Friday, October 14, 2011

Deadly Denel AH-2 Rooivalk South Africa

Army and Weapons | Deadly Denel AH-2 Rooivalk South Africa | The Denel AH-2 Rooivalk is a modern attack helicopter manufactured in South Africa by Denel Aerospace Systems, a division of Denel Ltd. 12 of these helicopters were ordered by the South African Air Force. The first helicopter in service with the South African Air Force in 1999 and in April 2005 only six Rooivalk were operational as part of 16 Squadron, based at AFB Flower Branch near Bloemfontein.

The Rooivalk project began in early 1984 under the auspices of the Atlas Aircraft Corporation, a predecessor of Denel Aviation. Faced with the increasingly conventional nature of the South African border war, the South African Defence Force recognized the need for a dedicated attack helicopter and set along the process of developing a suitable aircraft.
The Atlas XH-1 Alpha was the first prototype to the program. It was developed from an Aérospatiale Alouette III airframe, while maintaining the helicopter engine and dynamic components, but replacing the original cockpit with a stepped tandem, adding a 20 mm cannon in the nose and converting the base to tail -Dragger configuration. The XH-1 first flew on February 3, 1985. The results were finally good enough to Atlas and the SAAF to convince the concept was feasible, opening the door for the development of the AH-2 Rooivalk.
The AH-2 Rooivalk gunship uses dynamic components of the Aerospatiale Puma, a transport helicopter in service with the South African Air Force. It was decided not to Puma and Alouette III due to the larger size of the Puma's and also use as the Puma is built in South Africa by the Atlas Oryx. And in case you were wondering, Rooivalk is Afrikaans for "Red Kestrel".
The Rooivalk is equipped with a conventional attack helicopter configuration. At first glance you could easily be confused with the Eurocopter Tiger and the Agusta A 129 Mangusta. The cockpits are in stepped tandem configuration. The Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) is in the front cockpit and the pilot sits in the cockpit above and behind the WSO. The cockpits, which are equipped with crashworthy seats and are protected by armor, equipped with a hands-on collective and stick (HOCAS) controls.
Denel Aerospace Systems designed the Rooivalk to the harsh African environment to resist. Following the helicopter can operate in a very basic environment for long periods without sophisticated support. All that is needed to keep the Rooivalk flying is a four-member ground crew and a few parts. The Rooivalk has a crash-resistant structure and is designed for stealth with low radar, visual, infrared and acoustic signatures.
By the SAAF helicopter decades of experience in the harsh African environment, the Rooivalk is designed to operate for long periods without sophisticated support. All that is needed to keep the Rooivalk flying is a medium transport helicopter equipped with a basic supply parts plus four ground crew.
The AH-2 has an array of weapons, depending on the mission profile. It is generally equipped with a nose-mounted 20mm cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles, anti-armor missiles and unguided rockets. The AH-2 has an open system for target acquisition and tracking and advanced navigation using Doppler radar and GPS. Also included is an electronic countermeasures suite, coupled with chaff and flare dispensers.
Notable features include a tandem cockpit, starboard tail rotor with a harbor tailplane, a fixed undercarriage and wheels, wire cutters above and below the cockpit and the undercarriage.
The following types of missions are planned for the AH-2 Rooivalk: reconnaissance, helicopter borne escort, close air support, deep penetration and anti-armor.
The Rooivalk has a wide range of weaponry selected for the mission requirement, ranging from anti-armor and anti-helicopter missions to ground suppression and ferry missions. The aircraft can be multiple targets at short and long range, using the nose mounted cannon and a series of under wing-mounted munitions.The 20mm F2 dual-feed, gas-operated cannon fires high velocity (1,100 m / s) ammunition a rate of fire of 740 rounds per minute. Two gas tanks, up to 700 rounds of ready-to-fire ammunition. The slew rate of the gun is 90 degrees per second. The gun is mounted on the helicopter children.
The future of the Rooivalk is uncertain. Due to delays in deliveries and after its failure to the Turkish Air Force helicopter contract Denel has announced that the winning development and funding for the Rooivalk will cease. The future of the Rooivalk now rests in the hands of the South African government.