Upgrades and support sought for SAAF nav aid systems

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Just weeks after Armscor issued a tender for maintenance and repair work on SA Air Force (SAAF) “launching and landing systems”, the defence and security procurement agency is looking for bidders to supply, maintain, repair and support navigational aid systems and support equipment for the ailing airborne service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

Tender ECAC/2021/143, as with EARO/2021/135, relates to air force bases and ancillary equipment for flying safety. The tenders come at a time when Armscor informed a parliamentary defence oversight committee the SAAF can put less than a quarter of its total fleet of 217 aircraft into the air.

The navigation aids tender closes on 9 March. It does not specify which SAAF bases are to benefit from the tender, if awarded.

Another just issued Armscor tender is for repair and overhaul of C-130BZ LRUs (line replaceable units) and spares procurement as per EARO/2021/141. The closing date is 9 March and at least one retired air force officer “hopes” the tender will assist “in some small way” in bringing back into service the five currently unserviceable 28 Squadron transports. The Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof squadron is the SAAF’s main transport unit and has seven ageing C-130BZs on its inventory. One is, according to an Armscor presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), “beyond economical repair”.