SANDF going big at the Rand Show


When the Rand Show opens its gates to visitors on Friday those with a military frame of mind will be well catered for as the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will be represented by all four of its component services.

The landward force, in the form of the SA Army, is set to be the major drawcard with Rand Show visitors able to get up close and personal with various types of armoured vehicles from Ratel to Rooikat and Olifant main battle tank.

The SA Air Force (SAAF) has apparently allocated a Rooivalk combat support helicopter to the National Exhibition Centre, south of Johannesburg, for the duration of the show. These rotary-winged aircraft have contributed in no small measure to successes earned by the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The airborne service is also expected to have Alouette helicopters on display.

The Infantry Formation of the SA Army is taking an active part in the 2018 Rand Show with the Ratel and its weapon systems, all platoon weapons, Casspir transport as well as dogs, horses and quad bikes in the arena programme.

The Armour Formation will show Rooikat, Ratel ZT3, Olifant Mk 2, Tank Transporter and Zebra platforms while the Artillery Formation will have the 127 mm multiple rocket launcher, GV5 155 mm gun, GV5 gun tractor and 155 mm GV6 gun on display. The Air Defence Artillery Formation will have the Thutlwa radar system, 23 mm Bosvark anti-aircraft gun and 35mm MKV gun on show.

Other Army formations at the show are the Engineers, Intelligence and Signals. The SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) will also have a comprehensive display of its equipment and skills for the duration of the show.

Matters maritime are covered by a hydrography exhibition as well as displays covering mine countermeasures, the Maritime Reaction Squadron, riverine patrol boats, dive tank and diving equipment. Additionally the SA Navy will display some specialist weapons including the 40/60 Bofors gun, Umkhonto missile, three pounder and 12.7 mm double gun.

Show visitors will also be able to see some of the equipment used by Special Forces and the military police in the execution of their duties.

All told the SANDF has committed to 10 000 square metres of exhibition space. In addition to various weapons and systems in use in all four services a manned career village is an integral part of the display as the South African military shows the range of careers on offer in services of the country.

The Official Opening of the Rand Show will be presided over by the SANDF with flyovers and parades kicking off proceedings.

Easter weekend sees the SANDF Capability Display in the main arena that will set hearts racing with the explosive bangs of simulated battles and thunder of helicopters providing air support. Balancing this adrenaline fuelled programme will be precision drill teams and military bands displaying their prowess.

The show opens this Friday and the last day is April 8. Gates open daily at 10h00.