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Angola Takes Delivery of Four Su-30KN

November 14, 2018

By Bellingcat Contributor

Translations: Русский

Skysat imagery acquired on 20OCT2018 shows two Su-30KN parked at Lubango.

Four Su-30 multi-role fighters have been delivered to Angola as of October 2018, as confirmed by satellite imagery. The aircraft are part of a $1 billion deal for 12 airframes signed with Russia in 2013. Fresh satellite imagery captured the aircraft parked on the apron at the Lubango civil-military airport in the Huila province. The fighters were formerly flown by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and returned to Russia in the early 2000s after the IAF acquired the Su-30MKI variant.

Between 2010 and 2012, the Su-30 fighters were transferred to neighboring Belarus, where they were recently modernized to the ‘KN’ standard at the 558 Aircraft Repair Plant (ARZ). Planet Labs imagery of the 558 Plant still shows eight remaining Angolan fighters parked at the plant in Baranovichi. They can be identified by their unique green and yellow camo pattern. However, one of the airframes observed in Angola features a different camo pattern—a grey paint scheme—than the rest of the aircraft in the order.

Skysat imagery acquired in September 2018 show the eight remaining Su-30KN in the Angolan order.

Media reports appearing last September said that deliveries would be completed by ‘early 2018’. The ongoing delay suggests there could be an issue with the order. Angola, highly dependent on oil rents as a source of fiscal revenue and foreign exchange, may have encountered difficulties paying for the aircraft (oil accounts for over 70 percent of government revenue and over 95 percent of the country’s exports). Data provided by OPEC and published through the IMF show a continued drop in oil production, falling below the OPEC quota in late 2017. Moreover, the economic situation worsened around the scheduled time of delivery as the currency was devalued by 56.7 percent (in relation to the US dollar) between Q1 and Q2. The new government elected in September 2017 began economic reforms which, inter alia, included a move toward a floating exchange rate.

Bottom Line
More than half of the Angolan order remains in Belarus as of October 2018, likely due to budgetary constraints.

This post was originally published at Offiziere.ch.

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14 Comments

  1. Mad Dog

    So, a poor one export country sees fit to buy modern weapons for a paltry 1 billion yankee dollars. Brilliant move. Who needs schools or an educated populace, especially when you can use those weapons to subdue anyone who objects to such messed up priorities!

    Reply
    • Nad

      I don’t think that’s a fair comment. It is a paltry sum compared to what some other African countries spend on defence. The new government in Angola is doing an amazing job in improving the economy and the quality of life for it’s people. The new President Jose Loureco is a visionary and I live here in Luanda and experience that. Defence spending is a necessity to ensure stability in a country especially in Angola which shares it’s borders with 4 other countries.

      Reply
    • Nnnn

      Every country needs protection especially the poor to not get taken advantage of.

      Thats how slavery started they did not have Morden update arms . So I believe it is ignorant to say they are poor therefore should not equip or prepare for the worse. Especially being a rich resource place they definitely need protection like any other. Equal rights

      Reply
    • J. Kyule

      The best way to go Angola. Now get the s-300 and some su 35. Neighborhood will respect you. The whole world is thinking this way. Bravo

      Reply
  2. Dr. X

    I am an Angolan poor citizen. After I read this I’m feeling a bad sensation inside my stomach.

    Reply
    • Bananaman

      You should thank Gog Angola didn’t opt for US planes like we in Croatia, 500 million $$$ for 12, 35+year old, Israeli, overused F-16’s, block 30 :0 :0 :0

      Reply
    • Danac Bananac

      You should thank God you wee not forced to buy 12 35 years old Israeli F-16 Baraks (Block 30)

      Reply
  3. Nad

    I don’t think that’s a fair comment. It is a paltry sum compared to what some other African countries spend on defence. The new government in Angola is doing an amazing job in improving the economy and the quality of life for it’s people. The new President Jose Loureco is a visionary and I live here in Luanda and experience that. Defence spending is a necessity to ensure stability in a country especially in Angola which shares it’s borders with 4 other countries.

    Reply
  4. Andy

    The grey camouflaged aircraft at the end of the apron is a Mig-23 Flogger – hence the difference in size and shape compared to the two Su-30KN Flankers alongside.

    Reply
  5. Stanleybanco

    Security is paramount for states in Africa, insecurity is ripe in Africa, but I believe such amount if properly channeled to Manpower development, Education, and youths empowerment will drastically reduce youths involvement in insecurities, jihadists and crimes and rogue activities pillaging Africa. President Jose Loureco should do more on infrastructure projects to alleviate the suffering. Thanks

    Reply
    • Daniel

      How patronizing. Of course those backwards Africans need random internet people telling them how to “properly” run their affairs.

      Maybe you’ve noticed nations who wish to pursue a course of development independent of the U.S. and the global finance capitalist racket it controls tend to get a free serving of western sponsored “regime change” and/or covert special forces operations designed to destabilize or destroy them. So Angola purchasing up to date weaponry makes quite a bit of sense.

      The only reason this non-story is even on this site is because they bought Russian planes. Columbia or Honduras, or some other U.S. client state with a desperately poor population, buying American weapons would never get a mention here.

      Reply
      • Henrik Jørgensen

        Interesting thought. Do you have any links? I am asking, because it appears that Honduras is flying F5 fighter jets, that cannot have been manufactured after 1987. Actually I find stories on the net, where the US is _preventing_ sales of spare parts for Honduras.

        As for Columbia, they are Flying a more modern israeli Kfir jet, I can’t seem to find any major US aircraft sales to that country either..

        Reply

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