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Angola getting 12, not 18 Su-30 fighters

A Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker.The Angolan Air Force will receive 12 ex-Indian Su-30 fighter jets from Rosoboronexport and not 18 as was previously reported, with deliveries scheduled to take place from next year.

On Wednesday Irkut Corporation president Oleg Demchenko told Interfax that the contract for the sale of the 12 upgraded Su-30Ks for the Angolan Air Force had been signed.

In October last year it was reported that Angola had purchased 18 former Indian Air Force Su-30Ks from Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as part of a $1 billion arms deal involving the fighters, spares and other hardware.

The Su-30s Angola will reportedly receive were offered to a number of other countries, including Belarus, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Sudan. Early last year, Russia was in discussions with Ethiopia to procure the aircraft, as Ethiopia already operates the Su-27, but this seems to have fallen through.

The Indian Air Force has ordered more than 200 Su-30MKIs in a number of batches. The early models delivered were basic aircraft without features like canards and thrust vector controls, and it is these 18 early model aircraft (ten Su-30MK and eight Su-30K fighters delivered between May 1997 and December 1999) that were returned to Russia and replaced with more advanced Su-30MKIs.

India had intended to upgrade these early aircraft but instead used them as part-exchange for new aircraft. According to Air Forces Daily, they were retired in 2006 and sent to the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant at Baranovichi in Belarus between August and November 2011. They remain at Baranovichi as the property of Irkut Corporation.

Demchenko told Interfax that the remaining six of the 18 ex-Indian Flankers will be sold to another country, but he did not reveal which country that was. He said the six aircraft are being modernised at Baranovichi, with a firm contract for them to be signed soon.

The Angolan Air Force currently flies around half a dozen Su-27s, out of 18 originally delivered. It also has other Sukhoi aircraft in its inventory, notably the Su-22 and Su-24.
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