The warheads were originally configured to be delivered from one of several aircraft types then in service with the South African Air Force (SAAF), including the Canberra B12 and the Blackburn Buccaneer. Concerns about the vulnerability of the aircraft to the Cuban anti-aircraft defence network in Angola subsequently led the SADF to investigate missile-based delivery systems.
Image of a RSA-3 3 stage LEO rocket
The missiles were to be based on the RSA-3 and RSA-4 launchers that had already been built and tested for the South African space programme. Three rockets had already been launched into suborbital trajectories in the late 1980s in support of development of the RSA-3 launched Greensat Orbital Management System (for commercial satellite applications of vehicle tracking and regional planning). Following the decision in 1989 to cancel the nuclear weapons program, the missile programs were allowed to continue until 1992, when military funding ended, and all ballistic missile work was stopped by mid-1993. In order to join the Missile Technology Control Regime the government had to allow American supervision of the destruction of key facilities applicable to both the long range missile and the space launch programmes.