South African ACIRC commitment will have UAVs and limited logistic support
The SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Joint Operations Division (JOps) has told Parliament a pair of tactical UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) is among the resources available for ACIRC (African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises). This is a stopgap force backed by South Africa until such time as the African Union African Standby Force (ASF) is operational. In its presentation to Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence, JOps said the tactical UAVs, not identified but believed to be Seeker 400s, will be supplied to ACIRC by Defence Intelligence (DI) with 10 personnel assigned and the rider that this specific component of the deployment still has to be confirmed. Last month the SA Air Force (SAAF) confirmed to defenceWeb it was reactivating 10 Squadron, the unit formerly based in Potchefstroom that operated Scout and Seeker UAVs during the Bush War. This publication was told by SANDF spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga “there are plans for discussions between Denel Dynamics and the SAAF on training UAV operators”. Speculation has been rife in military circles that the unnamed “local customer” Denel Dynamics said was acquiring Seeker 400 UAVs is DI. Similarly the company has not been prepared to divulge exact numbers but it is believed the order is either for four or six complete UAV systems.