Date:20 September 2016 - By:
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Action from the South African Air Force's annual air power capability demonstration held last week at the Roodewal bombing range.
The demonstration began with the insertion of pathfinders or “parabats”, who dropped into the area by parachute to collect intelligence and mark targets. One of the pathfinders transported a second person with his parachute to demonstrate the insertion of an expert into a combat zone.
All the while, a Cenna Caravan provided air support and camera surveillance of the “battlefield”.
Next, two A109-helicopters inserted troops close to the front defence lines after one was “shot” down by enemy forces.
During the ground battle, two Rooivalk combat helicopters provided air support and fired 70mm FFAR rockets at enemy targets. The main ground section of the exercise saw Oryx and A109 helicopters insert troops and equipment, with the ground soldiers firing assault rifles and mortars at the simulated enemy.
A “downed pilot” and other ground troops who were “severely injured” during the insertion and A109 that was gunned down, were airlifted and rescued by a medivac team in the Oryx helicopter. The pilot’s injuries were so severe that they necessitated a stretcher-bound extraction.
On the ground, however, the “battle” raged on. The Hawks and Gripens returned to fire 30mm cannons and dropped bombs, which sailed hundreds of metres over the range and wreaked havoc on the enemy targets.
After successfully defeating the enemy, the demonstration was concluded with a flypast by all the participating aircraft.
[Video editing by Dallien Viljoen]