Additional aircraft for Ghana Air Force


The Ghana Air Force is set to take delivery of a number of new aircraft, including a single Mi-35 attack helicopter and a single C295 and is far advanced in the acquisition process for Super Tucano trainer and light attack aircraft.

Chief of Air Staff (since January Chief of Defence Staff) Air Vice Marshal Michael Samson-Oje in his end-of-year message for 2015 said that a number of acquisitions have materialized. “Last year by this time we were expecting the Z-9EH helicopters from China. I am pleased to state that they were delivered on schedule and already commissioned into service.” The four helicopters were commissioned on 23 September 2015 and are being used to secure the West African country’s oil and gas industry.

Samson-Oje stated that “plans are also far advanced to procure the Super Tucano aircraft and build a new hangar at AFB Tamale as part of the infrastructure for the Flying Training School which also includes an ultra-modern barracks complex, the first of its kind in the Ghana Armed Forces.” In June last year Embraer secured a contract for the sale of five A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training turboprops to Ghana. At the time the company said the contract would come into effect once certain conditions have been fulfilled. Given Samson-Oje’s comments, it appears that these conditions have indeed been met.
“In addition to these, the government is in the process of acquiring one Mi-35 to boost our helicopter operational capabilities,” Samson-Oje stated. At present the Ghana Air Force has no dedicated attack helicopter in service.

The Chief of Air Staff also stated that, “an additional CASA 295M is expected within the first week of January 2016 to enable the Ghana Air Force meet the current security challenges and to operate effectively in the UN theatre.”

Ghana’s third C295 was seen at Airbus’s final assembly plant in Seville, Spain, in late October.

Ghana received its first C295 in November 2011 and the second in April 2012 as part of the Air Force’s modernisation drive. One of the C295s was used to support the United Nations-led MINUSMA mission in Mali. In November 2014 Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama announced that Ghana would acquire an additional C295, in addition to other aircraft, including five Super Tucanos, Mi-17s and four Z-9s.