New VVIP aircraft still on government shopping list
Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is insistent a new VVIP aircraft will be acquired for the SA Air Force (SAAF) but the silence is golden rule appears to apply when it comes to the actual acquisition. State defence and security acquisition agency Armscor this week said in response to a defenceWeb enquiry on the lease tender for a VVIP aircraft: “The outcome of the process will be communicated publicly once the entire process has been finalised”. defenceWeb’s enquiry was prompted by no meaningful response to earlier questions asked about the acquisition of another VIP aircraft, apparently to replace 21 Squadron’s existing flagship, the BBJ Inkwazi. At that time Armscor indicated it had analysed the requests for information and submitted its response to the client – the SAAF. No public statements were issued as regards purchase of either a new or previously owned VIP jet at the time that tender closed and the subsequent issue of another Armscor tender, this one for the leasing of a VIP aircraft, appears to indicate no suitable bids were submitted. Mapisa-Nqakula is reported as saying government will buy a new VVIP jet for the Presidency. She stressed the new aircraft would not just be for President Jacob Zuma.