The South African Air Force Air Capability Demo (ACD) was held this year on 01 September at the Roodewal Weapons Range outside of Pietersburg, Polokwane.
What a privilege to be invited up as part of the media for this demo, this is not like any airshow, but a demonstration using live ordnance and ammunition. The SAAF pulled out all the stops to put on what can only be described as an awesome display of power and capability. Aside from the fact that it was like being in an actual battle in the bush, the opportunity to shoot images of these aircraft in the environment that they were designed for was really special. Live imagery was transmitted down to the ground via an airborne camera showing the battle zone from much higher up. As the battle raged on between the Red and Blue forces we were treated to everything from flares being dispersed to bombs being dropped. The firing of the Rooivalk’s 70mm Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR) were really impressive as it’s F2 20mm cannon fired 720 rounds per minute. The 30mm Cannon of the BAe Hawk, together with the bombs dropped by the Hawk and Gripen made a pyrotechnics display seem somewhat tame as the 12.5kg bombs slammed into their targets. 3 great formos of Helicopters, Hawks and Gripens made for a grande finale. I look forward to attending many more of these in the future.