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Old 08-07-2006
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Denel Aviation "Rooivalk" AH-2/AH-2A attack helicopter

The DENEL AVIATION AH-2 "Rooivalk" is a latest generation attack helicopter manufactured by Denel Aviation of South Africa. The name of the helicopter derives from the Afrikaans word for "Red Falcon".

The following types of missions are foreseen for the AH-2 Rooivalk:

* Reconnaissance
* Heliborne escort
* Close air support
* Deep penetration
* Ground troops suppression and SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense)
* Air-to-ground anti-armour/anti-tank combat


The South African Air Force (SAAF) has ordered 12 Rooivalk AH-2As, the first of which entered service in July 1999. The helicopters are flown by 16 Squadron, which is based at AFB Bloemspruit near Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa.

Due to the SAAF's decades of helicopter experience in the harsh African environment, the Rooivalk has been designed to operate in very basic surroundings for prolonged periods without sophisticated support. All that is needed to keep the Rooivalk flying is a medium transport helicopter equipped with a basic spares supply plus four groundcrew.

Notable features include a tandem cockpit, starboard tail rotor with a port tail plane, and a fixed wheeled undercarriage.

By April 2005, only six of 12 the aircraft were currently flying with the others in need for software upgrades. The South African Air Force Chief hoped that the helicopters would be ready around June 2007, indicating 'extremely worrying factor of time that the project was taking to reach maturity', attributing the delays to the brain drain from the producer company as well as its financial problems, forcing the nation's Air Force to assess alternative defense development partners.
Obviously, regardless the South-African budgetary troubles, the "Rooivalk" helicopter is offered for export.

-DESCRIPTION AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICS-
COUNTRY: Republic of South Africa
ROLE: Attack helicopter
CREW: 2 in tandem (pilot and weapon systems officer)
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 18,731.64 mm (main rotor to tail rotor)
Fuselage length: 16.39 m
Height: 5.19 m
Rotor diameter: 15.58 m
WEIGHTS:
Empty: 5,190 kg
Maximum internal fuel: 1,469 kg
Maximum take-off: 8,750 kg
POWERPLANT:
Engines: 2 x Makila 1K2 turboshaft
Power: 1,716 kW (sea-level ISA) 30 s rating
PERFORMANCE:
Maximum speed: 309 km/h
Combat range (internal fuel): 700 km
Ferry range (external fuel): 1130 km
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft
Maximum rate of climb: 13.3 m/s (twin-engined)
ARMAMENT:
Gun: 1 x 20 mm F2 dual-feed gas-operated cannon (400 or 700 high-velocity rounds)
Missiles: Includes 8 or 16 x Mokopa ZT-6 long-range anti-armour missiles, 4 x MBDA Mistral Atam air-to-air missiles, 36 or 72 x 70 mm folding fin aerial rockets (FFAR)

-MANUFACTURER-
DENEL CORPORATION (Pty) Ltd, (Reg No 1992/001337/07) - Denel Aerospace division
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Nelmapius Drive, Irene - Pretoria
POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 8322, Centurion - 0046 South Africa
TELEPHONE: +27 12 671 2700
FAX: +27 12 671 2793
URL: http://www.denel.co.za
E-MAIL: marketing@denel.co.za

Further informations with more pictures:
http://www.denel.co.za/Aerospace/Rooivalk.asp
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/rooivalk/
http://www.gpsa.co.za/gallery/as/rooivalk.html
http://www.gpsa.co.za/gallery/as/As2000_o.html
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