Military Heat

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk attack helicopter

Writing by admin on Wednesday, 31 of October , 2007 at 12:16 am

The Denel AH-2 Rooivalk is a modern attack helicopter manufactured in South Africa by Denel Aerospace Systems, a division of Denel Ltd. 12 of these helicopters were ordered by the South African Air Force. The first helicopter entered service with the South African Air Force in 1999 and by April 2005 only six Rooivalk were operational as part of the 16 Squadron, which is based at AFB Bloemspruit near Bloemfontein.

The AH-2 Rooivalk gunship uses dynamic components from the Aerospatiale Puma, a transport helicopter that is in service with the South African Air Force. It was decided to use the Puma and not the Alouette III because of the Puma’s larger size and also because the Puma is built in South Africa by Atlas as the Oryx. And in case you are wondering, Rooivalk is Afrikaans for “Red Kestrel”.

The Rooivalk features a classic attack helicopter configuration. At first glance you could easily mistake it with the Eurocopter Tiger or the Agusta A 129 Mangusta. The cockpits are in stepped tandem configuration. The Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) is seated in the front cockpit and the pilot is seated in the cockpit above and behind the WSO. The cockpits, which are fitted with crashworthy seats and are armour-protected, are equipped with hands-on collective and stick (HOCAS) controls.

Denel Aerospace Systems designed the Rooivalk to withstand the harsh African environment. As a result the helicopter can operate in very basic surroundings for prolonged periods without sophisticated support. All that is needed to keep the Rooivalk flying is a four member ground crew and a few spares. The Rooivalk has a crash-resistant structure and is designed for stealth with low radar, visual, infrared and acoustic signatures.

The Rooivalk carries a comprehensive range of weaponry selected for the mission requirement, ranging from anti-armour and anti-helicopter missions to ground suppression and ferry missions. The aircraft can engage multiple targets at short and long range, utilising the nose-mounted cannon and a range of underwing-mounted munitions.The 20mm, F2 dual-feed, gas-operated cannon fires high-speed (1,100m/s) ammunition at a firing rate of 740 rounds per minute. Two ammunition bins hold up to 700 rounds of ready-to-fire ammunition. The slew rate of the cannon is 90 degrees per second. The cannon is chin-mounted on the helicopter.

The future of the Rooivalk is uncertain. Due to delays in deliveries and following its failure to win the Turkish Air Force attack helicopter tender Denel has announced that development and funding for the Rooivalk will cease. The future of the Rooivalk now rests in the hands of the South African government.

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk attack helicopter in action video

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk specifications

Crew 2 (pilot and weapon systems officer)

Dimensions

Length 18,73 m (main rotor to tail rotor); 16.39 m fuselage
Rotor diameter 15.58 m
Height 5.19 m

Weights

Empty weight 5,190 kg
Max takeoff weight 8,750 kg (19,290 lb)
Internal fuel capacity 1,469 kg

Powerplant

2× Turbomeca Makila 1K2 turboshafts, 1,716 kW (sea-level ISA) each

Performance

Maximum speed 309 km/h (193 mph)
Combat range 700 km combat (440 miles)
Ferry range 1,130 km ferry ( 700 mi)
Service ceiling 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
Rate of climb 13.3 m/s (2,105 ft/min)


Armament

1 x F2 20 mm cannon, 700 rounds
8 or 16 x Mokopa ZT-6 long-range anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM)
4 x MBDA Mistral air-to-air missiles
36 or 72 x 70 mm folding fin aerial rockets (FFAR)

Comments (13)

Category: Military Aircraft,Other Military Aircraft,Videos

13 Comments

Comment by Dario

Made Thursday, 1 of November , 2007 at 2:32 pm

“Designed to exterminate rappers and niggers?”

Very subtle, even for South African standards..

Comment by Zopa

Made Friday, 2 of November , 2007 at 4:12 pm

Actually, anybody using the word “nigger” is more likely to be American. Racists in SA tend to prefer ‘kaffir’. It’s rather a pity that what’s actually a fairly decent video is marred by that sort of idiocy though. I wonder what the author would say if he realised that many of the engineers and technicians building Rooivalks are black? I’ve seen it for myself in the factory where the SAAF’s 12 were made.

Anyway, nice post Tolip. I would add an update though: All 12 Rooivalks have been delivered to the SAAF, but the squadron is not yet operational as funding shortfalls delayed the final weapons and tactics certification process. The expected date for full operational status (ie, ready to be deployed in foreign missions) is now mid-2009.

Comment by Zopa

Made Friday, 2 of November , 2007 at 4:12 pm

Actually, anybody using the word “nigger” is more likely to be American. Racists in SA tend to prefer ‘kaffir’. It’s rather a pity that what’s actually a fairly decent video is marred by that sort of idiocy though. I wonder what the author would say if he realised that many of the engineers and technicians building Rooivalks are black? I’ve seen it for myself in the factory where the SAAF’s 12 were made.

Anyway, nice post Tolip. I would add an update though: All 12 Rooivalks have been delivered to the SAAF, but the squadron is not yet operational as funding shortfalls delayed the final weapons and tactics certification process. The expected date for full operational status (ie, ready to be deployed in foreign missions) is now mid-2009.

Pingback by Rooivalk attack helicopter

Made Tuesday, 20 of November , 2007 at 6:17 pm

[…] attack helicopter manufactured in South Africa by Denel Aerospace Systems, a division of Denel Ltd.read more | digg […]

Comment by Khuthadzo"Khytee"

Made Tuesday, 9 of June , 2009 at 12:49 am

I have seen one when they wer stil testin it in denel nd it is da best.well done guys

Comment by Khuthadzo"Khytee"

Made Tuesday, 9 of June , 2009 at 12:50 am

I have seen one when they wer stil testin it in denel nd it is da best.well done guys u did a great job

Comment by januz

Made Friday, 19 of June , 2009 at 6:25 pm

easy prey for the comanche..

Comment by Kudu314

Made Monday, 27 of July , 2009 at 8:52 am

To bad the Comanche doesn’t exist januz. The Rooivalk is a brilliant, high and dry operator, there is no other helicopter in the world that can operate in Africa’s harsh conditions. I know most people will immediately say, oh but the Apache operated in Iraq and the Mi-24 operated in Afghanistan and they had such great kill rates etc etc. Ok, yes, that’s true, but all those helicopters had to be completely overhauled after 1 mission. The Rooivalk has a specific job to do in a specific area and it’s the best at that. It doesn’t want to compete with any other rotary wing system.

Comment by jimo

Made Tuesday, 10 of November , 2009 at 5:53 am

kudu314 what makes you think that after those 1st pioneering missions that 1st tiny piece of fact continues today? you are also wrong about the Comanche too, they were just not mass produced. I think the AH-2 is a fine aircraft, but also developed 7 years after the Persian Gulf’s testing bed. It is always better after learning the mistakes of others. What you wrote about the Apache happened almost 20 years ago as well, & i assure you is not the case after @ least 16 years. The updates never end, & an additional 8 years of continuing combat missions in several countries have long since made your comment obsolete.

Comment by Kudu314

Made Wednesday, 25 of August , 2010 at 6:49 pm

jimo, you have missed the point and you aren’t up to date with developments in helicopter technology. Comanche was canceled, please read following: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2122. I’m not entirely sure what you mean with the first “pioneering mission” or “piece of fact”? If the term “Persian Gulf testing bed” refers to the First Gulf War (Aug 1990 – Feb 1991), then you are saying that the Rooivalk AH-2 started development in 1998? this is completely wrong, the SADF needed an Attack Helicopter because the Border War was starting to get more an more conventional, so in 1984 the Rooivalk project began as opposed to Apache which started in 1972. Rooivalk was designed to operate without sophisticated technical support, all that is needed is a supply of basic spares and 4 technical crew to keep the aircraft operational. Specially designed filters were made so that the sandy, semi-desert to full desert conditions in Africa would not inhibit the operation of the aircraft. Regarding the Apache’s poor performance in the desert and sand, please refer to Preliminary Observations on Equipment Reset Challenges and Issues for the Army and Marine Corps (GAO-06-604T Defense Logistics). My comments are unfortunately not obsolete because in the African environment, Apache would struggle compared to Rooivalk. That is my point, South Africa will never project it’s military power outside Africa, logistical nightmare! But within the Southern African region, our equipment, just like the Israelis, has been designed for our use. Apache was made to fight the Cold War in Europe and is now forced to fight different battles world wide. It is a general purpose machine that operates extremely well as a platform for Hellfire missiles. Do yourself a favor, before you speak a load of nonsense and compare military equipment which aren’t even in the same class, research and find out what you are actually talking about.

Comment by Kudu314

Made Wednesday, 25 of August , 2010 at 6:52 pm

jimo, you have missed the point and you aren’t up to date with developments in helicopter technology. Comanche was canceled, please read following: Briefing on the Restructure and Revitalization of Army Aviation on the DoD website where they confirm the CANCELLATION of Comanche. I’m not entirely sure what you mean with the first “pioneering mission” or “piece of fact”? If the term “Persian Gulf testing bed” refers to the First Gulf War (Aug 1990 – Feb 1991), then you are saying that the Rooivalk AH-2 started development in 1998? this is completely wrong, the SADF needed an Attack Helicopter because the Border War was starting to get more an more conventional, so in 1984 the Rooivalk project began as opposed to Apache which started in 1972. Rooivalk was designed to operate without sophisticated technical support, all that is needed is a supply of basic spares and 4 technical crew to keep the aircraft operational. Specially designed filters were made so that the sandy, semi-desert to full desert conditions in Africa would not inhibit the operation of the aircraft. Regarding the Apache’s poor performance in the desert and sand, please refer to Preliminary Observations on Equipment Reset Challenges and Issues for the Army and Marine Corps (GAO-06-604T Defense Logistics). My comments are unfortunately not obsolete because in the African environment, Apache would struggle compared to Rooivalk. That is my point, South Africa will never project it’s military power outside Africa, logistical nightmare! But within the Southern African region, our equipment, just like the Israelis, has been designed for our use. Apache was made to fight the Cold War in Europe and is now forced to fight different battles world wide. It is a general purpose machine that operates extremely well as a platform for Hellfire missiles. Do yourself a favor, before you speak a load of nonsense and compare military equipment which aren’t even in the same class, research and find out what you are actually talking about.

Comment by Kudu314

Made Wednesday, 25 of August , 2010 at 6:53 pm

jimo, you have missed the point and you aren’t up to date with developments in helicopter technology. Comanche was canceled, please read following, Briefing on the Restructure and Revitalization of Army Aviation on the DoD website where they confirm the CANCELLATION of Comanche. I’m not entirely sure what you mean with the first pioneering mission or piece of fact? If the term Persian Gulf testing bed refers to the First Gulf War Aug 1990 – Feb 1991, then you are saying that the Rooivalk AH-2 started development in 1998? this is completely wrong, the SADF needed an Attack Helicopter because the Border War was starting to get more an more conventional, so in 1984 the Rooivalk project began as opposed to Apache which started in 1972. Rooivalk was designed to operate without sophisticated technical support, all that is needed is a supply of basic spares and 4 technical crew to keep the aircraft operational. Specially designed filters were made so that the sandy, semi-desert to full desert conditions in Africa would not inhibit the operation of the aircraft. Regarding the Apache’s poor performance in the desert and sand, please refer to Preliminary Observations on Equipment Reset Challenges and Issues for the Army and Marine Corps GAO-06-604T Defense Logistics. My comments are unfortunately not obsolete because in the African environment, Apache would struggle compared to Rooivalk. That is my point, South Africa will never project it’s military power outside Africa, logistical nightmare! But within the Southern African region, our equipment, just like the Israelis, has been designed for our use. Apache was made to fight the Cold War in Europe and is now forced to fight different battles world wide. It is a general purpose machine that operates extremely well as a platform for Hellfire missiles. Do yourself a favor, before you speak a load of nonsense and compare military equipment which aren’t even in the same class, research and find out what you are actually talking about.

Comment by jack

Made Monday, 24 of January , 2011 at 4:07 am

heysupi can write htmlxi will bd on your fukkking jet 1$

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