The South African Air Force has awarded Aerosud Aerospace of Pretoria a R400 000 contract for product support for the Douglas C-47-TP “TurboDak” aircraft system. The contract was awarded late last month and brings the amount of similar contracts awarded the company to to over R24 million.
The SAAF received its first C47s in 1943 and they were employed as transport in the Italian campaign of World War Two as well as for ferry duties in the Mediterranean theatre. After the war, the aircraft were deployed to support the Berlin Air Lift. Between June 1948 and May 1949 some 1.5 million tons of cargo was carried into the blockaded city aboard some 200 000 flights.
In the early 1990s about 11 were modernised with, inter alia turboprops replacing the piston engines. The aircraft remain in service with 35 Squadron, based in Cape Town, with medium transport as well as maritime patrol duties. The type is set to continue flying in SAAF colours until 2015 when it will be replaced with an acquisition made as part of Project Saucepan.
The latest contract takes the amount spent through Aerosud on keeping the C47s flying to R24 011 037 since April 2007. The DC3 on which the C47 is based, celebrated its 75th birthday last year.
From the Armscor Bulletin System:
Product support for the C-47-TP aircraft system – extension of ELGS/2006/342
LGS/S2010/4580 10 Dec 2010 R400 000,00 Aerosud
LGS/S2010/4451 29 Jul 2010 R357 894,00 Aerosud
LGS/S2009/4268 14 Apr 2010 R6 260 048,00 Aerosud
LGS/S2008/3963 28 May 2009 R8 077 943,00 Aerosud
Product support for the C47-TP aircraft system
ELGS/2006/342 19 Apr 2007 R8 915 152,00 Aerosud