Remember the Rand Shows of yesteryear, with their camo-tented army displays, children clambering about in tanks and dads peering into jets? Well, those days are back, as the Rand Show once again welcomes the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to its list of prestigious attractions.
No military enthusiast will want to miss this superb display because this Easter, from 22 April to 2 May, the SANDF will be bringing out the big guns.
In addition to daily displays and simulations in the Rand Show Main Arena, the SANDF has lined up an exciting array of military hardware for its outdoor exhibitions.
The SA Army will exhibit the STARTSTREAK Missile Launcher, the Multiple Rocket Launcher and the M5 Mortar System, as well as its state-of-the-art Tactical Intelligence System surveillance technology which is the first of its kind to be commissioned in the world.
The Army is also bringing Mamba and Casspir vehicles, a Rooikat armoured car, the Olifant Mk 2 tank with tank transporter, the Ratel ZT-3, and a bridge-laying vehicle, and will be setting up a mock ‘ops room’, showing off its mine detection system, and doing parachute displays.
The SA Air Force will be landing a host of awe-inspiring craft at the Rand Show. The Rooivalk combat helicopter and the A109 Agusta helicopter will be there, while the new-generation fighter aircraft, the Gripen, which played a key role in the air security plan of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup and is now used in reconnaissance flights on the border, will be part of the opening ceremony.
The SAAF will also have displays of the Umlindi Radar System and Terminal Mobile Radar Antenna.
From the skies to the seas, the SA Navy will set up a diver tank as used for training navy divers. There will be daily demonstrations in the tank for Rand Show visitors.
The Navy will also display the Shallow Water Route Survey System, which was used to conduct sonar detection in the Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban harbours during the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. This system allows officers to see the ocean floor in 3D so they can detect objects on the seabed that could pose a danger to vessels.
Rounding off the display is the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS), which will give visitors the opportunity of following an evacuation route from a Chemical and Biological Defence decontamination deployment to a Level 1 health facility. This Level 1 facility ensures that patients are stabilised before being evacuated to more advanced health care facilities.
In addition, SAMHS will display the all-terrain Mfezi ambulance, an armoured vehicle that can transport up to eight patients at a time, and a high-care ambulance equipped with some of the most modern healthcare equipment for transporting critically ill patients.
All outdoor exhibitions will be manned by SANDF members, so feel free to ‘fire at will’ with your questions.