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South Africa Air Force

Total Aircraft: 211

Active Aircraft Inventory (2020)

FIGHTERS
HELICOPTERS
TRANSPORTS
TRAINERS
SPECIAL MISSION
ON-ORDER
While not the largest air service in Africa, the South African Air Force is certainly one of the most modern.



POWER INDEX SCORE

25.2

(Ranked 34 of 53)
*See Notes
What the South African Air Force lacks in number it makes up for in quality systems such as its fighter force, accounting for 8% of all inventory, and embodied by the excellent Swedish-originated Saab 'Gripen' lightweight multirole platform. Seventeen are kept on hand. The rotorcraft force is led by the homegrown Denel Oryx transport type, based in the French Aerospatiale SA330 series, backed by an attack arm showcasing the Cold War-era Denel Rooivalk twin-seat, twin-engine platform. The AW109 fulfills the utility role and the BK117 the light utility role. The helicopter fleet makes up 42% of all strength and becomes the focal point of SAAF capabilities when compared to its regional neighbors.

The transport force is a mix of tactical, utility, and VIP-minded types making up 16% of all strength. The trainer force is excellent, covering all of the primary aspects of military flying including basic, advanced, and fighter training scopes. What is missing is a commitment to rotorcraft training. The special-mission force is modest and covers such roles as Electronic Warfare (EW) and Maritime Patrol (MPA). Beyond this there are no on-order systems heading into 2019.
NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
Inventory Breakdown
106
Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
148
Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
158
Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
169
Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.


Fighters
Total: 17 (8%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
17
Gripen C
Multirole




Helicopters
Total: 89 (42%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
44
Oryx (SA330)
Transport
27
AW109
Utility
12
Rooivalk
Attack
6
BK117
Light Utility




Transports
Total: 33 (16%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
9
C-130B
Tactical
7
Cessna 208
Utility
4
King Air 200/300
Utility
3
C-212
Utility
3
65ARTP (DC-3)
Transport
2
Citation
VIP
2
Falcon 50
VIP
1
Boeing 737BBJ
VIP
1
Falcon 900
VIP
1
PC-12
Utility




Trainers
Total: 68 (32%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
35
PC-7 Mk II
Basic Trainer
24
Hawk 120
Advanced Jet Trainer
9
Gripen D
Fighter Trainer




Special
Total: 4 (2%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
2
65ARTP (DC-3)
Electronic Warfare
1
Cessna 208
Electronic Warfare
1
65ARTP (DC-3)
Maritime Patrol
National Powers (A-to-Z)
53 Countries Ranked; 366 Aircraft Types Tracked; 35,953 Total Aircraft Followed.
Switzerland (167)
#40
Swiss Air Force (167)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) (327)
#27
United Arab Emirates Air Force (327)