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South Sudan Air Force

 

South Sudan Air Force

The South Sudan Air Force is the air force of South Sudan. It was created by the newly independent country in 2011. It is part of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

On 24 June 2008 a South Sudan Air Force was formally created by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, although it didn't have any aircraft at that time. The U.S. Air Force Special Operations School announced in July 2009 that Sudan participated in the Building Partner Aviation Capacity Course.[1] In May 2010 Major General Kuol Dim Kuol of the Sudan People's Liberation Army said: "SPLA has formed a nucleus air force and navy. Our pilots and engineers have been trained and local support and administrative units will follow suit."[1]

Aircraft

Two SPLA Mi17 helicopters at Juba Airport

Jane's Defence Weekly said in September 2010 that "Bloomberg News had reported earlier that the fleet consisted of nine Mi-17V-5 transport helicopters and one Mi-172 variant, purchased for a total USD75 million from Russia's Kazan Helicopters, in a contract negotiated in May 2007 for deliveries set to begin in March 2010."[2] The deal was reported to be worth $75 million USD; deliveries of the first eight aircraft had taken place by December 2010, with the helicopters delivered to Juba Airport in Antonov An-124 transports, with the remaining two aircraft were delivered in January 2011.[3] Nine of the helicopters were Mi-17V-5s configured for transport, with the remaining aircraft being a Mi-172 configured for VIP transport.[3]

At its creation, it was equipped with 10 Mil Mi-17 helicopters.[4]

A recent documentary from Vice (magazine) showed in a short scene that the Air Force possesses at least one, possibly two Mi-24 Hind "Ambushed in South Sudan (Full Length)" 7:22min - At least One Mi-24 in scene (right side), possible second Hind on the left (partially seen).

As of 2013, the air force operated the following aircraft:

References

  1. ^ a b http://aircraft.zurf.info/article/creation-south-sudan-air-force
  2. ^ Lauren Gelfand, 'Confident South Sudan set to buy fleet of Mi-17 transport helos,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 10 September 2010
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "South Sudan launches air force" Sudan Tribune Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b c IISS 2013, p. 532.
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