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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 10:12 
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I vaguely remember recently reading that the half in storage scheme has been ended, with the whole fleet back in regular use.
Does anyone know how many current Gripen pilots are available?


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 13:33 
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Do not know if what is said by SANDF/SAAF can be believed anymore, but if true, the Gripens are utilized on a rotational bases. As I understand this, not all can be used at the same time and therefor some are "temperately stored" and then roted back into use from time to time.
This is mostly cost driven but from what I could gather when I talked to one of the pilots at the Swartkops show, was that there are not even half of the required pilots, so how the rotation and scheduling works is an unknown. This pilot didn't want to say how many pilots there are or what shortages they have, but it was clear that there are less than half from what was said. It was also clear that some of the "available" pilots are no longer in the SAAF proper, but is part of the "reserve" force.

My understanding is that there is a considerable shortage of pilots, but as much of a finance problem with way less hours available than should be flown... :roll:

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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 15:21 
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Unfortunately I have lost the link, but recently at the Paris Air Show, if memory serves me, the new commander of 2 Squadron stated during an interview that all of the SAAF's Gripens are out of storage and all the aircraft are flown every month even if just for an hour of two. As to how many pilots are available... I believe that question is more complicated than it seems, because it is unclear how many pilots are on desk jobs or different flying jobs within the SAAF at the moment, that can requalify on Gripen very quickly if needs be. Also it is unclear how many are in the reserves.

I believe the number of active pilots at 2 Squadron are kept artificially low to accomodate the low number of hours available per year. Better to have 10 or 12 pilots as qualified as possible, than 30 that could hardly get enough hours to stay current in the absolute basics.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 15:30 
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The Paris show connection rings a bell... we probably saw the same report. Hopefully that's enough of a lead to search on.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 18:51 
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Roger the Dodger wrote:
The Paris show connection rings a bell... we probably saw the same report. Hopefully that's enough of a lead to search on.

Yes, rotational storage is over and it was at the Paris Air Show. An interview given by the CO with FlightGlobal, who still got some details wrong, to wit:
based in Waterkloof; long-term storage vs rotational.
Disappointing that the SAAF seemingly made no effort to inform the local media.
Anyway, here's the link:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/paris-south-african-air-force-boosts-gripen-availab-438456/


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 20:42 
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Jean Racine wrote:


The fact that they quoted us having 19 Gripen C's and 9 D's total being 28 instead of 26 (17 C's) immediately stopped me from trusting anything said afterwards.

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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2017, 17:07 
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Interesting that Mashaba said our Gripen aircraft are being used for combating rhino poaching. I would love to know how often this happens, especially as he said it's combined with other tasks.


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2017, 08:47 
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Durbanite wrote:
Interesting that Mashaba said our Gripen aircraft are being used for combating rhino poaching. I would love to know how often this happens, especially as he said it's combined with other tasks.


4 Rhino lost in last week again..don't think its happening often enough.

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PostPosted: 13 Sep 2017, 20:04 
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Airfire wrote:
Durbanite wrote:
Interesting that Mashaba said our Gripen aircraft are being used for combating rhino poaching. I would love to know how often this happens, especially as he said it's combined with other tasks.


4 Rhino lost in last week again..don't think its happening often enough.

I might be wrong with the technical details: when the Gripens fly over the Parks, they turn on their recce pods - apparently more up-to-date into sat info - and the Link-ZA info is fed onto the OpsCentre. Whether this is fed onto the Parks Centres fighting rhino poaching is another matter.
@Darren Olivier: can you add more info?


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2017, 20:40 
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Jean Racine wrote:
Airfire wrote:
Durbanite wrote:
Interesting that Mashaba said our Gripen aircraft are being used for combating rhino poaching. I would love to know how often this happens, especially as he said it's combined with other tasks.


4 Rhino lost in last week again..don't think its happening often enough.

I might be wrong with the technical details: when the Gripens fly over the Parks, they turn on their recce pods - apparently more up-to-date into sat info - and the Link-ZA info is fed onto the OpsCentre. Whether this is fed onto the Parks Centres fighting rhino poaching is another matter.
@Darren Olivier: can you add more info?

That's broadly correct, it's an occasional action in support of SANParks that has been performed as and when the aircraft are in the area and suitably equipped. It's also a nice reminder of the recce capabilities on the Gripen, which helps raise 2 Sqn's profile. It's not, as far as I can tell, something for which a sortie has specifically been planned.

The story about rotational maintenance being ended appears to have been a misunderstanding of the OC's comments. It has not ended, nor is it likely to soon, but it appears that the squadron may have been able to have more aircraft on active duty this year than in the past few years. It has also been able to return a number of reserve pilots to currency.


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