The South African Air Force (SAAF) has awarded Denel Personnel Solutions a contract to provide manpower to assist with the phasing out of the Cheetah system under Project Belgrado.

The Cheetah aircraft were withdrawn from service in the late 1990s, with the retired aircraft used to support remaining aircraft.

The final aircraft were planned for retirement after all the Swedish SAAB Gripen purchased under the strategic defence package acquisition programme are delivered in 2012.

However, in April 2008 the remaining 11 Cheetah C single-seat and five Cheetah D dual-seat aircraft were phased out to save costs.

The Gripen are still in the process of being delivered, with the final delivery expected next year, reports Defenceweb.