SANDF returns to the Rand Show


After a decade’s absence the South African National Defence Force is back at the Rand Show, under the theme “Defence in Peacetime – A Force for Good”. The show opens Friday, April 22, and closes Monday, May 2.

The military will showcase its involvement in peace missions and support to other government departments such as during natural disasters and public sector strikes, as well as against xenophobic attacks on foreigners and in support of border safeguarding.

The SA Army will display a Starstreak very-short-range air defence system acquired under Project Guardian as well as the Project Cytoon Tactical Intelligence System, described as a “state of the art surveillance technology”. Also on display will be Mamba and Casspir armoured personnel carrier, a Bateleur multiple rocket launcher and M5 mortar system, a Rooikat armoured car, an Olifant Mk2 tank with tank transporter, a Ratel ZT3 tank destroyer, a Bridge Laying Vehicle and a Mine Detection System. The Army will also display a Command Ratel, a mock Operations Room and signal equipment. The SA Army’s Reserve Force will also be present in the form of the ever-busy
11 Field Postal Unit. “11 Field Postal Unit is a Reserve Unit mandated and supported by the South African Post Office to provide an efficient field postal service to the SANDF, wherever they may be deployed. All Reserve members called up for service at this Filed Post Office are full-time employees of the SA Post Office.”

The SA Air Force will display a SAAB Gripen new generation fighter aircraft which “played a key role in the air security plan during the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup (SWC) and now in boarder [sic] safeguarding (reconnaissance flights).” Also on display will be a Denel CSH2A Rooivalk combat support helicopter, an AgustaWestland A109 light utility helicopter, an Umlindi radar system and a Tactical Mobile Radar. “All the above-mentioned pieces of equipment were successfully utilised in the air security plan for SWC.

The SA Navy will show off its Shallow Water Route Survey System that conducted sonar detection in the harbours of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban during the SWC. “What makes this system so unique is that it is a commercial off-the-shelf product that is transferable between platforms including mine hunters, survey boats as well as harbour patrol boats. This capability enables an officer commanding to see the ocean floor in 3-dimensions and detect objects on the seabed that can pose danger to ships. The Navy’s ubiquitous divers tank will also be in attendance. Daily demonstrations will be given to visitors during the duration of the show.

The South African Military Health Service Visitors exhibition will show a Chemical and Biological Defence decontamination deployment and a Level 1 health facility “that can be deployed anywhere in the world during an operation. The function of the Level 1 facility is to ensure that patients are stabilised before being evacuated to more advanced health care facilities.” Also on display will be an all terrain Mfezi armoured ambulance “that can take up to eight patients depending on the configuration, and a high care ambulance that is used for the transport of critical ill patients, and is equipped with some of the most modern health care equipment.”

Contributions to the Arena programme will include parachute displays, simulated hostage situations (with the Air Force, Metro Police, SA Police Service and paratroopers participating), the SA Irish Pipe & Drums display, the SAMHS band and the SAMHS Military Veterinary Institute as well as flypasts by SAAF aircraft.