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Role: Logistic support services
Status: Current

Test Flight and Development Centre

"Alerte" (Alert)
About this Squadron

The advent of the arms boycott in the 1960's caused the SAAF to create a testing and evaluating organisation in order to update the current systems and develop new technologies. In 1967 a graduate of the Empire Test Pilot's School (ETPS) was appointed as Chief Test Pilot at Air Force Head Quarters to expand the test flying and evaluation capabilities of the SAAF. In 1974 another EPTS graduate took over and was tasked with establishing a test flying unit at Waterkloof, using the southern readiness platform. The Test Flight and Development Centre was officially established on 10 August 1975 at AFB Waterkloof. Additional pilots were sent to the EPTS and EPNER in France in the 1970s as local development and manufacture expanded. 

In 1979 the TFDC has grown to such an extent that it was allocated one of the hanger complexes at AFB Waterkloof. In 1980 a satellite unit of TFDC was established at the Van Ryneveld Airfield in Upington in order to conduct weapon clearances. By 1981 the TFDC had 19 test aircraft and was working on over 100 projects. The cost and inconvenience of having the project office and weapon range far from each other was recognised and a decision was taken in the early 1980's to construct a new facility for the TFDC. A large airfield was built next to the new Armscor Overberg Test Range (OTB) near Bredasdorp on the Southern Cape Coast and TFDC moved to the new airfield in 1987.

Other Squadrons based at Air Force Base Overberg:
525 Squadron

Other Current Squadrons:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 10 Air Depot, 10 Squadron, 101 Squadron, 102 Squadron, 104 Squadron, 105 Squadron, 106 Squadron, 107 Squadron, 108 Squadron, 110 Squadron, 111 Squadron, 140 Squadron, 142 Squadron, 15 Squadron, 15 Squadron - 'C' Flight, 16 Squadron, 17 Squadron, 18 Deployment Support Unit, 19 Squadron, 2 Air Servicing Unit, 2 Squadron, 21 Squadron, 22 Squadron, 28 Squadron, 3 Air Servicing Unit, 35 Squadron, 41 Squadron, 44 Squadron, 5 Air Servicing Unit, 500 Squadron, 501 Squadron, 502 Squadron, 503 Squadron, 504 Squadron, 505 Squadron, 506 Squadron, 508 Squadron, 514 Squadron, 515 Squadron, 516 Squadron, 525 Squadron, 526 Squadron, 6 Air Servicing Unit, 60 Squadron, 68 Air School, 80 Air Navigation School, 85 Combat Flying School, 87 Helicopter Flying School, 92 Tactical Airfield Unit, Air Force Command and Control School, Air Force Gymnasium, Air Publications Service Centre, Airspace Control Unit, Bushveld Airspace Control Sector, Central Flying School, Central Photographic Institute, Combined Auction Centre, Command and Control School, Electronic Warfare Centre, Ellisras Reporting Post, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, Lowveld Airspace Control Sector, Mobile Communications Unit, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 43, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 46, SA Air Force College, SAAF Band, SAAF Museum Historic Flight, SAAF Police, SAAF Procurement Unit, SAAF Telecommunications Centre, School of Cookery