Tuesday, May 28, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Government to forge ahead with plans to acquire "one or more" VVIP jets.

South African Government SealSouth Africa's  Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has announced the acquisition of one or more new VVIP aircraft during the course of the current financial year. According to the minister, the added aircraft will give the South African military its own airlift capacity.

South Africa current Presidential Jet  a Boeing BBJ
South Africa current Presidential Jet
a Boeing BBJ (Axel J)
Addressing a breakfast meeting held at the Cape Town Press Club last week, Mapisa-Nqakula said the South African Department of Defence was "spending millions of rand each week chartering aircraft, because many of its planes were so old they belonged in museums."

The minister said the department was looking to buy VVIP jets as well as strategic airlifting capability planes as soon as possible.
Every week without fail, we pay millions of rand chartering aircraft for strategic airlift capability, which far exceeds the money we would have spent by purchasing,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.

If you look at some of our aircraft, they’re 60 to 62 years old and should be museum pieces and we use them to ferry our people around,” she continued. “I won’t elaborate on some of the experiences I’ve had and what I’ve seen happening, but this process (to buy aircraft) must begin.
Source [iol]

The SAAF’s current VIP fleet, operated by 21 Squadron at Air Force Base Waterkloof, is composed of one Boeing BBJ, two Dassault Falcon 900Bs, two Dassault Falcon 50s and two Cessna Citations.

The Minister gave no indication of the number or size of the aeroplanes to be bought, nor whether they would fulfill more than one role. Nor was there any indication of whether there would be a competitive acquisition process or if a selection had already been made.

Statements and reports dating from 2011 suggest that two aircraft would be obtained. In the middle of last year, media reports stated that the SAAF would receive a Boeing 777-200LR fitted as a VVIP aircraft for use on intercontinental missions, and a Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jet.