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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 09:10 
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Good morning,

In my quest bust myths, smash speculation and establish some hard, verfied facts regarding the capabilities of our lovely old Cheetah's, I'm hoping some of the ex-SAAF / 'in-the-know' types on the forum might be able help me with a few nagging questions.... Here goes:

1. What radar does the Cheetah C carry, EL/M-2032, EL/M-2032B, EL/M-2035… something else? Online sources struggle to agree with anything other than Israeli / product of the Lavi programme...

2. I've heard the integrated EW system referred to as the EWSPS (Electronic Warfare Self-Protection System). Was that the actual system description?

3. Staying with the 'EWSPS' does anyone have any specific, verified names/details regarding the sub-systems?
a. RWR?
b. Self-protection Jammer?
c. CMDS (countermeasure dispensing system)?

4. The Cheetah C has a Weapons Delivery and Navigation System (WDNS). I presume this was Israeli and possibly the same unit fitted to the Cheetah E..? Does anyone have any details on the actual system installed? I believe the Kfir carried the WDNS-391…

5. Not counting pictures of TFDC aircraft conducting what I presume were clearance trials with various exotic loadouts, I'm only confident of the following operationally cleared and utilised loadouts:
a. 2x V3S
b. 2x V4
c. 2x V3S + 1x centreline tank (825 litre?)
d. 2x V4 + 1x centreline tank (825 litre?)
e. 8x 120kg LD bombs, 2 mounted under each wing drop tank, centreline clear
f. 10x 120kg LD bombs, 2 mounted under each wing drop tank, tandem bomb pylon on centreline
g. 1x centreline droptank (825 litre?) + 2x wing tanks (1300 litre?)
h. 1x Vicon 18-601 recce pod + 2x 2x wing tanks (1300 litre?)

6. Regarding items e. and f. above:
a. What was the designation and capacity of the combo wing tank/tandem bomb rack (600 litres?)
b. Operationally, would a/c also carry A-A missiles on their outermost pylons when flying under this strike configuration.

7. Regarding item g. above, were the a/c cleared to carry A-A missiles on their outermost pylons when flying with the 1300 litre wing tanks?

8. I have been led to believe that the LGB cleared on Cheetah was the IAI Griffin system, integrated with 250kg (Mk82 type) bombs. Is that accurate and if so, was it cleared for deployment from both Cheetah C's and D's?

9. Was the Cheetah C (or D) cleared to carry any of the following:
a. V3B
b. V3C
c. U-Darter
d. Mk 20 Rockeye
e. Rocket pods
f. 250kg LD bombs (if so how many)
g. 460kg bombs
h. H-2 / Raptor
i. Anything else…?

10. The use of helmet mounted sights with Cheetah / V3B-S is widely reported online, however, unless the system was extremely elegant and unobtrusive, I don't think any such system was ever taken up into operational use. Is that an accurate assessment or have I missed something…?

Thanks in advance for the knowledge! :)


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 17:22 
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Joined: 13 Jul 2004, 13:06
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Some questions on specific type of systems will remain unanswered, e.g. radar type and details of the aircraft's EW system

Yes, the aircraft had an advanced multi-mode radar fitted, similar in capability to the F-16 and F-18.

Yes the EW system was known as the EWSPS (also BADGE), it consisted of local manufactured components. It had an Chaff and Flare dispensing system fitted, in the lower ventral fuel tank area, - there are numerous pictures o the www of the Che C/D and E showing this. Had a locally produced RWR fit. Also fitted were a couple of 'button' antennas that were looking at specific threats systems. Then there was an advanced jamming system for forward and aft jamming of radar emissions too.

Rocket Pods, not carried on any Cheetah.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 18:11 
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Thanks Spice. I've come to realise that factual details regarding many of these system is, and will probably remain hard to come by for some time to come.

In general, my research to date tends to discredit a lot of the 'locally developed' content and point towards integration of off-the-shelf Israeli systems with at best a degree of localisation / modification. Perhaps local build under license.

Who knows, with a little luck this thread will shine a little more light on this particularly grey topic!

Re. the rocket pods, I've certainly never seen a picture of a Cheetah (any model) carrying them. I guess that the nature of the air defence threat being experienced around the time of the Cheetah development pretty much scratched rocket attack from the fast jet play book.

Cheers


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 00:04 
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Spice wrote:
Some questions on specific type of systems will remain unanswered, e.g. radar type and details of the aircraft's EW system



Ok, but why would that be?

Are the systems still classified?


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 04:29 
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MARS wrote:
Spice wrote:
Some questions on specific type of systems will remain unanswered, e.g. radar type and details of the aircraft's EW system



Ok, but why would that be?

Are the systems still classified?


Just remember the RSA was under an Arms Embargo.

Not withstanding the RSA Official Secrets Act; agreements re Secrecy Agreements with vendors and countries also need to be honoured. Thrse periods may exceed the requirements of SA requirements.

If someone really would like to get hold of the item names etc; forward a request via official channels and wait for the response rather than try and gain information via forums.


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 10:41 
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All fair points @Spice, currently classified material is probably still classified for good reason (not a foregone conclusion) and should be respected.

Given that the Cheetah system is now a decade out of service with the SAAF, it's difficult to know what if any of the Programme / systems / SAAF employment are still classified..?

To the extent that any of my questions fall into the unclassified / public domain, lets hope we can continue sharing knowledge, dispelling myth and ultimately enlightening the community of passionate Cheetah and SAAF fans. :D


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 11:29 
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Talisman wrote:
All fair points @Spice, currently classified material is probably still classified for good reason (not a foregone conclusion) and should be respected.

Given that the Cheetah system is now a decade out of service with the SAAF, it's difficult to know what if any of the Programme / systems / SAAF employment are still classified..?

To the extent that any of my questions fall into the unclassified / public domain, lets hope we can continue sharing knowledge, dispelling myth and ultimately enlightening the community of passionate Cheetah and SAAF fans. :D


Just remember it may be out of SAAF Service, yet is operational elsewhere - the end-user may also not want the capabilities 'exposed'/'disclosed' while in their service too.

Search Dean's site as the Cheetah has been discussed in various threads. Winston's Book 'Cheetah Guardian of Nation' is a good source and it was 'cleared' by the SAAF for publication too.


:wink:


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 14:40 
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Winston's book is indeed a gem, even if there is not that much pure technical info inside, it is a cracking read!

Does anybody know what the secrets act entails? I think most of the engineers involved in projects like the Cheetah or even Carver do not want to break their silence (I have read statements like that on other forums) or cannot (hence my question on secrets act). Our Cheetah's were retired in 2008 but I do get what Spice said. Ecuador still use them and might not like technical details being public knowledge. Project Carver was cancelled nearly 27 years ago yet we still know next to nothing about the aircraft, never mind it's systems. Shame really, we might possibly never know the full extent of the SAAF we had and could have had, had we not progressed to a democracy.

regarding the weapons, I have seen the following image on the web of a Cheetah C with 4 V4(R-Darter) missiles. Not sure if this layout was ever flight approved, or just displayed.

Image

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Keep your feet on the ground, and reach for the skies!


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2018, 23:02 
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Thanks @Mamba, I've come across that image too. Theoretically, I don't see why such a BVR-heavy loadout wouldn't be possible, unless only the outermost hardpoints were 'plumbed' for A-A weapons?

Also, while I've never seen a picture of an airborne SAAF Cheetah with such a loadout, there are numerous pics of Columbian Kfir C.10's carrying Derby AAMs on those hardpoints with IR AAMs slung outboard...


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2018, 22:46 
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Have you tried contacting some Ecuador based enthusiasts via social media. I would assume that the radar fit of the Cheetah C would be similar to that of the Ecuadorian Kfir CE (C10). These were upgraded C2s and the radar would've been installed as part of that (Elta EL/M-2032). This systems commonality would've made the purchase of Cheetah C a logical choice for Ecuador.

The LGBs next to the Cheetah C at Swartkop are Griffins.


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 11:05 
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Talisman wrote:
Thanks @Mamba, I've come across that image too. Theoretically, I don't see why such a BVR-heavy loadout wouldn't be possible, unless only the outermost hardpoints were 'plumbed' for A-A weapons?
Cheetah C could in theory carry V4 on stations 1 (left outboard), 2 (left inboard), 4 (centerline), 6 (right inboard), 7 (right outboard), i.e. 5 BVR missiles, but carriage on the ceterline station was never tested, probably because of possible effects of the missile motor on the Cheetah jet engine (flameouts possible).

Cheetah C could only carry V3S on stations 1 & 7. No other missiles were carried operationally, although I'm pretty sure the TFDC aircraft carried A-Darter (I think A-Darter was designed to match the V4 avionic interface for test purposes, so it could be carried on Cheetah C as if it was a V4.)

Yes, V4 was a BVR missile, but if 2 Sqn pilots had the choice I believe they would have carried 4 * V4 rather than 2 * V3S and 2 * V4 - the V4 was more modern than the V3S, and was probably just as capable as V3S at short ranges if not more capable. V4 could be used in LOBL (Lock On Before Launch) like V3S (although radar-guided not IR of course) as well as LOAL (Lock On After Launch) mode. But V4 probably cost many times the cost of V3S so that wasn't going to happen!


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 11:14 
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Hi @CheetahSupporter, that's great info. Thanks!

You wouldn't happen to have similar insights into the various A-G loadouts and configurations that were operationally cleared on the C's..?


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 11:18 
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Mistral wrote:
Have you tried contacting some Ecuador based enthusiasts via social media. I would assume that the radar fit of the Cheetah C would be similar to that of the Ecuadorian Kfir CE (C10). These were upgraded C2s and the radar would've been installed as part of that (Elta EL/M-2032). This systems commonality would've made the purchase of Cheetah C a logical choice for Ecuador.

The LGBs next to the Cheetah C at Swartkop are Griffins.


Thanks @Mistral, that's a good suggestion, but my lack of Spanish combined with the operational status of their Cheetahs doesn't bode well for that particular source... Regarding your speculation on the 2032 radar, it would make a lot of sense. I also note that Draken International, the latest buyer of Cheetah's lists them as carrying 2032's...

http://www.drakenintl.com/catalog/aircr ... sonic-jets


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 20:35 
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:smt023

Looks like the Elta 2032 radar series is the go to radar for small aeries. The recent Brazilian A-4 and Singapore F-5 upgrades have them fitted with this radar.


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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2018, 03:43 
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Talisman wrote:
Hi @CheetahSupporter, that's great info. Thanks!

You wouldn't happen to have similar insights into the various A-G loadouts and configurations that were operationally cleared on the C's..?

I'll see if I can find anything - but I was on Avionics, and missiles need a whole lot more Avionic interfacing than dumb bombs (or LGBs, which are carried and released as if they are dumb bombs.)


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