I'll just muse a bit about plane loadouts here, since I'm not all that much of a plane person and downright terrible at actually using planes in Wargame, so I don't really know what's needed from a game perspective; all I can really do is observe what other nations have available and attempt to copy that.
Note On Weapons
Because they were under an arms embargo South Africa had to develop their own planes and plane munitions after 1977, with a lot of help from Israel (in return for helping them with their nuclear programme) and the occasional help from Yugoslavia. This leaves South Africa with very few modern airframes, and to a large extent they lagged behind in terms of missiles too. The 1985-1989 period of the Angolan War, where South Africa did some of their heaviest fighting, was done despite Angola and Cuba having complete air superiority.
So a short list of their in-timeframe missiles is:
- AS-30 (1964)
- R-530 (1966)
- R-530 FZ (1972)
- R-550 Magic (1973)
- V3A Kukri (Dev: 1975 Intro: 1977)
- V3B Kukri (Dev: 1979 Intro: 1981)
- V3C Darter (Dev: 1986 Intro: 1990)
- V3C Snake (Python-3, 1987)
- V3P Archer (R-73, earliest dates are post-1985, pre-1991)
- 745 Laser Guided Bomb (Year unknown)
- H2 Raptor (1987)
The V3A Kukri is basically a clone of the R-550 Magic. Detailed information is hard to find, the CMANO database claiming the only real difference is that it can engage targets at lower altitudes than the R-550, which speaks of some improvements in the seeker. The V3B Kukri is an upgrade over this again; some sources say it was an improvement over the R-550, some say it was actually worse, and the CMANO database says it's a V3A with a range increase. The V3C Darter is a far more capable all-aspect missile with a two-colour IR seeker head with a 55° view, increased velocity, and range. The other weapons, with the exception of the AS-30, are already in Wargame.
The closest weapon to the AS-30 is the AS30L carried by the Super Étendard SEM, however while the AS30L is a SALH missile, the AS-30 is MCLOS. The two examples of MCLOS missiles launched from planes I can remember are the Jaguar GR.1A's 40% accuracy AJ 168 and the Draken WDNS's 35% accuracy Bullpup, which tells us that the AS-30 is not going to hit very often... However the warhead is, as far as I've been able to tell, supposed to be same, so the can't hit a thing but what it hits dies.
The 745 Laser Guided Bomb is an Israeli Griffin LGB. The H2 Raptor is a TV-guided glide bomb.
In addition to these, there are some weapons that would most definitely be Prototypes in Wargame terms; the U-Darter, the R-Darter, the BARB, and the Raptor 2. The U-Darter is an upgraded V3C Darter with a gimballed 100x100 pixel sensor with a 56° field of view that makes it more resistant to flares, and a 50g maneuvering limit. It was made in 1994 or so. The R-Darter is a clone of the Israeli Derby, acquired in 1995. The BARB is a passive radar homing glide bomb with a booster rocket built around the Mk 82 developed in about 1992. The Raptor 2, which I'm a bit unsure about the entry date of, is a modernization of the H2 that includes a heavier warhead with anti-radiation, TV, infrared, and laser guidance.
In terms of dumb munitions, the SAAF has the usual allotment of SNEBs, Mk 81, Mk 82, Mk 83, 50 gallon napalm bombs, and the Mk 20 Rockeye.
So let's have a deeper look at some of the planes I want to suggest for South Africa:
South Africa was a major customer of the Mirage III. The IIICZ is simply a Mirage IIIC. While it could carry bombs and rockets the IIICZ was primarily a fighter, it makes all too much sense to give it an appropriate loadout of air-to-air missiles. In 1980 the most advanced loadout available to the Mirage III would be a pair of V3A Kukris under the wings and an R-530FZ on the centerline. It would be nearly identical to the Mirage IIIO(F); the R.530 is upgraded with the R-530FZ (Super 530F, c.f. France's Mirage F1 C) for +5% accuracy, while the R.550 is replaced with the near identical V3A Kukri. The airframe is from 1963 and the weapons from 1973 and 1977, making this a clear C-CAT air superiority fighter.
DEFA 553, R-530FZ, V3A Kukri, no ECM.
The Cheetah D was a project to upgrade Mirage IIIDZ airframes. It received Israeli help and is therefore very similar to Israel's own project to upgrade the Mirage III, the Kfir. I'll simply let Wikipedia speak on the nature of the upgrades, because paraphrasing it would be a chore:
The upgrade consisted of a complete refurbishment of the airframe down to zero hours (in which some 50% of the original airframe was said by Atlas to have been replaced), the fitting of non-moving canards (Cheetah D & E having slightly smaller (70%) canards than that of the Cheetah C and Kfir) just aft of the engine intakes, two new stores pylons at the wing roots, an aerial refuelling probe, new ejection seats, a more powerful engine (the SNECMA Atar 9K50C-11 [upgraded in South Africa]) in the D and C variants, a new main wing spar along with a new "drooping" leading edge and a dog-tooth incision on each wing, modern elevons controlled by a twin computer flight control system, and strakes on the nose to improve the Cheetah's high-Angle of attack (AoA) performance. The aerodynamic refinements alone increased the turn rate by 15%, increased the AoA, reduced the minimum airspeed to 100 kt and increased maximum take-off weight by 700 kg. However, it also resulted in a 5% decrease in maximum level speed and acceleration.
In addition, a highly sophisticated avionics, radar, EW and self-protection suite was installed, necessitating a lengthening of the nose. This entailed the fitting of an EW suite which included missile and radar warning sensors. Other features included the aircraft's self-protection system, which consisted of electronic jammers and chaff/flare dispensers that engaged automatically; the integration of a South African helmet-mounted sight and an oversized head-up display (HUD); the installation of an advanced Pulse-Doppler radar and sophisticated cockpit instrumentation.
The Cheetah D-series (Cheetah B, Cheetah D, Cheetah D2) was intended as a trainer and for delivery of precision-guided missiles. South Africa had long used their Blackburn Buccaneer's as their primary bomber, but it was ageing and increasingly difficult to maintain, and the Cheetah D was supposed to, in part, replace it. As far as I can tell, the actual Cheetah D (not the Cheetah B or D2, which is commonly referred to as the 'Cheetah D', since they're virtually identical) entered service sometime around 1988, which is perfect; this lets me load it up with some advanced weapons - I've chosen the 745 LGB and C-Darter missiles for a multipurpose aircraft with an LGB. Imagine, if you will, a Kfit C.2 with the weapons of the F-15I Ra'am.
DEFA 553, 745 LGB, C-Darter, and for ECM there's the EL/M-2035, SPS-2000 RWR, and a chaff dispenser.
Blackburn Buccaneer S.50
The SAAF's Blackburn Buccaneers could deliver pretty much anything that drops except napalm, and could also carry the AS-30 missiles and the H2 bomb. In fact, the H2's first successful use was at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, where a Buccaneer dropped and guided the H2 onto a bridge. However, that'd make the Buccaneer an A-CAT unit, which doesn't make much sense for a plane operated well before 1980. So instead we could look at more operational loadouts.
One of the cooler, in my opinion, loadouts of the Buccaneer was to load the bomb bay with 4 Mk 83 bombs and put SNEBs on each of the four wing hardpoints. However, I've been told that this won't really work in Wargame since all anti-ground munitions fire at the same time. Another tempting option is to make up for the AS-30's lackluster hit chance by mounting four of them on the Buccaneer, but while this was technically possible, the gases from launching the AS-30 from the inner pair of hardpoints had a tendency to make the Buccaneer's engines flame out, which is rather undesirable.
So instead, let's use the loadout from the Battle of Cassinga: 4x Mk 83 on the wings, 4x Mk 83 in the bomb bay.
4x Mk 83, 4x Mk 83, and for ECM the Buccaneer has a ARI.18228 (Sky Guardian) RWR. For extra ECM swap two bombs with an ELT-555 ECM pod.
While it's customary to seek out the earliest dates possible for most things one wants to convince Eugen to include in future DLCs for Wargame: Red Dragon, I have instead gone for the latest possible date when it comes to the Cheetah C; 1995. The reason for this is that the Cheetah C is a thorough upgrade of the Mirage IIICZ based on technology from the Kfri C.7 and the Lavi, making the airframe an excellent option for an air superiority fighter - but prior to 1995 South Africa has no BVRAAMs! By going with the 1995 service date it can be armed with both the U-Darter and the R-Darter, which should make it a capable air superiority fighter. The body of a Kftr C.7, the avionics of the Lavi, and the weapons of a Barak II!
U-Darter, R-Darter, and for ECM there's the EL/M-2035, SPS-2000 RWR, and a chaff dispenser.
And the best paintjob ever: