Looking at some sites, it seems SAAF retired the Bucc in 1991, about 6 left by then out of 16, (as no support from the UK since the mid 60's probably much of the reduced numbers was for spares rather than all attrition).
The SAAF Buccaneers were a result of the Simonstown agreement, South Africa provided the said naval base for UK use, in turn the UK provided frigates, Shackleton patrol aircraft and maritime strike Buccaneers.
The SAAF Buccaneers differed from UK ones by having two small JATO rockets in the rear fuselage, for hot and high use, as well as provision for French SA
)">AS.30 radio command missiles (imagine a larger version of the US Bullpup).
)">AS.30 was used by RAF Canberra's in the 60's, deployed to the Mid and Far East, but never fitted to either RAF or RN
Buccaneers, they waited for the more modern Anglo French Martel missile.
-37 anti radar version was used by France, and on Buccaneers, it was on a weapons list for Nimrod and Vulcan, though for the anti-radar later Black Buck missions, US AGM-45 Shrikes were used, Martel had been tested on Vulcan, but not for the hours of cold soak to the Falklands from Ascension Island, so the already heavily combat proven AGM-45 was substituted.
.168 Martel, was a TV
guided version, unique to both the UK and the Buccaneer, imagine a bigger Maverick. The TV
/data link for this was carried on one of the wing pylons.
Both were replaced by Sea Eagle.
Already controversial, arms sales to SA
were effectively ended by the Wilson government's harder line on apartheid, the Simonstown arms sale only got approved by the Macmillan government as they were for maritime defence not for 'internal suppression'.
One result of this was the second batch of 16 Buccaneers was cancelled.
I understand that SAAF Buccaneers were used in anger, on bombing raids during the Namiba/Angola conflicts.
They also they would have carried an air dropped version of the SA
nuclear weapon, (the small SA
Nuke arsenal was dismantled in the early 90's), originally developed in the 70's with Israeli connivance, (how charming of them, helping nuke proliferation to rogue states, with tax $ too!).
A suspected test over the South Atlantic in 1979 set this programme in motion, SA
got their test, Israel got to test it's 2nd generation, the first being from the first French tests. before DeGaulle expelled any Israeli involvement.
SAAF Buccaneers also were called upon to lessen the effect of oil spill from a wrecked tanker, by bombing it! Using both SA
)">AS.30's and unguided rockets and bombs.
did the same, using Buccaneers against the Torrey Canyon in 1967, along with RAF Hunters.
To the RN
's chagrin, this proved less than effective, the press gleefully reported how many bombs missed too, though enough damage was done with plenty of hits.
Better ways have since been found to deal with these incidents since!
(One of our Concorde Capts, rated as the best BA
one by many, who left the fleet in the mid 90's, was in the RN
in 1967 and was on the Torrey Canyon sortie. In banter with engineers, the ground guys would wind him up by asking how many of his bombs hit the tanker, knowing full well his aircraft had a 100% miss rate!)
Due to the solid technical capability of the SAAF, UK arms embargos had little direct effect, (a full UN one did not come in until 15 years the UK embargo, ignored again by Israel).
So SAAF were able to operate Buccaneers 25 years after UK support was cut off, SAAF Canberras were able to maintain a larger fleet no doubt due to the wide distribution of the type around the world, leading to many more black market spares opportunities as well as being a much less sophisticated aircraft.
I understand a Buccaneer is still flyable in SA
, privately owned, one of a number of British 'heritage jets'.
If money was no object, I'd love to be in the back seat of this Buccaneer, low and fast!