As a starting point, an outline/structure of the SAAF’s EW history, as compiled by Gerrie Radloff, Mossie Basson and gen Koos Botha, is given below. However, any inputs will be welcome.
History of Electronic Warfare (EW) in the South African Air Force (SAAF)
- The aim of this document is to provide the SAAF with a structure which can serve as a guideline for further detailed inputs.
- After much consideration and consultation with past and present major role players in EW it was decided to divide the history of EW in the SAAF into functional time periods or blocks. These time periods were selected on the basis of their homogeneous EW development goals and the Air Defence Treats that prevailed during each period. The logic behind such a time-frame structured approach is that EW development and activities were mainly driven by the threats, or perceived threads, that prevail during each period.
- The identified time-frames are the following:
- The period after World War II up to 1960
- The period 1960 – 1974
- The period 1974 – 1990
- The period 1990 – 2008
The Period World War II to 1960
- Colonial Period
- Which drivers?
- EW Mostly Strategic
The Period 1960 to 1974
- RSA Independence (period of instability)
- Gathering of War Clouds
The Period 1974 to 1990
- Period of conflict (The Border War)
Drivers : Period of global sanctions
Relative low or sometimes no experience.
Dependent on limited willing suppliers. Important role of ARMSCOR
- Sanctions result in co-operation with the reducing number of Internal Suppliers
Own capability development
Industry CHAFF and Flares (RIMS)
Radar Warning Systems : SABBOT
ESM : Radix and Commix
The role of Chile. Support with Signal Intelligence with the Spanish language
Signal Intelligence. ESM
First aircraft with EW equipment was Mirage IIIE with the BZ
CRWS (Improvement and Industrialation)
Cheetah – C. Large participation in development
Chopper Comms and Radar
Toredo. CW on F1
Internal (SAAF) Spook
Over seas equipment and support with SAAF integration and installation.
Test and Evaluation
Passive Protection (CSIR)
Strela Mods : Alouette, DC3
The Period 1990 to 2008
Post Border War Period
Start of Involvement in Peace Keeping Operations
- Industry and Defence Force entering the International Arena