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article imageAAD 2012: ‘Mini War’ breaks out in South Africa Special

By Christopher Szabo     Sep 20, 2012 in Business
Pretoria - The African Aerospace and Defence (AAD) expo is now in its second trade day with some 20,000 media and exhibitors vying for the country’s aviation and defence needs, while the South African military held a ‘mini war’ to showcase its abilities.
The South African Air Force (SAAF) deployed its SAAB JAS 39 Gripen (“Griffin”) as a defensive measure against possible enemy fighters,
Two Gripen JAS 39 fighters on the prowl.
Two Gripen JAS 39 fighters on the prowl.
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allowing a C-130BZ Hercules transport plane carrying paratroopers (“Parabats” in local parlance) to a point on the runway.
A C-130 transport comes in at a steep angle.
A C-130 transport comes in at a steep angle.
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This was followed by the South African designed and built “Rooivalk” (Red Kestrel) attack helicopter, which fired its 20mm guns, as it prepared the ground for paratroopers coming in on Oryx helicopters.
The Rooivalk attack helicopter.
The Rooivalk attack helicopter.
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No  it s not  Apocalypse Now   it s the Mini-War exercise of the SANDF.
No, it's not "Apocalypse Now", it's the Mini-War exercise of the SANDF.
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Mechanised infantry in Ratel (Honey Badger) Infantry Fighting Vehicles followed, as did an Olifant (Elephant) tank in support.
South African Mechanised Infantry advance. The vehicle behind the Ratel troop carriers is a Rooikat ...
South African Mechanised Infantry advance. The vehicle behind the Ratel troop carriers is a Rooikat, or Caracal.
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The Rooivalks then literally flew in circles protecting the troops,
For once  flying in circles made sense!
For once, flying in circles made sense!
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who then “exfil-d” or “ex-filtrated” from the combat zone.
One of the  bangs and crashes  referred to. Photo courtesy of Janet Szabo.
One of the "bangs and crashes" referred to. Photo courtesy of Janet Szabo.
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Despite the 120mm mortars, 20mm cannons and various bangs and flashes, fortunately for all concerned, the “Mini-War” was only for show and no-one got killed or injured.
An Oryx helicopter  exfiltrates  airborne troops. Courtesy of Janet Szabo.
An Oryx helicopter "exfiltrates" airborne troops. Courtesy of Janet Szabo.
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If only all wars could end like this!
An iconic photo of a Denel Oryx medium helicopter at sunset.
An iconic photo of a Denel Oryx medium helicopter at sunset.
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