For a long time the South African Air Force was the strongest of the continent, but here is the new top dog in the south: the National Air Force of Angola and its coming Sukhoi Su-30Ks.
Russian state export company Rosoboronexport confirmed it signed a 1 billion US dollar deal with Angola to deliver 18 of the multi-role fighters, plus Mi-17s, main battle tanks, artillery and more. The Sukhois will outrank the South African Air Force’s Saab JAS 39 Gripens, which until now were considered the most valuable air assets of the Southern African states.
The Su-30K fighters were originally meant for the Indian Air Force, which changed its order into the more advanced Su-30MKI. Since 2007 those 18 Sukhois were parked at a facility in Belarus, waiting for a possible buyer.
Rosoboronexport’s sale includes maintenance and local Russian assets in Angola to support the equipment. Whether it means Russian military ‘advisors’ or not, is unclear.
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