The Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) has said it would from January next year acquire new helicopters, naval vessels and military equipment for ground forces as part of a re-equipment and modernisation programme that should enable the military to respond to new operational challenges.
Addressing members of the army and government officials who attended the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the unified army in Luanda, FAA Chief of Staff General Sachipengo Nunda said the air force will be equipped with new helicopters which will be flown by Angolan pilots who have just concluded a six-year training programme in Russia.
Nunda said the navy will also take delivery of new vessels which will be operated by officers trained in Russia, Brazil and Portugal while the army will get new military equipment. He said the officers who will operate the equipment have already received the necessary training in Cuba and Russia.
IN September it was revealed that the Angolan Navy will receive seven Macae-class patrol boats from Brazil, with four to be built in Brazil and three in Angola. The Macae class displaces 500 tons, is 54 metres long and will contribute significantly to Angola’s small navy, which has around a thousand personnel.
Nunda said although the national security situation remains peaceful and stable, the army is gearing up for deployment to UN peacekeeping operations in the CAR and other flashpoints in Africa.
“We are creating the necessary conditions to enable the Angolan staff to support UN peacekeeping mission,” Nunda said.
He said the army will shortly deploy 1 800 officers to the CAR on peacekeeping and support operations following a request from the UN.
Last year, the Angolan air force bought 12 Sukhoi Su-30K fighter aircraft from Russia’s Irkut Corporation. The aircraft, which are undergoing refurbishment and upgrades in Belarus prior to delivery.
The CAR deployment will be the first UN mission for the FAA, which has previously deployed in combat operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo and Guinea-Bissau.
Pic: A Macae class vessel.