Ethiopian military bolsters aerial arsenal with Su-30 fighter jet and combat Drone

Tuesday January 16, 2024 - 22:34:23
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Staff Reporter
Addis Ababa (Diplomat.so) - The Ethiopian army has disclosed its acquisition of a cutting-edge Su-30 fighter jet and an advanced combat drone. The official handover ceremony, attended by high-ranking military officials such as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, and Air Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Yilma Merdassa.
Field Marshal Berhanu underscored the critical role played by the Su-30 fighter jet and combat drone in safeguarding Ethiopia, emphasizing their prowess in countering potential threats. 

This disclosure follows earlier comments by Alexander Mikheyev, Director General of the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, revealing ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ethiopia for the supply of 18 Su-30 fighters.


The backdrop of this procurement involves India returning 18 Su-30 variants to Russia in 2003 due to a lack of modernization, prompting discussions with Ethiopia in July, 2023. Mikheyev outlined the consultations, stating that Ethiopia proposed an alternative focused on upgrading combat capabilities, enhancing specifications, and providing advanced tactics for missiles, both land and sea.

Rosoboronexport officials confirmed the initiation of repairs for four Su-30K aircraft at a domestic aircraft plant. Mikheyev expressed readiness to undertake the comprehensive upgrade and modernization of all 18 Su-30K aircraft within a timeframe of 4 to 6 months, pending the receipt of financial resources from the Ethiopian side.

This acquisition, complementing the Ethiopian Air Force's current fleet of 17 Su-27 models and preceding generations of jet fighters like MiG-23, MiG-21, and Su-25, signals the Addis Ababa's ongoing dedication to fortifying its defense capabilities.



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