Unit Emblem 16 Squadron

16 Squadron
 

             

 
 

 Vision and Mission

Mission

To establish 16 Squadron as a support structure within which Rooivalk Operations, Logistics and Training capabilities are developed and operationally tested, ensuring system integrity for successful hand over to service on 01/04/2004

Vision

Rooivalk is a fully integrated operational Attack Helicopter in the South African National Defense Force, adding strategic value as a force multiplier

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  Ethos

T
HE TEAM IS GREATER THAN THE INDIVIDUAL
E
XERCISE AUTHORITY WITH RESPECT
A
DAPTABILITY, FLEXIBILITY AND CAPABILITY
M
Y UNIT - MY RESPONSIBILITY
W
E TRAIN AS WE FIGHT
H
ARD TO BEAT IN FIGHT OR PLAY
I
NNOVATION IS THE BASE OF SUCCESS
P
ROBLEMS ARE CHALLENGES
S
IMPLICITY, SURPRISE AND SPIRIT
W
E DELIVER
A
CTION SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
R
ESULTS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED

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 Rooivalk

   

Rugged Raptor

Atlas Aviation’s Rooivalk attack helicopter repre­sents the pinnacle of South African aerospace technological achievement and is scheduled to enter service with the SAAF before the turn of the century. In the early 1990s the programme, like all defense projects in peacetime, battled to defend its budget. However, the prospect of the helicopter as a big ticket export item (and therefore an important wealth genera­tor for South Africa) helped to foster sym­pathy from politicians and other decision makers who might have easi­ly watched it be scrapped. On the world stage, the Rooivalk has won critical acclaim for itself and South Alicia’s self-sufficient aerospace industry. Its performance and level of integrated technology have pushed the helicopter into a league with its rivals, the McDonnell Douglas Apache and Eurocopter Tiger. Conceptualization of a multi role combat support helicopter tailored for southern Africa’s hot, sometimes humid, rugged and always-dusty battlefield conditions began in the mid 1980s. The upshot was the Alpha XH 1, a proof of concept test bed based on a radically adapted Alouette III chassis, but featuring the distinctive stepped up tandem cockpits and a helmet sight aimed chin mounted cannon. Basic design and developmental testing of the flight controls and weapons systems followed using two modified Puma helicopters. Some of the technologies tested on these experimental airframes were subse­quently incorporated into the Oryx. Simultaneously development and testing of the Topaz turbo shaft a South African equivalent of Turbo Mecca's Makila engine was begun. Like the Oryx, the Rooivalk is powered by two Topaz engines, each capable of delivering up to 1 467 kilowatts of power. By 1995 most of the general airframe design and systems architecture

In the cockpit, the original monochrome flight man indication and control displays had been replaced with multi Function Display (MFD) screens; the latest in glass cockpit technology. Central to Rooivalk success is its conformance with US military standards. This ensured its wide acceptance internationally that, if not immediately compatible with foreign systems it could be made to match with only minor adjustments. 

The Helicopter was designed with the Angola / Namibia border war in a high intensity conventional warfare environment, sophisticated electronic air defense systems coupled to missiles. Analysis’s of the opponent defense equip-it while it was not always lethal; it was able to give sufficient warning for preventative action to be taken. These defenses were detrimental to long - range attacks, as they usually provided enough time for the opposition to mobilize a wide defense arsenal 

This threat analysis resulted in the Rooivalk embodying four primary not to be seen, not to be hit, if hit to sustain flight and if a crash was unavoidable, to survive the impact. In keeping with these objectives the aircraft therefore employs numerous devices to minimize its radar, aural, infrared, visual and laser signature. It was purposely designed with surplus power, making it highly maneuverable and has been equipped with air-to -air and air-to-ground self-defense systems. Beneath its fireproof skin it employs redundant and dual systems and f flight controls, so that if one system or cockpit is damaged in a hit, the helicopter can still be flown. The airframe has been ‘crash proofed to withstand sink rates of 2 000ft a minute without damage. Crews are protected by armour proof impact-absorbing seats and can evacuate their cockpits through any of the window panels, all of which can be exploded. Missions for which the Rooivalk with its long range bristling array of Armour and sensors   has been envisaged include deep penetration into enemy territory, close in fighting or close air support, escort (firepower for heliborne operations), maritime operations and reconnaissance. Mission permutations are virtually endless given the Rooivalk flexible weapons delivery, amour and fuel storage capabilities. Its broad perfor­mance envelope enhances the Rooivalk mission capability. It can operate at temperatures ranging from 350C to +500C and at pressure altitudes varying from 3 GOO n to 19 200fl (for take off and landing) and 20 000ff (in flight). In a typical multi—target engagement mission over 208km, it can carry a payload of 16 anti—tank missiles, four air to—air missiles and 400 20mm cannon rounds at an average cruising speed of 145 knots. However, its range can he extended if payload is traded for fuel and vice versa. The helicopter can also be fitted with two 750-liter external fuel tanks.   

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