The Ghana Air Force will next year take delivery of six Mi-17 helicopters, after signing a contract with Russian state arms company Rosoboronexport.
“We have signed a contract this year to sell six Mi-17s to Ghana,” said Rosoboronexport Deputy Director Alexander Mikheyev. The first two aircraft will be delivered to Ghana in a year, he added, noting that talks are also underway about setting up a helicopter service centre in the region.
Ghana has a very small air force, with around 2000 personnel. According to The Military Balance 2012, it has nine transport aircraft, including one Britten-Norman BN-2 Defender, three Cessna 172s, four Fokker F-27 Friendships and one Fokker F-28 Fellowship. The latter is used for VIP transport, which is one of the air force’s main duties.
In the way of combat aircraft, Ghana’s air force only has three single seat Aermacchi MB-326K ground attack aircraft. It also has two MB-339, two L-39ZO and four Hongdu K-8 Karakorum trainers.
Ghana’s air force has been undergoing expansion of late, receiving three Diamond DA 42 MPP Guardian surveillance and training aircraft from Austria and two C295 transports from Airbus Military. It is also scheduled to take delivery of an Embraer 190 from Brazil.
The second C295 arrived in Ghana in April, after the first delivery in November 2011. In the future, Ghana plans to base two C-295s in each city as part of their long-term vision for an expanded fleet, but as it currently stands, Ghana has only ordered two C295s, according to Airbus. Ghana may also acquire up to six DA 42s.