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THE AIRFORCE - AIRCRAFT - ROOIVALK
 
 

Aircraft Stats:

Powerplant: 2 x 2 000 shp Turbomeca Makila Turboshafts
Speed: 192 kph, 309mph mph
Range: 700km, 435miles
Seats: 2
Length: 16.39m, 53ft 10in
Span: 15.58m 613in
Empty Weight: 5 910kg, 13,029lb
Max T/O Weight: 8 750kg, 19,290lb
Period of Service: 1999 - Current

Rooivalk

Status: Current
Manufacturer: Denel
Country of Manufacture: South Africa
Role: Attack/Strike
 
Description:

The Rooivalk was conceived in the 1980s as tankbuster operating in a high-threat, high-intensity environment. While the true cost of the Rooivalk may never be known, some estimates go up to R2 billion since the project started in March 1984.

The type is essentially a gunship version of the Oryx, itself a customised Eurocopter Cougar. Although South Africa may not be keen to admit this for reasons of pride and the French may be equally reluctant - as their involvement up to 1994 was in violation of a UN arms embargo, it is known that Eurocopter and Turbomeca engineers did extensive development work on the design. 

Production of drop tanks restarted in 2014, with Denel Aerostructures manufacturing around 20.

The Rooivalk drop tank is 3.45 metres long, 0.64 metres in diameter, and has a fuel capacity of 550 litres. It weighs 51.5 kg empty and 496 kg full. The centre section is made of metal while the nose and tail section and being made from composite materials. Lightening protection was designed into the tank for all weather operation.


Images:

Rooivalk 674 in 2000. Rooivalk in 2002. Rooivalk in 2002. Rooivalk 680 in 2006. Rooivalk 680 in 2006. Rooivalk weapons.

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