Following an incident aboard the USS Carl Vinson on Monday 24th January 2022, A United States Navy F-35C fell into the South China sea. The crew ejected successfully in their Martin-Baker US16E Ejection Seat.
Acabei de ver 2 v22 no aeroporto de lisboa . O que será ?
The Department of Defence (DoD), in the form of its Head of Communication (HoC), came out with verbal guns blazing to defend a chartered aircraft taking President Cyril Ramaphosa and his entourage to a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo last week.(...)he need for a charter was said by Dlamini to be because "Inkwazi", the VVIP Boeing 737-7ED operated by 21 Squadron, along with other executive aircraft in the Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof squadron inventory, “are currently out of commission”.He gives no reasons for Inkwazi’s grounding which weekend reports have it is due to non-payment of subscription fees for the Jeppesen flight database.The SAAF finds itself in the proverbial financial pickle, unable to fly its frontline fighters or use a simulator to maintain pilot currency on the Gripen. The airborne component of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) battles to keep its fleet of workhorse Oryx medium transport helicopters airworthy and four Super Lynx maritime helicopters have been grounded for some time. As far as airlift is concerned, 28 Squadron can apparently offer two C-130BZs at any given time as the SAAF’s lone heavy transport unit.Darren Olivier, African Defence Review director, confirmed that Inkwazi’s grounding is because the SAAF has not paid its monthly subscription fees to update the flight database. No aircraft flying internationally is allowed to fly without the latest flight data. Apart from the VIP fleet, this also affects the C-130BZ Hercules supply flights into the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique."Contract renewal decisions are a mess in the Air Force at the moment, both because of the tight budget and some questionable decisions by senior leadership," Olivier maintains."It’s time for a complete top to bottom rethink of procurement in the SANDF and whether it truly makes sense to apply things like local content from Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act regulations to services only foreign OEMs can provide. It’s poor strategic thinking."If you’re mandating that a key capability be established and maintained locally for security of supply, that’s one thing. But SANDF procurement is ever increasingly just the use of local middlemen skimming off the top by reselling services and equipment provided by foreign suppliers," Olivier stated.Elaborating further on the Inkwazi’s grounding, Olivier explained that the non-renewal of flight databases was amongst contracts (including for fuel and spares) affected by National Treasury’s February order to stop advertising new tenders. Although this was lifted in May with additional requirements, "the DoD interpreted it as a ban. For some reason that process of getting Treasury’s exemption for SANDF tenders in certain areas has been going terribly."(...)Olivier does not blame the SAAF’s Directorate of Air Safety, or arguably even the Air Force, which did everything it could by the book. "The root cause of the issue is that the tender process is broken, the DoD is becoming ever less capable of managing an ever more convoluted process with requirements that don’t suit defence needs, and neither the Minister of Defence nor Secretary of Defence are effective."The moratorium and subsequent issues have seriously affected all SAAF procurement tenders including those for fuel, spare parts, and maintenance. It’s a slow-moving disaster without any real sense of urgency from the top," Olivier concluded.
The sharp end of the SA Air Force (SAAF) – its Gripen fighters – have been grounded for over a year and, despite encouraging words to the contrary, there appears to be only slow progress in bringing them and those who fly the single-engined Swedish-built combat jets back to any semblance of operational status.Air Force Base (AFB) Makhado-based 2 Squadron has not been able to fly its Gripens since August last year. This sad state of affairs was brought about because budget cuts and disagreements over contract terms resulted in the support contracts with Saab and GKN being allowed to lapse.African Defence Review (ADR) director Darren Olivier, writing in FlightCom, notes, tellingly: "Without support contracts in place, or adequately certified workarounds, the SAAF Military Airworthiness Board cannot issue or renew approvals for flight".The first inkling all was not well at the Limpopo base came in December when Department of Defence (DoD) Head of Communication (HoC) Siphiwe Dlamini indicated the SAAF Gripens were "temporarily grounded". He neglected to say the same applied to the squadron level mission trainer (SqLMT) at Makhado, meaning pilots could not retain currency via simulator hours.(...)He explains: "For a year the country has been without any air defence capability whatsoever. And yet leadership complacently stood by with no apparent sense of urgency while a critical strategic capability acquired at great cost has fallen apart. One would have thought those in positions of power would have been moving heaven and earth to resolve the situation"."The SAAF and Armscor, as the procurement agency, haven’t been entirely idle and engaged in back and forth negotiations with both Saab and GKN (Gripen engine supplier) to find a workable solution that fits in with the SAAF’s pitiful budget allocation, yet provides the necessary level of support to keep these highly complex aircraft flying. Progress has been slow, suffocated by red tape and indecision at the highest levels and characterised by stop-start spurts of activity and waiting that wasted crucial time."Worse, negotiations have been taking place since early 2021, long before the contract was due to lapse and providing plenty of time to avoid the situation."At the most basic level, the cause is simple: The SAAF Combat Systems Directorate has an annual budget of just over R300 million, ludicrously inadequate to maintain even a single modern fighter squadron, let alone a squadron of Hawk Mk 120 fighter-trainers alongside it. Benchmarking against similar fighter squadrons around the world shows an annual budget of R1 billion is needed just to maintain a basic capability level, with R3 billion or so a year needed for full operational capability and utilisation."Expecting to work with just R300-400 million a year falls in the realm of fantasy and magical thinking, not sound governance. Add to that chronic indecision plaguing the SANDF and indeed South Africa as a whole of late, increasing red tape around procurement and misapplication of preferential procurement regulations to strategic defence contracts that clearly can’t support them and it’s no surprise things have reached this point."Absurdly, according to people familiar with the negotiations, much of the time was wasted by Armscor’s insistence on applying the 30% local content requirement from the preferential procurement regulations, even though there aren’t any local companies that could perform any of the work required. At best, it would mean some local company acting entirely as a rent seeker, placing orders with Saab and GKN for spare parts and adding its own mark up on top while adding no value and harming what’s already a low margin contract.(...)In another telling implication of the SAAF, Olivier has it the airborne arm of the SANDF "will not have any real fighter capability before 2023 at the earliest and only for a handful of aircraft at first. There is now no hope of returning to capability levels and numbers 2 Squadron had before the grounding. At best only a token force can be restored by 2024/2025 under current funding levels".There is a small chance one or two Gripens may be flying at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition next month, as it is believed Saab has been helping the SAAF with Gripen serviceability while the contract renewal is being finalised.Worse is coming on the horizon because key obsolescence issues haven’t been addressed."The SAAF is going to be faced with another budget crisis on the Gripens when it next needs to renew the contract. Then it may be impossible to resolve" is Olivier's gloomy prognosis.
Months of uncertainty ended on Monday (5 September) for the SA Air Force’s (SAAF’s) front line combat fleet when a single-seat Gripen C (tail number 3918) took off from Air Force Base (AFB) Makhado in the wake of "intense work by 2 Squadron technicians and pilots".Details of the sortie – the first by a SAAF Gripen in a year – have not been made official with African Defence Review (ADR) director Darren Olivier saying 3918's return to the skies followed "final signing of a delayed support contract" and the sweat equity put in by 2 Squadron personnel. He called it "a remarkable achievement", given the timescales and resources available. Further evidence the single-engined jet fighter's take-off was truly a team effort came via the involvement of former 2 Squadron personnel volunteering reserve duty to assist.(...)The ever-present spectre of funds, more specifically the lack thereof, means the newly concluded support contract covers only 13 aircraft. This Olivier sees as sufficient to rebuild air combat capability, retain scarce skills and provide "some operational deployability". The three year contract is, according to him, important for stability and rebuilding capability. The capability side goes further than 2 Squadron and its air and ground crews. Forward air controllers (FACs) and other musterings rely on 2 Squadron for currency and qualification.On paper the SAAF has a Gripen strength of 26, but one was damaged beyond economic repair and 12 will be mothballed to stay under the budget ceiling, leaving 13 aircraft operational.There is talk of putting the Gripen into the air above AFB Waterkloof during the 21 to 25 September Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.Late last month Armscor told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) that all SAAF aircraft maintenance contracts were resolved, with 40-odd contracts in place, including the Gripen and Pilatus fleets as well as the VIP aircraft.In February this year, only 25% of SAAF aircraft were serviceable with Armscor at the time evaluating bids for aircraft support contracts.
Paramount Aerospace is delivering its first Mwari intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and precision strike aircraft to a launch customer in Africa, and revealed additional orders.Series production Mwaris were spotted flying from Wonderboom in August and now handover of the first aircraft to the customer is imminent. Four aircraft are on the production line at the Wonderboom Airport factory; Paramount has orders for nine of the aircraft."The orders for several new Mwaris represent an important milestone in its commercial success and has resulted in full levels of production at Paramount Group's state-of-the-art aircraft factory," Paramount said.The CEO of Paramount Aerospace Industries, Mike Levy stated: "This is a proud moment for Paramount and our continent’s aerospace industry. The development and deployment of Mwari underscores the strategic importance of a world-class, indigenous African aerospace industry, one that can quickly and collaboratively address the increasing security threats, conflicts and insurgencies which Africa presently faces".Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of Paramount International, stated: "Mwari is a game-changer for air forces; it’s purposefully designed for the kind of asymmetrical warfare that modern military forces across the world are today being asked to conduct. The aircraft has a critical role to play in the connected battlefield providing forces on the ground and in the air with a force multiplier competitive advantage."[continua]
The U.S. Air Force plans to call on a collection of African nations to pool funds to buy a small number of Lockheed Martin C-130s to comprise a new, shared fleet to help with humanitarian missions.Gen. James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, says the idea will be a main discussion point at a meeting of the Association of African Air Forces (AAAF) in Senegal in October. The group recently met at a lower level to talk about the idea before the air chiefs come together.Hecker says the goal is for C-130s to initially focus on the shared humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions from a central location on the continent. While the focus will be on HADR, the C-130s could eventually help with counter-extremism operations, Hecker tells Aviation Week in an interview. The AAAF includes 28 nations, which formally signed an agreement in 2015 to network air capabilities on the continent. Ten African nations operate the aircraft already, according to Aviation Week data.The model is based on the Strategic Airlift Capability’s Heavy Airlift Wing—a small fleet of C-17s based in Hungary that are used by member-states Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the U.S.