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List of aircraft of the South African Air Force

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Title: List of aircraft of the South African Air Force  
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Language: English
Subject: South African Air Force, List of bases of the South African Air Force, List of squadrons of the South African Air Force, Lists of military aircraft by nation, Atlas Aircraft Corporation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of aircraft of the South African Air Force

The following is a list of current and historic aircraft of the South African Air Force. Note that aircraft type photographs do not necessarily represent aircraft of the same mark or actual aircraft belonging to the SAAF.

Current aircraft

Class Aircraft Photo Country Type Variants Number in service
Fighter Saab Gripen  Sweden Multirole fighter C and D (single and twin seat) 26[1][Note 1]
Trainer British Aerospace Hawk  United Kingdom Lead-in fighter trainer Mk120 24[Note 2]
Pilatus PC-7 MkII   Switzerland Trainer PC-7 MkII 60 Delivered. 35 aircraft upgraded with Pilatus avionics (final upgraded airframe [2025] delivered 16 May 2013) after local supplier originally contracted under Project Ithambo went out of business in 2009. Seven aircraft lost due to accidents. Remaining 18 aircraft not upgraded (Known as PC-7 Astra's) currently offered for sale by Armscor (Sep 2013)[2]
Helicopter Atlas Oryx  South Africa Medium transport helicopter MKI and MKII 39[3]
Denel Rooivalk  South Africa Attack helicopter Mk I 11[Note 3][5]
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117  Japan
Utility helicopter BK 117 3-6[6][Note 4]
Agusta A109  Italy Light utility helicopter A109LUH 29[3]
Westland Super Lynx  United Kingdom Maritime helicopter Mk300 4[Note 5]
Transport Lockheed C-130 Hercules  United States Medium transport C-130BZ 9[3][Note 6]
Douglas C-47TP Dakota  United States Maritime patrol / transport /
electronic warfare
C-47TP 10[Note 7]
Cessna 208  United States Light utility / observation 208B 11[Note 8][9]
Beechcraft Super King Air  United States Light transport King Air 200/King Air 300 4
Pilatus PC-12   Switzerland Light transport PC-12 1[Note 9]
CASA C-212 Aviocar  Spain Light transport 212-200 / 212-300 4
737-based Boeing BBJ  United States Presidential transport 1
Dassault Falcon 900  France VIP transport 1
Dassault Falcon 50  France VIP transport 2
Cessna 550 Citation  United States VIP transport 2

Historic aircraft

Aircraft types no longer in service.

A to J

Manufacturer Aircraft Years in service Photo
Aeritalia AM.3C Bosbok 1973–1992
Aeronca Aircraft KCA ?
Aeronca Aircraft 50C Chief 1940-?
Aeronca Aircraft 65C Chief ?
Aérospatiale SA365N Dauphin 1994–1998
Airspeed Ltd. AS-6J Envoy 1936–1940
Airspeed Ltd. AS-10 Oxford Mk I 1940-?
Airspeed Ltd. AS-10 Oxford Mk II ?-1950
Atlas Cheetah C 1992–2008
Atlas Cheetah D 1992–2008
Atlas Cheetah E 1986–1992
Atlas MB326M Impala Mk.I 1966–2005
Atlas MB326KC Impala Mk.II 1974–2005
Atlas Atlas C.4M Kudu 1976–1991
Auster AOP-3 ?
Auster AOP-5 1945–1961
Auster AOP-6 1953–1966
Auster AOP-9 1957–1967
Avro 504K 1919–1930
Avro 504N 1927-?
Avro 594 Avian IIIA ?-1935
Avro 616 Avian IVM 1929–1936
Avro 616 Sport Avian ?
Avro 621 Tutor 1930–1938
Avro 652A Anson GR1 1940–1947
Avro 652A Anson T1 ?
Avro 685 York C1 1944–1952
Avro Shackleton MR.3 1957–1984
Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor 1945
Beechcraft B-80 Queen Air 1975–1992
Bristol Boxkite 1911-?
Boeing Boeing 707 1986–2007
Bristol Blenheim I 1939–1940
Bristol Blenheim Mk IV 1939–1942
Bristol Blenheim V 1941–1943
Bristol Beaufort I 1941–1944
Bristol Beaufort Mk IA/II/IIA 1943–1944
Bristol Beaufighter Mk II, VI, X 1943–1944
British Aircraft BA-4 Double Eagle 1939–1940
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander 1994-?
Bücker Bü 131A/B/D Jungman 1936–1939
Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister 1939-?
Canadair CL-13B Sabre Mk.6 1956–1980
CASA CN-235 1994-2012
Cessna C-34 Airmaster ?
Cessna 185A, 185D, 185E Skywagon ?
Cessna 320 Skyknight 1965–1967
Cessna 336 Skymaster ?
Cessna 411 ?
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina IB/III 1943–1946
Consolidated B-24J Liberator B.Mk.VI 1944–1945
Curtiss H-75A-4 Mohawk 1941–1942
Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk 1941
Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk IIB 1940–1942
Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk IA 1942–1944
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk Mk.III ?
Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk IV 1942–1948
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk 1943–1948
Dassault Mystere Falcon 20 ?
Dassault Mirage IIIBZ 1964–1990
Dassault Mirage IIICZ 1963–1990
Dassault Mirage IIIDZ 1967–1986
Dassault Mirage IIID2Z 1974–1986
Dassault Mirage IIIEZ 1965–1986
Dassault Mirage IIIRZ 1967–1990
Dassault Mirage IIIR2Z 1974–1990
Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1AZ 1975–1997
Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1CZ 1975–1992
de Havilland DH-4 1919–1927
de Havilland DH.9 1919–1942
de Havilland DH.9J 1920–1937
de Havilland DH.60 Moth/DH.60G Gypsy Moth/DH.60G III Moth Major 1939-?
de Havilland DH.66 Hercules 1934–1943
de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth 1939-?
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth 1939–1958
de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth 1939-?
de Havilland DH.84 Dragon 1939-?
de Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth 1939–1943
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth 1939–1940
de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide 1939-?
de Havilland DH.89B Dominie 1941-?
de Havilland DH.90 Dragonfly 1939-?
de Havilland DH-94 Moth Minor 1939-?
de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito F Mk II 1943–1945
de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito PR Mk IV/F Mk VI/PR Mk IX/PR Mk XVI 1944–1945
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.5, FB.6, F.9 1950–1978
de Havilland DH.115 Vampire T.11, T.55 1953–1978
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 5 1949–1965
de Havilland DH.114 Heron 2 1955–1962
Desoutter Mk II ?
Dornier Do-27B 1958–1975
Douglas DB-7B Boston Mk.III 1941–1943
Douglas C-47 & DC-3 Dakota 1943–?
Douglas DC-4-1009, C-54 Skymaster 1966–1994
English Electric Canberra B(1)12 1963–1991
English Electric Canberra T.4 1964–1991
Fairey Battle B, T, TT 1939–1942
Fairchild F-24G, R Argus III 1939-?
Fieseler Fi 156C-7 Storch 1946-?
General Aircraft ST-4 II ?
General Aircraft ST-25 Universal ?
Gloster Gauntlet 1939–1943
Gloster Gladiator Mk I 1939–1940
Gloster Gladiator Mk II 1940–1941
Gloster AS.31 Survey 1933–1942
Gloster Meteor F.3 1946–1949
Hawker Hartbees Mk.I 1935–1940
Hawker Hart B/T 1936–1943
Hawker Hind B/T 1938–1944
Hawker Audax 1937–1944
Hawker Fury Mk I 1936–1942
Hawker Fury Mk II 1939-?
Hawker Hurricane Mk. I 1939–1940
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA/B/C/D 1939–1945
Hawker Siddeley HS-125 400B Mercurius 1970–1999
Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.Mk.50 1965–1991
Henry Farman F-27 1915-?
Junkers A-50 Junior ?
Junkers F-13 ?-1944
Junkers Ju52, 3m 1939–1953
Junkers Ju86 K-3 1939–1941
Junkers Ju86 Z 1939–1945

K - Z

Manufacturer Aircraft Years in service Photo
Klemm Kl 25 ?
Koolhaven FK-46 ?
Lockheed 14 Super Electra ?
Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar 1940–1944
Lockheed 414 Hudson 1940-?
Lockheed B-34 Ventura PV-1 1942–1960
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura GR-5 1943–1960
Lockheed C-130F Hercules 1997–1998
Martin 167 Maryland Mk I 1940-?
Martin Maryland 167F Mk.II 1940–1942
Martin Baltimore I 1942-?
Martin Baltimore II 1942–1943
Martin Baltimore IIA 1943
Martin Baltimore III 1941-?
Martin Baltimore IIIA 1943
Martin Baltimore IV 1943–1945
Martin Baltimore V 1944
Martin B-26A Marauder I 1942-?
Martin B-26C Marauder II 1943–1944
Martin B-26G Marauder III 1943–1945
Messerschmitt Messerschmitt Bf 109 1940–?
Miles Aircraft M.2H Hawk 1943-?
Miles M.5 Sparrowhawk 1939–1941
Miles M.14A Magister 1940-?
Miles M.19 Master II 1941–1945
Miles M.33 Falcon ?
Nord Nord C160Z Transall 1969–1993
North American Harvard Mk.IIa (AT6C), Mk.III (AT6D) AT6C, T6G 1942–1995
North American Mustang P-51C IIIB, P-51D IV, P-51K IVA 1945, 1951-1952
Northrop 8A-5 Nomad I 1941–1944
Paterson No 2 Biplane 1913
Percival P3 Gull VI 1940-?
Piaggio Albatross P166S (P166-BL1) 1969–1993
Pilatus PC-6 Porter 1994–1998
Pilatus PC-7 1994–1996
Piper J-3 Cub ?
Piper J-4 Cub Coupe ?
Piper PA-23 Aztec 250 1981–1992
Piper PA-28 Cherokee 140 1981–1992
Rearwin 6000M Speedster 1939-?
Rearwin 7000/8500/9000L Sportster 1939-?
RAF BE-2C 1915–1917
RAF BE-2E 1915–1921
RAF SE-5A 1919–1931
Ryan ST-A 1939-?
Shorts S-25 Sunderland GR-5 1945–1957
Sikorsky S-51 1948–1968
Sikorsky Whirlwind S-55C 1956–1968
Simmonds Spartan 1925
Stinson HW-75 ?
Stinson SR-5A/10C Reliant ?
Sud Aviation Alouette II SE-3130 1960–1973
Sud Aviation Alouette III SE3160, SA316B 1962–2006
Sud Aviation SA-321L Super Frelon 1967–1990
Sud Aviation Puma SA330C, SA330H, SA330J, SA330L 1969–1997
Supermarine Spitfire Vb 1942–1944
Supermarine Spitfire Vc 1942–1944
Supermarine Spitfire VIII 1943–1944
Supermarine Spitfire IXb/c/e 1943–1954
Supermarine Spitfire PR IXe 1947–1954
Swearington Merlin IVA 1975–1985
Taylorcraft BC/BL/BL-65 1939-?
Tipsey S-2 Trainer 1939-?
Vickers Armstrong 264 Valentia 1940–1943
Vickers Armstrong Wellesley 1940–1941
Vickers Armstrong 417 Wellington MkIII/429 Wellington MkVIII ?
Vickers Armstrong 440 Wellington MkX/458 Wellington MkXI 1942–1945
Vickers Armstrong 455 Wellington MkXII/466 Wellington MkXIII ?
Vickers Armstrong 474 Warwick MkV 1945–1946
Vickers Armstrong 781D Viscount 1958–1991
WACO various ?
Westland Scout 1976–1990
Westland Wapiti 1931–1943
Westland Wasp HAS 1 1963–1990

See also


  1. ^ DefenceWeb - Gripens arrive at last.
  2. ^ Martin, Guy (September 2013). "SAAF PC-7 Upgrade Complete". Air International 85 (3): 26. 
  3. ^ a b c "South Africa". defenceWeb. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  4. ^ "The South African Air Force". Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  5. ^ Final Rooivalk Handover Cements Relationship Between Denel and SAAF -, 13 March 2013
  6. ^ Isby, David C. (September 2013). "South African AW109's Grounded". Air International 85 (3): 41. 
  7. ^ "Caravan crash victims named". defenceWeb. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  8. ^ DefenceWb - SAAF C208 crash-lands
  9. ^ "Fact file: Cessna C208 Caravan". defenceWeb. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 


  1. ^ 9 Gripen D twin seat and 17 Gripen single seat aircraft are being delivered between 2008 and 2012, the Gripens replaced the Atlas Cheetahs which were taken out of active service in early April 2008.
  2. ^ With the exception of South Africa's initial Hawk (SA 250) flight test and development aircraft, which was built in the United Kingdom, all of its other Hawks were assembled at Denel's aircraft factory at Johannesburg International Airport in Kempton Park near Johannesburg.
  3. ^ 1 lost to accident.[4]
  4. ^ Original aircraft were inherited from the Apartheid-era "homelands", the Ciskei having acquired 3 in 1983, Venda 2 in 1985, Transkei 2 in 1986 and Bophuthatswana 2 in 1987, making a total of 10 with an extra delivered from Brazil. Two of the aircraft have already been mothballed at AFB Bloemspruit. Attrition: 02/11/99 Bk117 384 Rolled over after emergency landing. March 2003 BK117 383 Involved in an accident, later declared Cat 5 and cannibalised. 20/08/03 BK117 389 Written-off during Exercise Blue Angel.
  5. ^ Operated from South African Navy Valour class frigates.
  6. ^ Upgraded with new avionics and glass cockpits under Project Ebb. Completed March 2008. 4 rendered inoperable due to an engine maintenance backlog and general funding issues in the Air Force.
  7. ^ Under Project Felstone, the first C-47TP "TurboDak" serial number 6835, was unveiled at Swartkops Air Force Base on 26 August '91. This aircraft took four years to complete. The Project was completed by 1997 with two production lines - one at AFB Swartkop and the other at AFB Ysterplaat. However, the fleet has been constantly refined and updated over the years. The latest version being a dedicated EW platform. 5 maritime patrol, 3 transport, 2 electronic warfare.
  8. ^ Fitted with Denel infrared observation system under Project Koiler in 2008. Two lost in accidents in 2011 and 2014.[7][8]
  9. ^ Mostly VIP transport.
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