South African Air Force

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South African Air Force
South African Air Force emblem.svg
The South African Air Force's emblem
Founded1 February 1920 (1920-02-01)
Country South Africa
TypeAir force
RoleAir supremacy & air defence
Size226 aircraft
10,815 (active personnel)
831 (reserve personnel)
Part of South African National Defence Force
Motto(s)Latin: Per aspera ad astra (English: Through hardships to the stars)[1]
Battle honoursAwarded to squadrons (numerous)
Chief of the Air ForceLt Gen Fabian Msimang
RoundelsRoundel Low visibility roundel
EnsignAir Force Ensign of South Africa.svg
Aircraft flown
FighterJAS 39 Gripen
PatrolLynx 300
TrainerPilatus PC-7, BAE Hawk
TransportC-130, Atlas Oryx, Agusta A109, CASA C.212, Cessna Caravan

The South African Air Force (SAAF) is the air force of the South African National Defence Force.

The South African Air Force goes back to 1912, when the Union Defence Force (UDF) was created. The UDF had included the South African Aviation Corps (SAAC), which was part of the Active Citizen Force (ACF). On 1 February 1920, the South African Air Force was created. The SAAF fought in several battles during World War II, the Korean War, and the South African Border War.

Strength[change | change source]

The South African Air Force has about 226 aircraft and 11,245 active military personnel. The aircraft are mostly European-made. However some, such as the Denel Rooivalk and the Atlas Oryx were designed and built in South Africa. The Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen is the standard aircraft of the Air Force.

References[change | change source]

  1. "South African Air Force". Corporate Identity. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.