Jan 16, 2013
SAAF has “miniscule” maritime capability
The South African Air Force’s miniscule airborne maritime capability has become even more miniscule, according to defence analyst Helmoed Römer Heitman.
This follows the tragic loss of the “Gooney Bird” C-47TP Turbo Dakota in the Drakensberg mountains in December, and the writing off (as a Category Five loss) of another C-47TP following a landing incident at Umtata airport in November.
Unofficial sources indicated there are now nine C-47s in the SAAF’s inventory. No official figures were available from the South African Air Force, despite repeated requests since mid-December, on the number of converted C-47 aircraft still in service at AFB Ysterplaat’s 35 Squadron. Five of these are configured for maritime patrol operations, two for transport, one as a transport/photographic platform and the remaining one set up for electronic warfare. According to the Squadron website it originally had 11 of the turbo power plant engined aircraft.