A number of important defence acquisitions in Southern Africa over the next few years will likely transform the region’s capabilities, most significantly in the ability of various SADC countries to conduct long-distance missions. As peacekeeping and peace-enforcement becomes an increasing part of the Africa-wide responsibilities of SADC countries’ armed forces, the need for flexible multi-role aircraft and lighter logistics loads will become more important.
So, as airpower in SADC starts to change, here’s a primer on one of the most flexible combat fighters on the market, the Saab Gripen, presently in service with the South African Air Force which recently deployed them in support of operations in Central Africa.
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