Warplanes: Cheetah Put Down


April 8,2008: The South African Air Force has retired the last of its Cheetah jet fighters [PHOTO], with the last fourteen of them being withdrawn from service. This design was based on existing French Mirage III aircraft, which were completely rebuilt to produce a 13 ton aircraft with superior performance to the Mirage III. Why rebuild Mirage IIIs? Because during the 1970s and 80s, South Africa was under increasing international embargos because of voting restrictions. So improvisation was encouraged.

The Cheetah entered service in 1983, and 58 were built. The aircraft was armed with two 30mm automatic cannon and could carry over a ton of bombs. The Cheetah was more maneuverable than the Mirage III, and better at ground attack. Israel was believed to have helped in the development of the Cheetah, which are being replaced by Swedish JAS 39 Gripens.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close