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The following is a list of current and historic aircraft of the South African Air Force.

Current aircraft[edit | edit source]

Class Aircraft Photo Country Type Variants Number in service
Fighter Saab Gripen SAAF-Gripen-001.jpg  Sweden Multirole fighter C and D (single and twin seat) 26[1][Note 1]
Trainer British Aerospace Hawk SAAF-BAE Hawk-001.jpg  United Kingdom Lead-in fighter trainer Mk120 24[Note 2]
Pilatus PC-7 MkII SilverFalcons5.jpg   Switzerland Trainer PC-7 MkII 60 Delivered. 35 aircraft upgraded with Pilatus avionics (final upgraded airframe [2025] delivered 16 May 2013) after local supplier originally contracted under Project Ithambo went out of business in 2009. Seven aircraft lost due to accidents. Remaining 18 aircraft not upgraded (Known as PC-7 Astra's) currently offered for sale by Armscor (Sep 2013).[2]
Helicopter Atlas Oryx SAAF-Atlas Oryx-001.JPG  South Africa Medium transport helicopter MKI and MKII 39[3]
Denel Rooivalk Denel Rooivalk flying 2006.jpg  South Africa Attack helicopter Mk I 11[Note 3][5]
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 SAAF-15 Squadron-BK117-001.jpg  Japan
 Germany
Utility helicopter BK 117 As at September 2013, 2 of the 6 remaining aircraft remain operational. Contracted maintenance expired October 2012 and contract was not renewed.[6][Note 4]
Agusta A109 Agusta - 109 LUH SAAF.jpg  Italy Light utility helicopter A109LUH 29.[3] 18 grounded from 24 July 2013 due to lack of funding.[6]
Westland Super Lynx Helicopter of the Brazilian Navy.jpg  United Kingdom Maritime helicopter Mk300 4[Note 5]
Transport Lockheed C-130 Hercules SAAF-C-130 Hercules-001.jpg United States Medium transport C-130BZ 9[3][Note 6]
Douglas DC-3 Dakota Dakota C-47 at Ysterplaat Airshow, Cape Town.jpg United States Maritime patrol / transport /
electronic warfare
C-47TP 9[Note 7]
Cessna 208 Auric Air Fleet.jpg United States Light utility / observation 208B 10[Note 8]
Beechcraft Super King Air Beechcraft Super King Air B200 vr.jpg United States Light transport King Air 200/King Air 300 4
Pilatus PC-12 PC-12 take off.jpg   Switzerland Light transport PC-12 1[Note 9]
CASA C-212 Aviocar CASA 212-300 966 FACH.jpg  Spain Light transport 212-200 / 212-300 4
737-based Boeing BBJ ZS-RSA B737-300 SAF (4318930775).jpg United States Presidential transport 1
Dassault Falcon 900 Dassault Falcon 900 at Kapa.jpg  France VIP transport 1
Dassault Falcon 50 Swiss Air Force Dassault Falcon 50 T-783 in its hangar at Belp.jpg  France VIP transport 2
Cessna 550 Citation UC-35A-97-0105.jpg United States VIP transport 2

Historic aircraft[edit | edit source]

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No longer in service
Manufacturer Aircraft Years in service
Aeritalia AM.3C Bosbok 1973–1992
Aeronca Aircraft KCA ?
Aeronca Aircraft 50C Chief 1940-?
Aeronca Aircraft 65C Chief ?
Aérospatiale SA365N Dauphin 1994–1998
Airspeed Ltd. AS-6J Envoy 1936–1940
Airspeed Ltd. AS-10 Oxford Mk I 1940-?
Airspeed Ltd. AS-10 Oxford Mk II ?-1950
Atlas Cheetah E 1986–1992
Atlas MB-326M Impala I 1966–2005
Atlas MB-326K Impala II 1974–2005
Atlas Cheetah C & D 1992–2008
Auster AOP-3 ?
Auster AOP-5 1945–1961
Auster AOP-6 1953–1966
Auster AOP-9 1957–1967
Avro 504K 1919–1930
Avro 504N 1927-?
Avro 594 Avian IIIA ?-1935
Avro 616 Avian IVM 1929–1936
Avro 616 Sport Avian ?
Avro 621 Tutor 1930–1938
Avro 652A Anson GR1 1940–1947
Avro 652A Anson T1 ?
Avro 685 York C1 1944–1952
Avro 696 Shackleton 1957–1984
Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor 1945
Beechcraft B-80 Queen Air 1975–1992
Bristol Boxkite 1911-?
Boeing Boeing 707 1986–2007
Bristol 142 Blenheim I 1939–1940
Bristol 149 Blenheim Mk IV 1939–1942
Bristol 160 Blenheim V 1941–1943
Bristol 152 Beaufort I 1941–1944
Bristol 152 Beaufort Mk IA/II/IIA 1943–1944
Bristol 156 Beaufighter Mk II/VI/X 1943–1944
British Aircraft BA-4 Double Eagle 1939–1940
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander 1994-?
Bücker Bü 131A/B/D Jungman 1936–1939
Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister 1939-?
Canadair CL-13B Sabre Mk 6 1956–1980
CASA CN-235 1994-2012
Cessna C-34 Airmaster ?
Cessna 180D ?
Cessna 320 Skynight 1965–1967
Cessna 336 Skymaster ?
Cessna 411 ?
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina IB/III 1943–1946
Consolidated B-24J Liberator BIV 1944–1945
Curtiss H-75A-4 Mohawk 1941–1942
Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk 1941
Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk IIB 1940–1942
Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk IA 1942–1944
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk III ?
Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk IV 1942–1948
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk 1943–1948
Dassault Mystere Falcon 20 ?
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIBZ 1964–1990
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIICZ 1963–1990
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIDZ 1967–1986
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIID2Z 1974–1986
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIEZ 1965–1986
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIRZ 1967–1990
Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIR2Z 1974–1990
Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1AZ 1975–1997
Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1CZ 1975–1992
de Havilland DH-4 1919–1927
de Havilland DH.9 1919–1942
de Havilland DH.9J 1920–1937
de Havilland DH.60 Moth/DH.60G Gypsy Moth/DH.60G III Moth Major 1939-?
de Havilland DH.66 Hercules 1934–1943
de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth 1939-?
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth 1939–1958
de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth 1939-?
de Havilland DH.84 Dragon 1939-?
de Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth 1939–1943
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth 1939–1940
de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide 1939-?
de Havilland DH.89B Dominie 1941-?
de Havilland DH.90 Dragonfly 1939-?
de Havilland DH-94 Moth Minor 1939-?
de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito F Mk II 1943–1945
de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito PR Mk IV/F Mk VI/PR Mk IX/PR Mk XVI 1944–1945
de Havilland DH-100 Vampire FB-5 1950–1960
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB-6 1951–1978
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB-52 1953–1978
de Havilland DH.115 Vampire T-11/T-55 1953–1978
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 5 1949–1965
de Havilland DH.114 Heron 2 1955–1962
Desoutter Mk II ?
Dornier Do-27B 1958–1975
Douglas DB-7 Boston III 1941–1943
Douglas DC-4/C-54 Skymaster 1966–1994
English Electric Canberra B(I) 12 1963–1991
English Electric Canberra T Mk 4 1964–1991
Fairey Battle B, T, TT 1939–1942
Fairchild F-24G, R Argus III 1939-?
Gloster Gauntlet 1939–1943
Gloster Gladiator Mk I 1939–1940
Gloster Gladiator Mk II 1940–1941
Gloster AS.31 Survey 1933–1942
Gloster Meteor F.3 1946–1949
Hawker Hartbees Mk I 1935–1940
Hawker Hart B/T 1936–1943
Hawker Hind B/T 1938–1944
Hawker Audax 1937–1944
Hawker Fury Mk I 1936–1942
Hawker Fury Mk II 1939-?
Hawker Hurricane Mk. I 1939–1940
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA/B/C/D 1939–1945
Hawker Siddeley HS-125 400B Mercurius 1970–1999
Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S Mk50 1965–1991
Henry Farman F-27 1915-?
Junkers A-50 Junior ?
Junkers F-13 ?-1944
Junkers Ju52/3m 1939–1953
Junkers Ju86 K-3 1939–1941
Junkers Ju86 Z 1939–1945
Klemm Kl 25 ?
Koolhaven FK-46 ?
Lockheed 14 Super Electra ?
Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar 1940–1944
Lockheed 414 Hudson 1940-?
Lockheed B-34 Ventura I/II 1942–1960
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura GR-5 1943–1960
Lockheed C-130F Hercules 1997–1998
Martin 167 Maryland Mk I 1940-?
Martin 167 Maryland Mk II 1940–1942
Martin Baltimore I 1942-?
Martin Baltimore II 1942–1943
Martin Baltimore IIA 1943
Martin Baltimore III 1941-?
Martin Baltimore IIIA 1943
Martin Baltimore IV 1943–1945
Martin Baltimore V 1944
Martin B-26A Marauder I 1942-?
Martin B-26C Marauder II 1943–1944
Martin B-26G Marauder III 1943–1945
Miles Aircraft M.2H Hawk 1943-?
Miles M.5 Sparrowhawk 1939–1941
Miles M.14A Magister 1940-?
Miles M.19 Master II 1941–1945
Miles M.33 Falcon ?
General Aircraft ST-4 II ?
General Aircraft ST-25 Universal ?
North American NA-88 Harvard 1/IIA/III, T-6G Texan 1942–1995
North American P-51C Mustang IIIB/P-51D Mustang IV/P-51K Mustang IVA 1945
Northrop 8A-5 Nomad I 1941–1944
Paterson No 2 Biplane 1913
Percival P3 Gull VI 1940-?
Piaggio P-166S Albatross 1969–1993
Pilatus PC-6 Porter 1994–1998
Pilatus PC-7 1994–1996
Piper J-3 Cub ?
Piper J-4 Cub Coupe ?
Piper PA-23 Aztec 250 1981–1992
Piper PA-28 Cherokee 140 1981–1992
Rearwin 6000M Speedster 1939-?
Rearwin 7000/8500/9000L Sportster 1939-?
RAF BE-2C 1915–1917
RAF BE-2E 1915–1921
RAF SE-5A 1919–1931
Ryan ST-A 1939-?
Shorts S-25 Sunderland GR-5 1945–1957
Sikorsky S-51 1948–1968
Sikorsky S-55C Whirlwind 1956–1968
Simmonds Spartan 1925
Stinson HW-75 ?
Stinson SR-5A/10C Reliant ?
Sud Aviation SE-3130 Alouette II 1960–1973
Sud Aviation SE-3160/B Alouette III 1962–2006
Sud Aviation SA-321L Super Frelon 1967–1990
Sud Aviation SA-330C/H/L Puma 1969–1997
Supermarine Spitfire Vc 1942–1944
Supermarine Spitfire VIII 1943–1944
Supermarine Spitfire IXb/c/e 1943–1954
Supermarine Spitfire PR IXe 1947–1954
Swearington Merlin IVA 1975–1985
Taylorcraft BC/BL/BL-65 1939-?
Tipsey S-2 Trainer 1939-?
Transall C-160Z 1969–1993
Vickers Armstrong 264 Valentia 1940–1943
Vickers Armstrong Wellesley 1940–1941
Vickers Armstrong 417 Wellington MkIII/429 Wellington MkVIII ?
Vickers Armstrong 440 Wellington MkX/458 Wellington MkXI 1942–1945
Vickers Armstrong 455 Wellington MkXII/466 Wellington MkXIII ?
Vickers Armstrong 474 Warwick MkV 1945–1946
Vickers Armstrong 781D Viscount 1958–1991
WACO various ?
Westland Scout 1976–1990
Westland Wapiti 1931–1943
Westland Wasp HAS 1 1963–1990

See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 9 Gripen D twin seat and 17 Gripen single seat aircraft are being delivered between 2008 and 2012, the Gripens replaced the Atlas Cheetahs which were taken out of active service in early April 2008.
  2. With the exception of South Africa's initial Hawk (SA 250) flight test and development aircraft, which was built in the United Kingdom, all of its other Hawks were assembled at Denel's aircraft factory at Johannesburg International Airport in Kempton Park near Johannesburg.
  3. 1 lost to accident.[4]
  4. Original aircraft were inherited from the Apartheid-era "homelands", the Ciskei having acquired 3 in 1983, Venda 2 in 1985, Transkei 2 in 1986 and Bophuthatswana 2 in 1987, making a total of 10 with an extra delivered from Brazil. Two of the aircraft have already been mothballed at AFB Bloemspruit. Attrition: 02/11/99 Bk117 384 Rolled over after emergency landing. March 2003 BK117 383 Involved in an accident, later declared Cat 5 and cannibalised. 20/08/03 BK117 389 Written-off during Exercise Blue Angel.
  5. Operated from South African Navy Valour class frigates.
  6. Upgraded with new avionics and glass cockpits under Project Ebb. Completed March 2008.
  7. Under Project Felstone, the first C-47TP "TurboDak" serial number 6835, was unveiled at Swartkops Air Force Base on 26 August '91. This aircraft took four years to complete. The Project was completed by 1997 with two production lines - one at AFB Swartkop and the other at AFB Ysterplaat. However, the fleet has been constantly refined and updated over the years. The latest version being a dedicated EW platform. 5 maritime patrol, 3 transport, 2 electronic warfare.
  8. Fitted with Denel infrared observation system under Project Koiler in 2008. One lost in accident.[7]
  9. Mostly VIP transport.

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