More Sukhoi for Algeria, some for Uganda too?


Russian news agency RIA Novosti is reporting Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport has signed two contracts worth a total of US$1.2 billion to deliver Irkut Corporation Sukhoi Su-30 “Flanker” fighter aircraft to Algeria and Uganda.

According to a report Algiers will receive 16 Sukhoi Su-30-MKI(A) and Kampala will receive six Su-30MK2. The news agency says Rosoboronexport and Algeria agreed on the contract back in 2006.

The French ADIT research agency reported in November that the Irkutsk plant had completed delivery of the 28 Su-30MKA fighters ordered under a $2.5 billion contract signed in 2006. However, the wikipedia, quoting Flight International note that Algeria by November last year operated 18 of the aircraft with another 20 on order. But the ADIT disputed this saying the 2006 contract specified 28 fighter aircraft. It added speculation was that Algeria would receive 16 more SU-30MKAs to replace 15 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29SMT fighters Algeria returned to Russia after declaring them “defective.” This may be the deal now announced by RIA Novosti.

RIA Novosti further adds that since Uganda “is short of real money to pay for the planes”, Russia’s LUKoil company is negotiating its potential participation in developing large oil fields in Uganda, implying a possible barter. ADIT adds delivery of the aircraft worth US$300 million is said to be for next year and 2012 – but then notes the sale has been denied by Kampala. The International Institute for Strategic Studies credits the Ugandan air force with five Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 “Flogger” and six MiG 21 “Fishbed” fighters, implying that the Su-30 would be a major increase in capability – but also complexity.

The Su-30MKA is a specialised variant of the Su-30MK developed for Algeria and fitted with a mix of French and Russian avionics. The former includes a head-up and multifunction displays manufactured by the Thales Group and Sagem of France.

The Su-30 is a twin-engine, multi-role military aircraft developed by from the Sukhoi Su-27UB. It is a two-seat, dual-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions introduced into operational service in 1996.