Monday, July 8, 2013

► ETHIOPIA: Russia in talks to sell Ethiopia 18 Sukhoi Su-30K multirole fighters.

Ethiopian Air ForceRussian state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, is reportedly in talks with Ethiopia over the sale of eighteen Sukhoi Su-30K Multirole fighter aircraft. The jets, originally sold to India, were intended to go to Vietnam.

Sukhoi Su-30
Sukhoi Su-30 (S Krivchikov)
According to Alexander Mikheyev, the Deputy Group Director for Rosoboronexport, the talks with Addis Ababa are still ongoing. 
We are in consultation with Ethiopia for the supply of the fighter. They have proposed a variant to modernize, enhance combat capability as well as the specification and to provide additional tactical weapons such as the air-to-surface missles,” said Mikheyev.
The jets were delivered to India over ten years ago but were subsequently mothballed. The aircraft were then returned to Russia before being sent to various factories in Belarus for refurbishment and overhauling. Belarus then expressed an interest in buying all eighteen jets only for a squabble over credit lines to scupper the deal. Vietnam then expressed an interest only for the fleet to be rejected in preference to more updated hardware.

A throwback to its close ties with the Soviet Union, Ethiopia's air force is Russian-denominated with the Mig 21 and 23 and the Sukhoi Su-25 and Su-27 forming the backbone of its attack fleet.