

16 Squadron Rooivalk & SAAF Museum Alouette II

There has been more occasions where the Rooivalks have seen action with the support of fire power in the DRC on a number of peace support missions since 2013.

UN painted Rooivalk AFD2019 Cape Town

The Rooivalk attack helicopter is based at Airforce Base Bloemspruit in the Central Free state province, flying for 16 Squadron, also home to 87 Helicopter Flying School, flying Agusta A109LUH and Oryx helicopters. The South African Airforce have just under a dozen on strength flying to date.

General Fabian “Zakes” Msimang stated:”The continued operation and future sustainability of the hardest working air assets of the SAAF being the Oryx, Rooivalk and C130, rely on an efficient and effective Original Equipment Manufacturer and Technical Design Authority of the Rotary Wing assets” during the recent Prestige day parade held at AFB Swartkop on January 31.

16 Squadron Rooivalk AAD2018

Denel Cheetah B “Bandit” Flies again!

What was a very common sight over the skies of the Limpopo Province at Airforce Base Makhado was the Denel Cheetah variant’s from both the C model which was the single- seat interceptor and the dual version with pilot and instructor or pilot and strike navigator.

Denel Cheetah B on final approach

After the retirement of the Cheetah from South African Airforce service a lot of examples were sent back to denel and some sold to Equador and now recently a North American company by the name of Draken,which uses ex military fighter aircraft as aggressors to US Airforce fighter types.

Famous dogtooth on the nose of Cheetah b 861

The 3rd December saw “Bandit” Cheetah B 861 take to the skies over OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton parking routing out towards Airforce Base Waterkloof for two tests flights and more to come as we get to the end of year 2019.

The aircraft has not flown for some months now,but it is great to see an ex SAAF Aircraft back in the skies again.We hope to see her at airshows as we near the 2020 airshow season and SAAF 100th Birthday Celebrations!

Cheetah B Former 2 Squadron Aircraft

The aircraft was flown by Denel Chief Test Pilot, Ivan “Viking’ Pentz, Ivan is no stranger to flying fighters as he has flown the Impala MK1,Impala MKII,HawkMK120,Cheetah C, Cheetah D,Mirage F1,AHRLAC,C130 and many more!

This particular Cheetahs Colour Scheme was unveiled and displayed at the SAAF Museum Airshow in 2003.Bandit was also used during the 2V1 Dogfight demo between two Cheetah Cs.

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