Military Review

Attack helicopter Denel AH-2 Rooivalk (South Africa)

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk (translated from Afrikaans Kestrel) is a South African attack helicopter, which is produced by Denel Aerospace Systems. This helicopter is designed to defeat the enemy’s equipment and manpower, attack land targets, escort and air support, as well as conduct air reconnaissance and counterguerrilla warfare. The crew of the attack helicopter consists of 2-x people: the pilot and the operator of weapons systems. In total, 12 AH-2 Rooivalk helicopters were released, while the 1 of them were lost in an accident, the remaining 11 machines are in service with the 16-th separate helicopter squadron of the South African Air Force.

AH-2 Rooivalk design work was launched by Denel Aviation in 1984. The attack helicopter was supposed not only to support the ground forces, but also to conduct air combat with helicopters and low-flying enemy aircraft. Studies on the creation of the helicopter commissioned by the South African Air Force began in 1981 year. After a number of intermediate samples were assembled, which were used to refine the design, avionics, and weapons, 3 prototypes were sequentially created, the last of which became the pre-production modification of the Kestrel. The first flight of the helicopter performed 11 February 1990, adopted on February 1999 year. The helicopter was produced from 1997 to 2001 years, the cost of one unit is about 40 million dollars.

With regard to the tactics of using AH-2 Rooivalk, African specialists seem to rely on the Mi-24 philosophy. It is known that helicopters of this class are designed to carry out bombing attacks on the front edge of the enemy’s defense, while the Mi-24 falls into the affected area of ​​all types of anti-aircraft missiles and small weapons.
Attack helicopter Denel AH-2 Rooivalk (South Africa)

It is worth noting the fact that the term "combat helicopter" itself does not in large measure fit into such vehicles as the Cobra or the Apache, which perform more anti-tank functions. These helicopters cannot survive under the fire of the enemy’s non-suppressed air defenses; the main tactic of their use is to launch an anti-tank missile system to the maximum possible distance without entering the zone of enemy anti-aircraft defense. These helicopters perform an attack of enemy troops only in the absence of anti-aircraft resistance.

According to the concept used, the AH-2 Rooivalk is much closer to the Mi-24 than to the Apache. The philosophy that characterizes this machine can be formulated in the following words: the helicopter should not be detected by the enemy, but if it is found, it should not be damaged, but the damage is not a catastrophe, and if the helicopter was shot down, it should not fall apart when it falls.

In accordance with the requirements for the attack helicopter from the South African Air Force, it was optimized for solving combat missions in areas with difficult terrain, in conditions of a limited altitude range (5-15 m. Above terrain) and in dusty conditions. The attack helicopter was made double with a five-bladed helmsman and four-bladed rotors. It is equipped with a tricycle landing gear that does not retract during flight with a tail wheel, as well as a small extension wing and two sufficiently powerful gas turbine engines.

The fuselage of the AH-2 Rooivalk is of an aircraft type; in its front part is the cockpit of pilots with a tandem arrangement of a pilot and a gunner-operator of armaments. The seat of the pilot is behind and slightly higher than the armchair of the operator, which provides every member of the crew with good viewing conditions forwards and sides. The crew seats are armored, in addition, the reservation is also provided for the most important units and parts of the helicopter design. In this case, the designers implemented the principle of protecting the most important parts of the structure with less valuable. The three-wheeled chassis design is capable of withstanding the loads that occur in the event of an emergency landing with a vertical speed of a helicopter descent to 10 m / s.

As a power plant on the AH-2 Rooivalk, 2 turbo-shaft gas turbine engines “Topaz” were used, which are modernization of the French engines “Makila” 1А2 manufactured by Turbomeca. The take-off power of each engine is 1740 kW. To prevent dust and sand from entering the engines on the helicopter, air intakes with special filters are used. In this case, the thermal radiation of the hot exhaust gases of the power plant is reduced due to mixing with cold ambient air. The maximum supply of fuel placed in 3-x retrofit fuel tanks reaches 1854 l. If necessary, additional fuel tanks can be mounted on the helicopter.

For pointing the weapon and detecting targets on a helicopter, a gyro-stabilized target indication system TDATS located in the nose of the machine is used, which has sensors of the FLIR thermal imaging system. In addition, the helicopter is equipped with a laser range finder, low-light television camera, automatic target tracking device. Using this equipment allows you to detect a target at a distance of 8,5 km. in the daytime and up to 4,5 km. in nighttime. Also, the AH-2 Rooivalk helicopter is equipped with a satellite navigation system receiver and inertial navigation system. All information from target designation systems and flight navigation information is displayed on multi-functional displays that are located in the cockpit (3 for each crew member). This information can also be transmitted to ground control points or other helicopters of this type.

The armament of the attack helicopter Denel AH-2 Rooivalk includes a 20-mm automatic aviation the gun, which is located in the turret under the bow of the fuselage of the machine (the initial projectile speed of 720 m / s, the rate of fire - 600 rounds / min.). Helmet sights are used to aim the gun at the target, both crew members have such sights. There are 2 pylons under the wing consoles for mounting suspended weapons, and air-to-air guides for Sidewinder or V3B Kukri missiles are mounted at the ends of the wing. In addition, 2-4 launchers with 8-16 ZT-6 ATGMs, as well as launchers for unguided rockets of a caliber of 70 mm, can be mounted on pylons.

Flight specifications Denel AH-2 Rooivalk:

Dimensions: main screw diameter - 15,6 m., Tail screw diameter - 6,34 m. Length –18,7 m., Height - 5,2 m.
Helicopter weight: normal take-off - 7500 kg., Maximum take-off - 8750 kg.
The type of power plant: 2 turboshaft Turbomeca Makila 1K2, HP 1845 power. each.
The maximum flight speed is 278 km / h.
The maximum lateral speed is 93 km / h.
The practical flight range on the ground is 704 km., At an altitude of 1525 km.
Static ceiling - 5 445 m., Using earth effect - 5850 m.
Armament - 1X20-mm gun F2 (700 cartridges), 6 suspension units - combat load up to 2032 kg., Up to 4 UR air-to-air, 8 or 16 ATGM, 38 or 76 70-mm NUR FFAR.
Crew - 2 person.

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  1. Avenger711
    Avenger711 25 January 2013 08: 54
    And why did the author decide that the small helicopter is more tenacious than the Apache, which has a large share of the booking in the total weight?
    1. Civil
      Civil 25 January 2013 12: 00
      how many interesting models bloody apartheid came up with during the sanctions, more precisely, how many stole technologies)))
      1. vagabo
        vagabo 25 January 2013 16: 28
        It was the sanctions that prompted South Africans to develop their own technologies.
        The author did not say yet another advantage of the armament of this machine. In 2005, DENEL developed for her the magnificent Mokopa ATGM capable of hitting armored vehicles at a distance of 10 km and penetrating 1350 mm of armor!
  2. Professor
    Professor 25 January 2013 09: 56
    With respect to the tactics of using AH-2 Rooivalk, African experts apparently relied on the Mi-24 philosophy. It is known that helicopters of this class are designed to carry out bombing and assault attacks on the front line of enemy defense, while the Mi-24 falls into the zone of destruction of all types of anti-aircraft missile and small arms.
    It is worth noting the fact that the term "combat helicopter" itself does not in large measure fit into such vehicles as the Cobra or the Apache, which perform more anti-tank functions. These helicopters cannot survive under the fire of the enemy’s non-suppressed air defenses; the main tactic of their use is to launch an anti-tank missile system to the maximum possible distance without entering the zone of enemy anti-aircraft defense. These helicopters perform an attack of enemy troops only in the absence of anti-aircraft resistance.

    It’s a very controversial statement, so you might think that this air defense helicopter is not scared and Stinger and DShK will not hit it, not to mention more serious systems.
  3. avt
    avt 25 January 2013 10: 12
    At the expense of the philosophy of MI-24, this seems to be very far-fetched. Here, a mile away, the Cobra is visible. Well, but the statement that the term "combat helicopter" does not apply to Apache and Cobra ....... request this, so as not to offend the author ...... laughing
  4. understudy
    understudy 25 January 2013 10: 45
    Nobody paid attention to the photo ... the white one is directly servicing the turntable, the black one is wiping the "glass" with a rag. The trend, however, continues. request
    1. ksandr45
      ksandr45 25 January 2013 11: 43
      And on the third from the top it is clear that both pilots are white.
    2. Akim
      Akim 25 January 2013 11: 51
      Quote: Understudy
      black - with a rag "glass" wipes. The trend, however, continues.

      It's not just about skin color. In South Africa, there are few blacks who have received higher education. Not because of Apertiid, as before, but simply because the white part of the population is more prosperous and can allow them to continue their studies after school, and not go to work.
      1. biglow
        biglow 25 January 2013 12: 37
        It's not about the presence or absence of education, it's about the differences between white and black that nature has laid down and they are not surmountable
        1. Akim
          Akim 25 January 2013 12: 56
          It's not about overcoming. I have a friend who went on flights to Cape Town. His stories reminded me of our story when serfdom was over. The peasants became free, but the land remained with the landowners. A similar situation with the amendment to modern conditions (diamonds. Gold and oil instead of land).
        2. black_eagle
          black_eagle 25 January 2013 14: 45
          First, the world must get rid of racism, and then from the blacks))))))))))))))))
          1. Akim
            Akim 25 January 2013 14: 53
            Quote: black_eagle
            First, the world must get rid of racism, and then from the blacks

            And what do they personally bother you with?
            1. black_eagle
              black_eagle 25 January 2013 16: 24
              But nothing, I have no complexes on this subject, my comment was nothing more than a joke, I even noted it, but I consider it unnecessary to focus attention on racial issues, here we take for example the decaying USA, where you can’t look at a negro and you’ll be offended and at best you will get off with a fine, this is absurd, or take Germany where Muslim Germans (such Germans are Aryans !!!) absolutely do not want to work and live on state aid, the rest plow, for example, the sea, in short, I am not against blacks Chinese, Mongols, etc. I am against their status as oppressed and offended, here.
  5. Lord of the Sith
    Lord of the Sith 25 January 2013 15: 50
    Thanks for the material, very beautiful photos!
  6. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 25 January 2013 15: 56
    In my humble opinion, this helicopter is quite successful. And he will cope with the tasks assigned to him ... It's just that we, having such bison of helicopter engineering as the Kamov Design Bureau and Mil Design Bureau with their wonderful brainchildren, are used to looking down on individual samples produced in "non-helicopter-building countries" ...
    Nevertheless, one should not forget that the Yuarovites have vast experience in local conflicts, counter-guerrilla and sabotage activities. And this cannot be taken away from them. As well as you can’t take away their ability to successfully match military equipment to their (South African) theater of war ...
    1. cobalt
      cobalt 26 January 2013 00: 48
      I support, There is something to learn from the South African people in the ability to provide their troops with good equipment. In the 70 years, South Africa put into service a very good armored Ratel, with a variety of weapons. A total of about 1400 of these cars were produced. The power reserve of this car is up to 1000 km. A supply of drinking water was provided in the machine - up to 200 liters. It can operate at a considerable distance from the repair and technical facilities. In the battles in southeastern Angola in 1987, such vehicles, armed with a 90 mm cannon, successfully knocked out our T-54 and T-55. During the battles on the Lomba River in September 1987, the Ratel ZT-3 crew (carrier carrier) 4 missiles destroyed 3 Angolan T-55s. DO NOT forget that it was in South Africa that they began to pay attention to the increased mine protection of armored vehicles for infantry and back in the late 70s created the Kasspir armored personnel carrier with a V-shaped bottom on a high platform, which provided high protection against mine explosions and this concept is currently adopted other countries in the development of armored vehicles.
      1. cobalt
        cobalt 26 January 2013 00: 57
        Here is a video on South African technology, Reitel and their novelty

  7. Vufel
    Vufel 25 January 2013 16: 33
    Norm apparatus. Not Mi, of course, and not KA, but quite at the level. Last year, if I am not mistaken, a contract was signed with Eurocopter for pushing an African into the markets of third countries, although Eurocopter has a "Tiger". In addition, this Denel is a subdivision of BAE Systems, and those bourgeois, it should be admitted, know how to make weapons.
  8. Watchman
    Watchman 25 January 2013 20: 09
    Personally, I do not see the point in 12 helicopters. Even an air regiment cannot be formed. Although, on the other hand, South Africa has no neighbors with more or less strong armies, so they know better.
  9. Volozhanin
    Volozhanin 28 January 2013 20: 36
    There were WHITES in power, there was one of the best countries in the world, but their "Gorbachev" -de Clerk is all pro ,,,, I recommend everyone to read the article "South African Armed Forces-Prelude to the Decay?"
  10. Natalia
    Natalia 30 January 2013 17: 41
    Well, no way, a helicopter is like a helicopter.
    The Ka-50 will probably be prettier