The Republic of South Africa is a nation of great size and diversity that offers unqiue challenges for its armed forces. To meet these challenges the South African Defence Force (SADF), not to be confused with the South African National Army, was formed. It encompasses the South Afircan Navy (SAN), the South African Air Force (SAAF), and the South African Army (SAA), and is considered the nations elite military force.
History of the South African Defence ForceEdit
The South African Defence Force was born following the expulsion of the British forces in 1971, and the South African civil war in 1972. Originally formed by white Afrikaner troops, it served as the primary method for which the African Nationalist Army (ANA), later to become the African Nationalist Party (ANP), waged war against the Free South African Army (FSAA), later to become known as the African National Congress (ANC).
The threat of Spanish expansion in 1972 finally brought about a ceasefire between the two sides and political wrangling followed. Part of the eventual elections and victory of the ANP lead to the ANA being maintained as the primary military force and its rebranding as the South African Defence Force.
In 1976 the SADF was declared to be the nations elite military force, distinguishing itself from the South African National Army, the nations regular armed forces.
The SADF's first Chief of Defence Staff was, and still is, General Thomas Clarkson.
The South African Navy is the most modernized of the SADF branches. Benefitting from the fear of a Spanish invasion by sea the SAN recieved notable government funding under the ANP which has led to the research and development of several very impressive warships.
The most notable of its R&D achievements is the Pretoria Class Missile Boat, built in 1976. Fast, agile, and heavily armed these small vessels are vital to the security of the South African coastline. They are not however intended for deep water sailing and are rarely found outside South African national waters.
South African Air Force (SAAF)Edit
The South African Air Force has been sadly negelected by the SADF high command due to the lack of funds to replace aging fighter aircraft. The reassuring precense of the Ethiopian Air Force has also led to a certiain lack of awareness within the SAAF command structure. A recent vote in the National Senate has however approved new aircraft purchases and the SAAF has eagerly begun its hunt for the next generation of South African fighter.
South African Army (SAA)Edit
Like many African nations, South Africas land based assets are quetionable at best. A few tanks and armoured cars are supported by actual horse mounted cavalry and large infantry base, much of which is poorly armed and equipped. CDS Clarkson is aware of these shortcomings and has been pushing for more modernization, a vision he may see quickly come to reality as war looms.
Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR)Edit
ARMSCOR is a weapons production and research firm based in Pretoria. Until recently it was 100% privately owned and produced nothing larger then a rocket launcher. Following the threat of war however, and the rise to power of the more socialist ANC, 51% of the company has been expropriated by the South African Government.
Plans have been set in motion, and money is being spent, to turn ARMSCOR into a domestic producer of all military hardware required by the SADF.