Ugandan Su-30 crash-lands – witnesses
Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 24 November 2011
Some international flights were delayed late on Monday whilst the wreckage was removed from Entebbe airport.
Ugandan People’s Defence Force spokesperson Colonel Felix Kulyaigye said that a small training aircraft undertaking a normal and routine simulated crash landing exercise encountered a minor error while landing at the Entebbe.
“The two pilots manning the aircraft however, landed safe and were not in anyway injured. There were no passengers on board,” he said. “Engineers are working to establish and rectify the cause.”
Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper reports Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson, Ignie Igundura as saying it was a military aircraft.
The paper quotes witness Isaac Mukasa as saying he saw a fighter jet land on its belly on the runway at Entebbe and fire trucks rush to its rescue. “I was at Kigungu stage and heard a bang on the runway prompting us to run and see what was happening. I then saw the jet moving on its belly for some distance and it stopped,” he said adding: “Two fire trucks then hurried to pour water on the plane before two crew members jumped out and later security operatives chased us away.”
Hasjif Kabanda, a resident of Kigungu, said he heard a bang and later people in Kigungu started shouting that a fighter jet had crashed.
South African Airways and Kenya Airways were diverted to Nairobi while Quatar Airlines flight was delayed because the runway was blocked until 9:20 pm, when flights resumed, more than three hours after the accident.
Late last month Uganda received another two Su-30MK fighters from Russia, after taking delivery of the first aircraft in July. The country has six on order.
Deliveries first began in early July using an Antonov An-124 Ruslan transport aircraft, according to Airliners.net. Engine runs began on July 8 while the first Su-30 flew on July 11, followed by a second the following day.
It has emerged that one of the first Su-30s delivered was inoperable for three weeks following a bird strike on September 8. The aircraft was taking off from Entebbe military airbase when a bird struck one of the engines, but the pilot was able to land the aircraft safely, according to The Daily Monitor. Rosoboronexport fixed the engine as part of a three year warranty.
News of the Su-30 deal first emerged in April last year. In December Uganda’s ministry of defence paid US$446m (sh1 trillion) as a first part payment to an ‘unidentified supplier’ from Russia for fighters as well as tanks.
The money came from the supplementary budget and was withdrawn from the central bank without parliamentary approval. Permission was later granted by parliament, according to The East African.
On April 7 this year the Wall Street Journal reported that Uganda bought between six and eight fighters and other military equipment from Russia, worth US$744 million.
"The executive arm of government which is mandated with the security matters of this country took a decision to buy these jets because we need them," Kabakumba Matsiko, Uganda’s information ministerMatsiko told Reuters in April.
Matsiko earlier said that the new military equipment would enable the country to deal with any ‘eventuality’ arising from threats to Uganda’s security. “Every country needs to be well equipped to defend its strategic interests,” she said. Uganda is concerned about instability from neighbouring South Sudan’s secession from Khartoum and instability along the Congolese border.
Uganda has previously accused Sudan and Congo of arming its foes, including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Jamil Mukulu’s Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Uganda itself keeps numerous troops in Central African Republic (CAR) and northeastern Congo to hunt for Lord's Resistance Army rebels who waged a long-running insurgency against Kampala and are now roaming the jungles there.
The purchase of the SU-30s comes five years after Uganda discovered it possessed oil reserves, which lie in the Albertine Rift Basin on its border with Congo. The two countries share the basin. Tension flared in 2007 when armed Congolese killed a geologist contracted by Heritage Oil after accusing the company of prospecting in their territorial waters.
The discovery of oil has created tensions in the region but also allowed Uganda to pay for new military equipment – when news of the Su-30 deal first emerged last year, it was reported that the jets would be paid for in oil.
This year the UK’s Tullow Oil Plc, France’s Total SA and China’s Cnooc Ltd will spend US$10 billion to develop Uganda’s oil fields.
Uganda has a relatively small air force, with the Ugandan People’s Defence Force Air Wing only having five MiG-23 Floggers and seven MiG-21 Fishbeds in the way of fighters, according to the 2010 IISS Military Balance. It also has 16 helicopters, but much of Uganda’s aircraft are non-operational – for instance, out of six Mi-24 Hinds, five are non-operational.
The last major aviation accident in Uganda occurred in 2009 when a Russian IIyushin plunged into Lake Victoria shortly after take-off at Entebbe. It was destined for the Somali capital Mogadishu with supplies for the African Union peacekeeping force there, Xinhua reports. Eleven people died among which included four crew members and seven passengers.
Top stories this week
- Algerian forces clear out IS affiliated militants
- Algerian helicopter plant moving forward
- World medium and heavy military helicopter market declining
- French expels Algerian man suspected of militant links
- Russia continues major arms deliveries to Algeria
- Foreign workers return to Algeria's Krechba gas plant after March rocket attack
- New investment law to improve business climate passed in Algeria
- Algeria receives final Chinese corvette
- Ilyushin refurbishing Algerian Il-76s
- Russia will conclude Algerian Su-30 deliveries in 2017
Saab attends Africa Aerospace and Defence 2016
by Saab, 25 August 2016
The company will discuss a number of its solutions, including the Integrated Defence Aids Suite and the Saab 340 Maritime Surveillance system.
Africa Aerospace & Defence Show 2016 coming next month
by Safomar Aviation, 24 August 2016
The Africa Aerospace & Defence Show 2016 will run from 14 to 18 September at the Air Force Base Waterkloof, Centurion.
Truvelo to launch new company during AAD 2016
by Truvelo, 24 August 2016
The company will unveil Truvelo Africa Mechanical Division at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition, between 14 and 18 September.
Leveraging strategic partnerships is critical for Denel's sustainable growth
by Denel Corporate, 24 August 2016
The defence company is currently working on a number of initiatives to grow and diversify its business offerings.