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

Angolan Air Force Su-30 Heavyweight Fighter. Credit: Military Watch


The Angolan Air Force was built in the 1980s with support from Cuba, Soviet and East German, and North Korea. Its purpose was to fight the South African apartheid regime, and the MiG-23 swept-wing fighters, which formed the bulk of the fleet, were flown by foreign pilots, largely from Cuba.

According to Military Watch, “a single MiG-23 squadron of approximately 28 fighters remains in service, alongside one MiG-21BiS and one Su-22 squadron, providing three units of modernised third generation aircraft.”

It says the elite of the Angolan Air Force is provided by 12 Su-30 fighters which have recently been upgraded in Belarus to a ‘4+ generation’ standard. The Angolan Air Force, considered the most capable in sub-Saharan Africa, also deploys heavier Su-24 strike fighters, a single squadron of Su-25 attack jets, and two squadrons of Mi-24/Mi-35 attack helicopters.

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