Angola has received its first Su-30s


The Angolan Air Force has taken delivery of its first two Su-30K fighters, and will receive another ten by early 2018.

This is according to Aleksandr Vorobei, the deputy CEO of the 558 Aviation Repair Plant in Belarus, who told Sputnik news on 19 September that “I think that the deliveries will be completed by early next year.”

Angola ordered 12 Su-30K fighters during a visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to Luanda, Angola, in 2013. Deliveries were originally anticipated around 2015 but delayed due to upgrade work – according to ITAR-TASS, modification work includes improvements to the radar and navigation system and installation of a video recorder, amongst other items.

The aircraft were formerly operated by the Indian Air Force, which 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. They were retired in 2006 and sent to the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant at Baranovichi in Belarus between August and November 2011 as the property of Irkut Corporation.

Angola has apparently expressed interest in acquiring another six Su-30s. This is according to an article in Russia’s Komersant newspaper, which in July this year reported that Angola was in early negotiations with Russia over the purchase of the additional ex-Indian Air Force aircraft. The six aircraft are currently stored in Belarus at the 558th aircraft repair plant.

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.

Other equipment Angola has recently acquired from Russia includes eight armed Mi-171Sh helicopters and 12 refurbished Mi-24P attack helicopters.