defenceWeb, Africa’s leading defence and security news portal, was invited by the South African Air Force to attend its annual Air Capability Demonstration – a spectacular live-fire showcase of the Air Force’s strengths and abilities.
The event, hosted at the Roodewal weapons range, in Limpopo, showcased the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) operational capabilities, readiness and ability to operate with other arms of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The 9 May event saw the participation of numerous SAAF aircraft in spite of budget cutbacks, from C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, to Hawk fighter-trainers. The show, for an exclusive audience of SANDF personnel and invited media, began with the drop of pathfinders from an Oryx helicopter. The Oryx was one of the stars of the demonstration, conducting mock fire-fighting drills with a ‘bambi bucket’ and ferrying in troops and even vehicles for the mock battle.
Supporting the simulated battle (which involved live fire from mortars, machine-guns and other small arms) was a variety of SAAF aircraft, including Hawks (which dropped live bombs, sending up massive clouds of smoke and dust) and Rooivalk attack helicopters (which fired rockets and their 20mm cannons). Other aircraft also played a part, such as the Caravan, which beamed surveillance imagery in real time to a screen for the audience. The show ended off with stunning flare releases from C-130 and Rooivalk aircraft, painting the sky white and orange with fire and smoke.
defenceWeb was there to provide its readers with thorough coverage of this important annual event, with a journalist, videographer and photographer in attendance. Thousands of people have already viewed the colourful gallery and video.
You can view the gallery here: http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_joomgallery&func=viewcategory&catid=74&Itemid=136
And see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf8RCecJwjc