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CSH-2 Rooivalk

The South African-designed and manufactured Rooivalk attack helicopter comes equipped with air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles and a rapid-fire 20mm automatic cannon. It carries a crew of two. The first CSH-2 for the South African Air Force was deliverd at the end of 1998, with manufacture planned at four per year until 2001. In a police support role it could be used for intelligence gathering, surveillance, electronic soundwave jamming and as an airborne crane. The survivability of the Rooivalk is enhanced by design characteristics that include low detection signatures, high agility, damage tolerance, dual-redundant systems and airframe crashworthiness. The helicopter is able to operate in the Nap-of-the-earth (NOE) environment, and can operate both at night and in adverse weather conditions from long stand-off ranges. The helmet, head-up display (HUD), and nose-mounted day/night stabilized sighting systems provide for fast, highly accurate designation and delivery of anti-tank missiles, air-to-ground rockets, cannon fire, and the ability to carry air-to-air missiles for self-defence. The turreted cannon, 2 x wing-tip and 4 x under-wing stores stations allow the Rooivalk considerable flexibility in weapons and external fuel loads.

In April 1997 an agreement was announed under which the Rooivalk attack helicopter will be marketed to the world's military forces under a joint co-operation agreement between Denel Aviation and the Franco-German Eurocopter group. Eurocopter produces a similar attack helicopter, the Tiger, but the Rooivalk is about 50% heavier. The Rooivalk will be targeted to customers wishing to buy a heavy helicopter, while the Eurocopter Tiger will be sold to those with who require a smaller machine.


Country of Origin South Africa
Builder Denel Aviation / Atlas Aircraft Co
RoleAttack helicopter
Similar Aircraft
Rotor Diameter 15.22m
Length 18.65m
Height 5.15m
Weight13,030lb / 5730 kg empty
19,290lb / 8750 kg maximum takeoff
Engine2 Makila 1K2 Turboshaft (1845 shp)
Maximum speed309 km/h
Cruising speed 278 km/h
Service Ceiling 20,000 ft
  • 20-mm-cannon (with 700 round)
  • 8 or 16 x anti-tank missiles, ZT-6 Mokopa with laser or millimetre-wave guidance
  • 4 x Matra BAe Dynamics Mistral air-to-air missiles
  • 2 x Denel V3P air-to-air missiles
  • 38 or 76 x unguided rockets
  • Crew 2 in tandem (pilot and weapons systems officer)
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    Maintained by Robert Sherman
    Originally created by John Pike
    Updated Tuesday, September 21, 1999 10:18:15 AM