The five most powerful air forces in Africa you should know

Mildred Europa Taylor Jul 16, 2020 at 04:00pm

July 16, 2020 at 04:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

July 16, 2020 at 04:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Egyptian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon. Pic credit: Military Watch

Egypt

The only country in Africa to deploy modern airborne early warning aircraft, Egypt, since the coming into power of a new military government, has invested hugely in its armed forces. Its Air Force comprises an estimated 18 fighter squadrons. One of these, according to Military Watch, is equipped with modern beyond visual range air to air missiles (being a single unit of recently ordered MiG-29M jets).

Nine squadrons are comprised of F-16 Fighting Falcons while seven other squadrons are comprised of MiG-21 and J-7 fighters, which have had electronic equipment upgraded to an early third-generation standard. Egypt, apart from the MiG-29M jets, also deploys 17 Mirage 2000 and 24 Rafale jets, and though its fleet is very far from modern, things are expected to improve as Egypt has, among other things, ordered a single squadron of Su-35 heavyweight fighters, which would provide it with the most capable jets on the continent, according to Military Watch.

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