Denel prioritises Red Falcon helicopter and missiles for SA defense needs


Senior Member
Nov 20, 2012
We can have a long discussion, but the Rooivalk Mk 2 is viable which is the export model. The current Mk1F have proven to be capable in its UN peacekeeping deployments and has been maintained since 2011. Yes, it is relevant.

Don't be too invested in this piece of Technology. I can't see more than the 12 that was produced for SAAF will ever be made.

If you read the comments from insiders at Denel' as stated on Wikipedia on the subject of future developments, then it seems more and more unlikely that it will ever happen. No one is going to make investments in a company which is bankrupt. That is the reason they lost out on a recent order because they didn't have the required financial stability, which is a component of all major contracts.

Again, it was an amazing achievement at the time, but was not developed when it needed to be and Denel was gutted and 'captured' dry.

In 2016, Denel was reportedly proceeding with a Mk 1.1 upgrade program for the existing Rooivalk fleet; prospective improvements include the addition of a missile approach warning system and enhancements to the rotorcraft's avionics.[8] On 15 September 2016, it was announced that Airbus Helicopters and Denel had signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the SAAF modernisation program; further details on the changes included reliability and survivability improvements, an increased payload, and the replacement of obsolete targeting systems and armaments.[9][10]

In September 2014, Denel Group chief executive Riaz Saloojee stated that the firm were currently studying the feasibility of reopening the Rooivalk production line, which had been mothballed in 2007 after the production of the initial 12 SAAF aircraft. Saloojee stated that talks were under way; it was mooted that new production aircraft conforming to an entirely new platform that used Rooivalk technology could be produced.[11] In September 2016, the South African government authorised government-to-government negotiations on the topic of restarting production of the Rooivalk. According to Victor Xaba, deputy chief executive of Denel Aerostructures, the company would need commitments for at least 70 rotorcraft for the re-establishment of the assembly line to be viable.[8]

The production of a prospective Rooivalk Mk 2 has been periodically mooted.[5] In July 2015, Saloojee spoke on the company's efforts to gain support for a Rooivalk Mk 2 programme which would involve a large proportion of new systems and for which the firm had already produced a roadmap.[12] In late 2016, Denel stated that it was conducting a series of talks with various nations on the Rooivalk Mk 2, including Egypt, Brazil, Nigeria, Poland, and India.[9]


Resident Rodent
Aug 22, 2006
I think this is the first time I've ever heard it called the Red Falcon. Even the Americans call it the Rooivalk.

You don't see us going to an airshow saying stupid **** like "and now for the dogfight demonstration between two Lugspieëling 2000s".