Overberg Test Range

Overberg Test Range

Infobox Military Test Site
name=Overberg Test Range


type=Missile test range
country=South Africa
area=430 km²

The Overberg Test Range or OTB (Afrikaans abbreviation for "Overberg Toetsbaan") is a rocket launch site and weapons systems testing facility in the Overberg region on the south coast of South Africa.


Facilities at the site include missile launch pads, tracking radar, optical missile tracking systems, cinetheodolites as well as use of a nearby military airfield. The layout appears to mirror the testing site at Palmachim, suggesting Israeli input in the design process.cite web
title="Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): Overberg Test Range"

Instrumentation includes:
* IRIG timecode telecommand transmission
* Precision instrumentation radars with velocity measurement and ability to track up to three objects simultaneously
* Fixed and mobile doppler radar receivers to track missile velocities with 3cm/sec accuracy
* Mobile cine theodolites (5-300 fps) and a tracking pedestal with film (25-1000 fps) and video (50Hz) capability
* Fixed and mobile telemetry stations for receiving real-time flight data
* 16mm, 35mm and 70mm high speed cameras for photographic documentation of launches, flights and impacts
* Film and video processors for data reduction
* Multiple redundant receiving PCM on FM channels
* Real time data manipulation and display capabilities
* Quick-look and post test processing
* Atomic clock for accurate timing
* Multiple interfaces including IRIG-B, IRIG-A, a variety of slow codes, pulses as well as PC parallel and serial.
* Sophisticated command and control infrastructure, including a central control center, a mobile control center and a central computer.


The site was notably used for test launches of the RSA series of missiles, including the joint Israeli-South African RSA-3 Intermediate-range ballistic missile in 1989 and 1990. [cite web|url=http://www.astronautix.com/country/soufrica.htm|title=South Africa|publisher= [http://astronautix.com] ] Development of this military programme was cancelled 1992 however. Testing for the South African civil space programme continued at the site for another year before also being cancelled in 1993.

Since then the facility has been hired out for testing purposes to other countries, including:
* Germany for testing Exocet, Sea Sparrow, Tauruscite web
title="Go-ahead given for delivery of Taurus production missiles after successful operational testing"
] and IRIS-T missiles
* Czech Republic
* Singapore for testing Igla missiles [cite news|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDQ/is_1999_June_28/ai_55038780|title=Singapore test-fires Russian-made air defense missile|date=June 28, 1999|publisher=Kyodo News]
* UK for evaluation of the Denel AH-2 Rooivalk helicopter
* Sweden for testing the RBS15 MK3cite web
title=International Naval products showcased at IMDEX '97 in London
publisher=Sea Power
] and CAMPS [cite web|url=http://www.epicos.com/epicos/portal/media-type/html/user/anon/page/default.psml/js_panename/News+Information+Article+View?articleid=74285&showfull=true|title=Saab's New Protection System for Civilian Aircraft Successfully Demonstrated|date=2007-03-15|publisher= [http://www.epicos.com] ]
* United States of America for testing smart bombs.Fact|date=October 2007


Testing at the site focuses predominantly on flight performance rather than the destructive capability of weapon systems. Consequently missile test flights are typically conducted with dummy warheads or instrument packs rather than live weapons.

The following types of tests can be performed:
* Air-to-air tests
* Air-to-surface (land or sea) tests
* Surface-to-surface (land or sea) tests
* Anti-tank tests, including from helicopters
* Aircraft performance, carriage and release clearance and avionics evaluation

while the following types of data are provided to clients:
* Trajectories
* Telemetry recording
* Photographic documentation
* Meteorological profiles

ee also

*Test Flight and Development Centre SAAF


External links

* [http://www.otb.co.za/ Official website]
* [http://www.global-defence.com/2003/test_ranges.htm Overberg page] at global-defence.com
* [http://www.astronautix.com/sites/overberg.htm Overberg page] at astronautix.com
* [http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/SAfrica/Missile/index.html South Africa Profile: Missile Overview] by The Nuclear Threat Initiative

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