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 Post subject: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 05:55 
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According to Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 12 Gripens are in storage. Of the remaining 14, only 10 are operational. David Maynier said that the SAAF has only 6 qualified Gripens pilots.

http://m.news24.com/beeld/Suid-Afrika/N ... r-20130312

If this is true Heitmann may have been right in asserting that we are posturing as a regional power but the government is not allowing us the means to be a regional power.

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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 11:30 
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The fact is they haven't since the start of the Gripen programme ever had more than a handful of Gripen pilots. So they never could field more than ten or twelve of the fighters max.

If it is true that they only have six pilots then it doesn't really matter that twelve Gripens are in storage. If the article is correct and the pilots only fly 25 hours each this year, then they will probably have no pilots left come this time next year. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 15:17 
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2 Squadron hasn't had a full complement of pilots for all its aircraft for as long as I can remember, going back to the mid-'90s. Even during the height of the Border War it wasn't uncommon for pilots in the Reserves to fill gaps in the roster for operational duties.

Obviously things are pretty tight now because of the budget, which is hopelessly inadequate and won't get better any time soon, but there has not been a sudden change. The outlook is fairly bleak if this continues though.

As for the specific numbers, I'd keep in mind that Maynier's understanding of the SANDF and SAAF in particular is limited and he seldom conducts sufficient research into his claims. For one, every time the question of operational Gripen pilots has come up in the past it's been shown that the figure given by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans does not include any pilots on training courses, seconded to other units on a temporary basis, etc. The actual number of pilots available to fly is higher, especially if you include Reserve Force pilots like Blokkies Joubert.

Maynier also mentioned that last year only 150 hours were flown, which I can't verify, but I have to ask whether he got that from the number of funded hours laid out in the budget or from the actual figures. For instance the 2011/2012 DoD Annual Report states that while the Gripen squadron was allocated only 250 flying hours for that FY, 857.1 hours were actually flown by using funds from other parts of the budget. We'll have to wait for the newest Annual Report to get the actual figure for FY 2012/2013.

As it is the figures in the article are contradictory, the journalist claims that 2 Squadron flew 173 hours between 1 July and 30 September 2012 alone, yet Maynier claimed the squadron flew only 150 hours during the year. Last I checked 173 > 150.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 16:57 
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I like to research and read multiple articles on one topic..... :)

Quote:
A dozen SAAF Gripens in long-term storage

Written by defenceWeb
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:15

Twelve of the South African Air Force’s 26 Gripen fighter jets are in long-term storage, according to defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, as the Air Force does not have the funding to fly them.

This emerged yesterday in reply to a parliamentary question posed by the opposition Democratic Alliance party’s Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans David Maynier.

“The South African Air Force (SAAF) has 12 Gripen Fighter Aircraft placed in long-term storage. These aircraft are placed in a storage as a planned activity in line with their utilization and budget expenditure patterns/flow of SAAF,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.

“The Gripen fighter jets are supposed to provide the air combat capability for the South African Air Force (SAAF). However, the Gripen fighter jets are effectively grounded because the operating budget has been stripped to the bone and the SAAF cannot afford to operate the ‘Gripen system’,” Maynier said.

Already in 2010 there was great concern that a lack of money would ground the Gripen. Then-defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu warned that the Gripens could be mothballed if the military failed to get hold of extra funding. The Department of Defence annual report released in 2010 warned that “Combined with the recent funding cuts for the medium-term expenditure framework period, the air force will only be able to sustain the Hawk system.

“Without adequate funding levels being provided, the air force will not be able to meet its mandate in terms of defence or its support of government initiatives in the medium and longer term. The unwanted reality is portions of aircraft fleets may have to be placed in long-term storage, and certain capabilities, units or bases may have to be closed down.”

The lack of money for the Gripens has also affected flying hours and pilot training. In April 2011 then-chief of the Air Force Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano said the Air Force was not going to fly the required number of hours due to a lack of funding and in its 2010/2011 report, the Department of Defence said that due to underfunding, the number of flight hours per Gripen aircrew member was reduced from 224 to 110 per year.

At present the SAAF can only muster six qualified Gripen pilots who only have 150 flying hours available across the whole Gripen squadron this year, according to Maynier. The annual target for fighter flying hours was 250 for the 2011/2012 period, according to the Department of Defence’s most recent Annual Report.

Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang when asked about Gripen flying hours earlier this year, said that the Air Force had never failed to deliver what was asked of it.

Defence analyst Helmoed-Römer Heitman noted the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) requires fighter pilots to log at least 20 flight hours per month (240 flight hours per year per fighter pilot) to remain qualified.

“One of the biggest scandals of the Arms Deal is that we bought military equipment we could not afford to operate. And there is no better illustration of the point than the Gripen fighter jets in long-term storage,” Maynier said. “It is imperative that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, reviews the allocation of the operating funding to the “Gripen system” in the SAAF.”

In 2007 it emerged that the Gripens cost R19.08 billion, up from the original R17.8 billion estimate for both 26 Gripens and 24 Hawks.

It is unlikely that the Gripen situation will improve anytime soon, as the defence budget for the 2013/14 financial year stands at R40.2 billion, just R1.8 billion more than the previous year’s.

South Africa bought 26 Gripens (17 single-seat Gripen Cs and nine two-seat Gripen Ds) as part of the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (in 2005 reduced to 26), becoming the Gripen’s first export customer. Deliveries concluded in September last year. The Gripens replaced the Cheetah fleet, which was withdrawn four years early due to funding constraints.

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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 17:52 
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The DA (actually all opposition parties except perhaps the FF+) really needs a more experienced person in their Defence portfolio. Poor Maynier sometimes manages to sound just like the kind of people who can't tell a rowboat from a battleship or an APC from a MBT.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 19:45 
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How can they be no funding when Pravin recently gave SADF R44.8 billion (almost 5 billion US dollars) ?

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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 20:46 
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What exactly did Maynier say that is not true?
Fact is, just like EVERTHING else the ANC government does, the defense budget is a shambles. [-X
The way the defense budget is allocated to the different departments (arms) is, to say the least, ludicrous :!:

The fact that brand new, very expensive and sophisticated planes, has to be placed in storage is making this country a banana republic. Placing our heads in the sand like ostriches, is not going to help at all. And taking someone out simply because he got some very small specifics wrong (maybe) is just simply stoking the real problem (fire).

In a "free" society, it is essential that the citizens speak-up when their money is squandered on luxuries for the ruling party members, stolen in fraudulent transactions or just wrongfully spent because of ineptitude or inability to do what should be done.

Speak up! Let it be known! This government is way off the right track on everything. From properly addressing job creation, supporting/building infrastructure, health care, proper appropriate schooling to DEFENSE!!!!!!

Defense is what concern us on this forum and therefor, if there is anyone on this forum that support the misappropriation of funds, or the fact that our tax money payed for these expensive, sophisticated equipment, and are now underutilized, then let them say so. At the very least, we will all know where we stand as far as this issue is concerned.

I, for one, do not think the powers that be knows what they're doing at all! Neither do I agree with what they are doing with our/my money! This is why I will speak out!!!! This is why, although I do not necessarily support the party Mr. Maynier represents, I will much rather support his stance on this matter, than support this current inept government!!!!! :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 20:47 
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skyhawk77 wrote:
How can they be no funding when Pravin recently gave SADF R44.8 billion (almost 5 billion US dollars) ?

See viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5846 - that money is nowhere near adequate.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 23:08 
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A question?

If we had to activate the Gripens in a hurry to defend SA's borders, how many Gripens could we get in the air and have on standby....?


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2013, 23:32 
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I don't think that's a question you'll be able to get an answer to, the SAAF's pretty reticent about that kind of info for good reason. But to give you an idea from public info, at least 8 operational Gripen pilots were sent to Sweden for Exercise Lion Effort last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2013, 02:20 
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Red Falcon wrote:
I like to research and read multiple articles on one topic..... :)

Quote:
A dozen SAAF Gripens in long-term storage

Written by defenceWeb
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:15

Defence analyst Helmoed-Römer Heitman noted the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) requires fighter pilots to log at least 20 flight hours per month (240 flight hours per year per fighter pilot) to remain qualified.


I don't know why this "NATO 240 hour" info shows up in SA media from time to time. It's not accurate. The NATO minimum recommended is actually 180 hours (15 per month). European pilots in NATO rarely even hit this number, the RAF not long ago reported 140h/pilot on Eurofighter Typhoon's.

More commonly Air Forces rotate pilots/Sqn's who would be assigned to mission readiness that given year. Indeed Swedish Gripen pilots average quite low numbers (under 180h) but set up a readiness squadron each year with pilots that fly more.

Not sure how to even look at the SAAF situation comparatively with its Gripenized Hawk cockpit and utilization of twin-seats. From just the info I've seen in the media I couldn't possibly conclude anything on operational capabilities of SAAF Gripen pilots. Lion Effort 12 offered more evidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2013, 13:42 
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With the world economies in recession for half a decade, most countries reducing defence budgets and cutting their armed forces, and we are 8 or 9 years since the Gripen numbers and contract was signed, would having half the force in storage be such an unheard-of or completely illogical thing? Richer and supposedly better managed countries with more evident military demands/obligations are reducing their commitments to the F-35 and EF-2000 programs. … … Could the fuller/more complete picture be compounded by reduced threat of war? … … I.e. this is not an ideal situation but when all else is considered, maybe this is not as crazy or as bad as it is being put across or as we would readily think. … ???

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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2013, 16:49 
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How effective are simultors these days in keeping pilots trained up.


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2013, 17:11 
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There were 5 pilots from 2 Squadron at AAD 2012...


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 Post subject: Re: Gripens in storage
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2013, 19:52 
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Hey guys, just saw this was the most recent post stream so decided to jump in. Bit of a nervous wreck at the moment. I have finally stumbled across some much needed help and guidance. I leave for pilot recruitment assessment on the 17th, even though I haven't received my very late confirmation sms. I am currently looking through the forum for the information I need but was wondering if I could get a more personal and insightful view of the testing procedure. I want to excel in the testing and try my best to secure a spot in the air force as a fighter pilot. My main concern is that of the physcometric, physcomotor and any other theory test. The problem is I haven't touched a maths or science textbook in over a year so I am very rusty, I would just like to know what exactly these tests comprise off and how crucial they are etc. I really have a passion for flying and this has been my dream so I want to go into testing as positive as can possibly be. I have downloaded some AFCAT papers from the Indian air-force but dont think they will be of much assistance? Does anybody have any more information to help me achieve my dream?

And after reading these comments you guys have posted is it even worth it to have an ambition to fly for this country? If they putting Gripens in long term storage why the need for more pilots ? etc etc


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