Ethiopia Receives Su-30 Fighter Jets

Ethiopian Su-30K. Source: FDRE Defense Force

The Ethiopian Air Force has taken delivery of new combat aircraft and drones, commissioning them into service at an event this week. 

Images from the ceremony showed a pair of Su-30 fighter jets, bearing tail numbers 2401 and 2402, which have recently been transferred to Ethiopia. DefenceWeb reported that these are from a batch of 18 Su-30Ks originally supplied to the Indian Air Force in the 1990s, before being returned to Russia in 2007. A dozen of those jets were later re-sold to Angola, but the remaining six had not found a buyer. 

It is presumed that Ethiopia has signed for the other four Su-30Ks, as well, though no contract details have been revealed. 

Ethiopia also formally inducted its new Baykar Akinci unmanned combat aerial vehicles at the ceremony. Evidence of those drones in Ethiopian service emerged in November of last year. 

No armaments were shown off at the ceremony, but Lt. Gen. Yilma Merdasa, the Ethiopian Air Force’s commander, noted the aircraft were capable of striking targets in the air and on the ground. 

In a statement, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Birhanu Jula, said that the new deliveries “are crucial to thwarting attacks on our country.” He emphasized that further development of the Air Force’s capabilities will continue.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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