Denel Overberg Test Range

The Denel Overberg Test Range is a weapons systems testing facility in the Overberg region on the south coast of South Africa, near Arniston, Western Cape. It includes launch pads and tracking systems.

Denel Overberg Test Range
Near Arniston in South Africa
Denel Overberg Test Range is located in Western Cape
Denel Overberg Test Range
Denel Overberg Test Range
Coordinates34°36′10″S 20°18′10″E / 34.60278°S 20.30278°E / -34.60278; 20.30278Coordinates: 34°36′10″S 20°18′10″E / 34.60278°S 20.30278°E / -34.60278; 20.30278
TypeMissile test range
Area430 km2 (170 sq mi)
Site information
Site history
In use1980s–

It was used to test the RSA series of Israeli-South African missiles until cancellation in 1992; since then it has been used by a variety of countries and clients.

Until 31 March 2011, it was known as simply the Overberg Test Range or OTB (Afrikaans abbreviation for Overberg Toetsbaan).[1]


Facilities at the site include missile launch pads, tracking radar, optical missile tracking systems, cinetheodolites as well as the use of Overberg Air Force Base, home of the South African Air Force Test Flight and Development Centre. The layout appears to mirror the testing site at Palmachim, suggesting Israeli input in the design process.[2]

Instrumentation includes:[3][citation needed]

  • 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 3 cm/s accuracy
  • Mobile cine theodolites (5-300 frame/s) and a tracking pedestal with film (25–1000 frame/s) and video (50 Hz) 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 centre, a mobile control centre 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.[4] 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 served a number of foreign clients, including:


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:

while the following types of data are provided to clients:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Denel rebrands OTB[dead link]
  2. ^ "Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): Overberg Test Range". Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Overview of Capabilities | Denel Overberg Test Range". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  4. ^ "South Africa". 23 February 1999. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Go-ahead given for delivery of Taurus production missiles after successful operational testing". EADS. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Air Defence Missile IRIS-T SL Tested Successfully | Missiles & Bombs News at DefenceTalk". 14 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Singapore test-fires Russian-made air defense missile". Kyodo News. 28 June 1999. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010.
  8. ^ Preston, Anthony (1997). "International Naval products showcased at IMDEX '97 in London". Sea Power. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Saab's New Protection System for Civilian Aircraft Successfully Demonstrated". [1]. 15 March 2007. External link in |publisher= (help)[dead link]
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit