Skip to comments.South Africa’s restored Cheetah fighters make Ecuador debut
Posted on 01/25/2012 7:34:14 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
South Africas restored Cheetah fighters make Ecuador debut
By: Stephen Trimble
Ecuador has received 12 ex-South African Air Force Cheetah C/D fighters, ordered in late 2010, from Denel Aviation.
Ecuador President Rafael Correa Delgado announced on 21 January that the entire batch of 12 fighters has arrived from South Africa.
The 10 C-model and two D-model Cheetahs had been in storage since their retirement from service in South Africa four years ago. Ecuadorian officials visited South Africa in April 2009 to start negotiations, and signed a $78 million contract in December 2010. The deal also includes five years of maintenance support.
The Cheetah was developed in the 1980s during South Africa's apartheid regime. Israeli and South African engineers modified Dassault Mirage IIIs with a modern suite of avionics, radar, and electronic warfare systems, creating a configuration similar to Israel's Kfir.
The Cheetahs are expected to replace Ecuador's fleet of 12 ageing Mirage F1s.
Ecuador bought the Cheetah fleet shortly after a border crisis with the Colombian air force, which was accused of violating Ecuadorian airspace to attack suspected guerrilla camps.
Since 2008, the Ecuadorian air force has also acquired or ordered Dhruv advanced light helicopters from India's Hindustan Aeronautics, Xian MA60 transports from China, unmanned air vehicles from Israel, and Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack fighters from Brazil, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Looks more like a Mirage, dont you think?
There’s a magic secret coded answer above.
You don’t even have to click on the magic link and read the article!
It looks a little like a mirage, but it looks EXACTLY like a Kfir.
Ecuador bought 10 Kfirs in the EARLY ‘80’s.
I wonder if “Cheetah’s” are also powered by a J79?
To shoot one down, you just need a “black smoke seeking” missile.
The Cheetah uses an upgraded variant of the original French Atar engine.
I find all this stuff interesting.
Was South Africa really so isolated they had to resort to “buildng their own” fighters? (or at least putting them together after smuggling in the parts)
A pretty interesting read on their Apartheid-era programmes. At least, the ANC hasn’t dismantled the excellent mil-industrial infrastructure.
It just seems like its too small for it to make sense to build some of this stuff. How many of those Rooivalk helicopters were ever built?
A dozen according to Wiki, are half even flying anymore?
I think they wanted top-rate when they just didn’t need it for the most part.
I think they are looking at JVs with countries like Brazil and worryingly, China to get a larger customer base.
Yeah, I caught that, but my first thought was F-106 - I’m an old guy.
That could be a problem if any of their airbases are at high elevation.
French engines, Israeli avionics, mixed Sout African and Israeli upgrade to Mirages. As the communists used the anti-Apartheid movement to neutralize South Africa and help communists conquer Africa, Israel remained an ally of South Africa.