Air International 1992-10
K.Ellis - Rooivalk - an industry comes of age
Commonality with the widely-used Puma tactical transport helicopter provides Rooivalk with a powerful market-base for current Puma users.
View of the Rooivalk XDM in a decidedly 'African' environment - where the experience was gained to write the requirement that gave rise to the CSH-2 weapons system. While the Rooivalk was born out of a primarily 'bush' requirement, its capabilities lend itself to any land environment and it would also fit well into a maritime strike situation.
South Africa's Rooivalk in menacing pose over the sea to highlight its proposed anti-ship role. It offered as a contender for the UK anti-armour helicopter requirement.
Rooivalk represents many years of studying aerial warfare, with the first-hand experience of the South West African campaign firmly in mind. Frontal aspect shows the slightly swept-back stub-wings, the commanding view afforded to both crew members and the widely separated engines
Rooivalk is a nimble machine, offering a very small frontal area. The complexities of a mast-mounted sight were far outweighed by the needs for ease of maintenance in the field. An image storage system allows for pop-up, scan and disappear tactics.
Rooivalk has great agility and its flying characteristics have been found to be almost fighter-like. Nap-of-the-earth flying is sure and stable - as one would expect from a machine that is designed to fly within a confined tactical 'window' for the vast majority of its operations.
Rear view of Rooivalk, showing the infra-red supressors and the substantial rear landing gear - the latter giving the helicopter a relatively level 'sit' upon landing.
Displayed on the Armscor stand at FIDAE 92, Santiago, Chile, was the Aerotek-developed XC-30 30mm DEFA 553 cannon turret for application to the 'chin' position of the CSH-2 Rooivalk.
Armament on the prototype in the photographs comprises V3B Kukri AAMs on the stub wings, four-round 80mm laser-guided anti-tank missile containers and an undernose 20mm cannon.
The cockpits have been designed to ease both pilot and WSO workloads as much as possible, allowing concentration on the rapidly-developing combat situation outside. Information is at hand via three visual display screens within a well organised panel.
Armscor CSH-2 Rooivalk
General arrangement drawing of the Atlas CSH-2 Rooivalk (Kestrel).