Angola’s Air Force is taking delivery of two Chinese-built Xian MA60 twin-turboprop transport aircraft, which have been spotted on their delivery flight to southern Africa.
The two aircraft were seen on 21 August at Dhaka/Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh, in Forca Aarea Nacional de Angola (FANA, Angola Air Force) markings with Chinese ferry registration (B-00D8 and B-00D9).
According to Scramble, they will be operated by the Esquadra de Transportes which is based at Base Aérea No 1 (Luanda/4 de Fevereiro).
The aircraft were ordered from Xian Aircraft Industry Company in January 2018 but the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China did not at the time specify the operator.
The MA60 is a stretched version of the Xian Y7-200A, which is based on the Antonov An-24. The MA60 was designed to replace earlier Y-7 variants. The MA60 first flew in March 2000 and received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in June 2000. The first aircraft was delivered to Sichuan Airlines in August 2000.
The MA60 can carry 60 passengers at a cruising speed of 430 km/h over a range of 1 600 kilometres. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops, each producing 2 051 kW (2 750 shp).
It has been sold to other military operators in Africa, including the air forces of Cameroon and Djibouti.
Soon after Angola ordered the MA60s, it also ordered three C295 transport aircraft from Airbus in March 2018, and will use them for transport and maritime surveillance duties. The Angolan Air Force relies mainly on An-12, An-24, An-72, C212 and Il-76 aircraft for its transport requirements.