Large SANDF presence at Durban Land, Sea Air Festival


The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be out in full force at the Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival later this month, including the Silver Falcons aerobatic display team.

Although the lineup has not been completely confirmed, festival organisers say some of the aircraft and vessels on display next week will include SANDF assets.

Festival organiser Brian Emmenis said they were responding to the defence minister’s call to do more to promote the armed forces. “[We] feel showcasing what the armed forces have in their defence arsenal at the Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival will create awareness of the SANDF’s important role.”

One of the South African Navy’s four Valour class frigates will be exhibited at the festival and a Type 209 submarine has also been added to the lineup, subject to availability. “This will be the first time we have seen a submarine this far from Simon’s Town,” Emmenis said. The navy divers will also be in attendance.

On the air side, the South African Air Force will be flying Oryx and Super Lynx helicopters. “Both helicopters will showcase their capabilities and be on standby in the event of an emergency,” Emmenis said.

One of the star attractions will be the Silver Falcons aerobatic team, which will fly all the way from their base at Langebaan in the Cape. The Air Force’s skydiving team the Golden Eagles will also make an appearance at the show.

In addition to the armed forces, the NSRI will showcase their mother ship and semi-rigid boats, supported by members of the SAPS police rescue divers and members of SAPS’ water wing. Emmenis said, “Unfortunately SAPS’ air wing will not be taking part.”

Other attractions include the Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics, which will see South African pilots competing against each other as well as five top international pilots from Russia, the Czech Republic, France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The first Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival is taking place over the long weekend between Friday 21 and Saturday 22 March. Entry is free to the public.