Airforce in desperate need of cash

November 15th, 2008  

Topic: Airforce in desperate need of cash

South Africa - Air Force in desperate need of cash
Some serious talking is to take place between the South African Air Force (SAAF) and the Government. This was the message from chief of the air force, Lieutenant-General Carlo Gagiano, at a Press briefing at Air Force Base Waterkloof on Thursday.

Gagiano was briefing the media on the state of the air force as well as giving an update of the multi-million rand upgrade of the base.

The base is undergoing a five-year facelift costing nearly R700-million. The upgrade will see new drainage facilities and lighting systems being constructed along with the complete upgrade of runways and taxiways which will be built with specialised foundations able to withstand the weight of an A380 airbus.
The upgrade is expected to expand by a further R700-million to roughly R1,4-billion with the construction of eight aircraft, storage and maintenance hangars for the SAAF's soon-to-be acquired A400M heavy lift aircraft.

It is expected that the upgrades will be completed by 2011.

Gagiano, while admitting that the air force was facing serious and dynamic challenges, said the wings had not yet come off the air force.

"There are serious gaps developing between what the air force could do and what was expected of the air force. We have a mandate to achieve and do certain things. There are also expectations from our stakeholders. But unfortunately, there is a gap being created by what is expected of us and what we can actually achieve with what we currently have.

"Unfortunately, one of the only ways for us to fill this gap is by giving us more money," he said, adding that by closing the gap the air force would become more effective.

Gagiano said to address the expectations of the SAAF's stakeholders they would have to have a serious heart-to-heart talk.

"Our communication with our stakeholders is not good and we now need to talk really hard.

"We want to increase our contact with government so we can explain to them exactly what we need to operate so that we can achieve our mandate. When we sit down to speak to our stakeholders we will outline the steps we are taking to make the air force more cost-effective.

"These include plans to consolidate our maintenance units with the maintenance staff from Denel Aviation," Gagiano said.

While declining to speculate on the amount of money the consolidation, which will see Denel staff moving to the air force's various facilities, would save, Gagiano said the amount would be significant.

"As well as this, we are meeting various aviation authorities to address our serious loss of skills to them which is a major threat to our continued operation," he said, highlighting how some losses were seeing the SAAF losing up to 25 years worth of skills and experience in one go. "This is a loss that we simply cannot afford.

"To address this we entered into agreements with South African Airways and the air traffic control service which will see a huge reserve force of pilots and air traffic controllers being formed, giving us the personnel when needed. We are now going to go to our stakeholders and say 'here, this is what we have done to make us more cost-effective now please help us'," Gagiano said.


Related Articles
November 16th, 2008  
I was really hoping for the Rooivalk during the Turkish bid for a new attack helicopter, but too bad they use French engines and Turkey and France aren't good friends nowadays. If chosen, that would have generated a lot of cash for Denel. Turkey is now going for 51 (+40 optional) T129 Mangustas with improved T800 engines (Commanche's engines) that increase T129's flight ceiling by 20%. Great for Turkey's mountainous eastern regions. Denel will now try anything just to financially survive.

November 16th, 2008  

Topic: South Africa AF / Rooivalk goes to war

I never really look deeply into South African Air Forces before and don't know much about the them. Maybe others know better then this article I found. It seems that long time planning and/or funding was not thought out well unless something changed. There use to be a South Africa Air Force forum I'll hunt around maybe I'll find something on what went wrong. Doesn't seem right that there having so many problems right during and after receiving the aircraft. Maybe there economy took a nose drive too?

The Rooivalk looks like a fine helicopter and South Africa usually produces good equipment it's too bad it didn't get any buyers. I did catch something about the Rooivalk going to war in Sudan. I don't know much more on this besides this little article I found.

Rooivalk goes to war

Similar Topics
Report: USC G Mayo Got Cash, Gifts
Red Storm Rising.
Museum Pays Cash for Live Cockroaches
Despite Its $168 Billion Budget, The Army Faces A Cash Crunch
Grade your Military Report Cards.