Author Topic: 13 of 26 SAAF Gripens are active; the rest are in rotational storage  (Read 2271 times)

adroth

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13 of 26 SAAF Gripens are active; the rest are in rotational storage
Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 09 June 2016

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43839

Gripens over Cape Town.Exactly half the South African Air Force’s fleet of26 Gripen fighter jets is actively flying while the other half is in rotational storage due to a lack of funding.

This is according to Defence and Military Veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who was responding to a parliamentary question on 6 June.

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In her response, Mapisa-Nqakula stated that 13 fighter aircraft are in the Rotational Preventative Maintenance programme out of a fleet of 26 aircraft “which are maintained throughout the aircraft life cycle as prescribed by the Designing Authority”, which is Swedish manufacturer Saab.

She stated the Gripen fleet is under continuous maintenance while in the Rotational Preventative Maintenance programme while 13 Gripens are operationally active at their home bases. “The Gripen aircraft are operationally utilised and used for force preparation of Gripen specific pilots and also for force employment,” the Minister said in her reply.

News of Gripens in rotational storage first emerged in March 2013 when the minister said 12 were in storage. The South African Air Force later said the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) 2 Squadron at Air Force Base Makhado would fly the Gripen fleet in rotation, with some aircraft being put in short-term storage between flying cycles in order to minimise the risk of corrosion. Flying hours would thus be spread evenly across the entire Gripen fleet.

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"RPM is not an effective long-term strategy, it's meant only as a short-term (1-3 year) intervention. But given the low probability of a suitable increase in the SAAF's operating budget, it's likely that the RPM programme will have to be continued for longer than initially thought.

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In September 2013 South African Air Force Director of Combat Systems, Brigadier General John Bayne told the Seriti Commission that the Gripen fleet had flown 3 500 hours since 2008 while the 24-strong Hawk fleet had flown over 10 000 major accident-free hours since 2005. According to testimony at the arms deal commission more than two years ago, 18 Gripen aircrew (navigators and pilots) had been trained up to operational status and 52 Hawk aircrew had been trained.

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adroth

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Re: 13 of 26 SAAF Gripens are active; the rest are in rotational storage
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 09:45:30 AM »
PARIS: South African Air Force boosts Gripen availability
20 JUNE, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
BY: JIM WINCHESTER PARIS

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/paris-south-african-air-force-boosts-gripen-availab-438456/

Previous low availability of South African Air Force (SAAF) Saab Gripen C/Ds has been overcome by bringing stored aircraft back into service, says Lt Col Josias Mashaba, commanding officer of the service's 2 Sqn.

South Africa has 19 single-seat Gripen fighters and nine two-seat D-model examples, most of which are operated by 2 Sqn at Waterkloof air base. At least 12 of the aircraft were put into long-term storage in 2013 because of severe budget cuts.

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Although South Africa is working towards meeting a target of spending 2% of its GDP for defence spending, the current level is only 0.9%, air force chief of staff Lt Gen Fabian Msimang told FlightGlobal. In 1994 – the year of the first democratic elections in South Africa – defence spending was 2.9%. "But you have to remember that South Africa is a country in development and we have had other priorities," he adds.

Mashaba says Gripen operating costs are between South African rand (R) 80,000 and R100,000 ($6,300-$7,800) per flying hour.

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Lessons learned in introducing the Gripen into SAAF service included not saving money on specialists, especially those in radar and electronic warfare, and involving the squadrons at every stage, says Mashaba, adding: "After all, it’s their aircraft."

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« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 11:31:09 AM by adroth »