in Defence / Features

Angola inducts Sukhoi Su-30 twins as part of $1 billion order

Posted 13 March 2018 · Add Comment

The Força Aérea Nacional de Angola (FANA – National Air Force of Angola) took delivery of its first two Sukhoi Su-30K fighters in September 2017 and is due to receive 10 more by early 2018.

Angola placed a $1 billion order for a range of Russian defence equipment, including 12 Su-30K fighters, during a visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, to Luanda in October 2013.
Deliveries were originally expected to begin in 2015 but were delayed due to the need for unexpected upgrades, including improvements to the radar and navigation system and installation of a video recorder.
Though designated as Su-30s, these aircraft bear little resemblance to the family of advanced multi-role ‘Flanker’ derivatives delivered to India, Algeria, China, Malaysia and Venezuela. They more closely resemble standard Su-27UB trainers, with minimal modifications for operational use.
Angola’s Su-30Ks are drawn from a batch of 18 early model aircraft (10 Su-30MK and eight Su-30K fighters) that were originally delivered to India between May 1997 and December 1999.
The aircraft were briefly used as an interim solution while India took delivery of 200 more advanced Su-30MKIs in a number of batches. The Su-30MKI featured uprated avionics, Bars PESA radar, canard foreplanes and thrust vectoring.
India had initially intended to upgrade these early aircraft but it soon became clear that they could not economically be brought to the same standards as the new Su-30MKIs, and they were, instead, used in part-exchange for the new aircraft.
The Su-30Ks were retired in 2006 and were sold back to the Irkut Corporation. The aircraft were ferried to the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant at Baranovichi in Belarus between August and November 2011, where they awaited modernisation and resale.
The first ex-Indian Air Force Su-30K destined for Angola made its first flight after overhaul in early February 2017.
Aleksandr Vorobei, deputy CEO of the 558 Aviation Repair Plant in Belarus, told Russian journalists that “deliveries will be completed by early next year”.
In July, Komersant newspaper reported that Angola was in negotiations to purchase the remaining six ex-Indian Air Force aircraft that are stored at the repair plant.
The Su-30s will augment around half-a-dozen Su-27s, out of 18 originally delivered. These aircraft serve with the 13th Fighter Squadron, part of the 25th Fighter Aviation Regiment at Kuito Air Base.

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