Sudanese Air Force

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Sudanese Air Force
Roundel of the Sudanese Air Force.svg
Sudanese Air Force roundel
Founded 1956
Country Sudan
Size around 13,000 personnel
Part of Sudanese Armed Forces
Equipment 249 aircraft
Engagements First Sudanese Civil War

Second Sudanese Civil War
Darfur War

2015 intervention in Yemen
Air Force Commander Abbas Yusuf Ahmed Al-Badri
Ensign 120px

The Sudanese Air Force (Arabic: القوّات الجوّيّة السودانيّة Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya As-Sudaniya‎‎) is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.


The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's establishment, providing equipment and training. Four new Hunting Provost T Mk 53s were delivered for jet training in 1957. The following year, the Sudanese Air Force's transport wing acquired its first aircraft, a single Hunting President. In 1960 the Sudanese Air Force received an additional four re-furbished RAF Provosts and two more Hunting Presidents. Also in 1960, the transport wing's capability was increased by the addition of two Pembroke C Mk 54s.[citation needed]

The Air Force gained its first combat aircraft when 12 Jet Provosts with a close air support capability were delivered in 1962.[1] In the 1960s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and People's Republic of China started supplying the Sudanese Air Force with aircraft. This included supply of Shenyang F-5 fighters (F-5/FT-5 variants).[citation needed]


The air force flies a mixture of transport planes, fighter jets and helicopters sourced from places including the European Union, Russia, China and the United States. However, not all the aircraft are in a fully functioning condition and the availability of spare parts is limited. In 1991, the two main air bases were at the capital Khartoum and Wadi Sayyidna near Omdurman.[2]

On 4 April 2001, a Sudanese Antonov An-24 aircraft crashed in Adaril (Adar Yeil, Adar Yale), Sudan. The fifteen dead included a general, seven lieutenant generals, three brigadiers, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel and a corporal.[3]

Sudan has also made a successful deal to buy two different batches of 12 MiG-29 Russian fighter jets each.[4] There are 23 MiG-29s in active service as of late 2008.[5] However, the rebel Justice and Equality Movement claimed to have shot down one MiG-29 with large-caliber machine-gun fire on 10 May 2008, killing the pilot of the plane, a retired Russian Air Force fighter pilot; the Sudanese government denied the allegation.[6] South Sudan also claimed to have shot down a Sudanese MiG-29 during the 2012 border conflict.[7]

During May, June, and August 2011, members of the UN Panel of Experts on the Sudan documented the following aircraft in Darfur, potentially indicating violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556:[8]

  • Five Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft (tail numbers 201, 204, 205, 207, 212)
  • Three Mi-17 transport helicopters (tail numbers 525, 540, 543)
  • Nine Mi-24 attack helicopters (tail numbers 928, 937, 938, 939, 942, 943, 947, 948 stationed at El Fasher and Nyala, and an additional Mi-24 which crashed near El Fasher on 18 April 2011.) Satellite imagery also indicates that a total of five other attack helicopters were present at Kutum, N Darfur, in April 2011, and at El Geneima in February 2011, but panel members have not determined whether they were introduced from outside Darfur in addition to those listed above, or moved from within Darfur.

In August 2013, pictures showed Su-24's in Sudanese colors, reporting that the aircraft were among the ex Belarusian Air Force Su-24's retired in 2012.[9] Various reports have said that the air force uses Iranian drones such as the Ghods Ababil.[10][11][12][13]

Current inventory

Sudanese Air Force MiG-29
K-8s of the Sudanese Air Force taking off from Port Sudan Airport.
Sudan Air Force Sukhoi Su-25
An Su-24M of the Belarusian Air Force.
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-29 Russia multirole 35[14] some are grounded due to lack of spare parts and trained personnel
MiG-23 Soviet Union multirole 3[14]
MiG-21 Soviet Union fighter 4[14]
Su-24 Soviet Union attack 12[14] Acquired from Belarusian Air Force
Su-25 Soviet Union attack 15[14]
Nanchang Q-5 People's Republic of China attack A-5 20[14]
Chengdu J-7 People's Republic of China fighter F-7M 20[14] licensed built MiG-21
Shenyang J-6 People's Republic of China fighter F-6 8[14] Chinese-built version of the MiG-19
An-12 Ukraine transport 7[14]
An-26 Ukraine transport 8[14]
An-32 Ukraine heavy transport 6[14]
Il-76 Russia heavy transport 1[14]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 4[14]
DHC-5 Canada utility / transport 1[14] STOL capable aircraft
Bell UH-1 United States utility 2[14]
Bell 212 United States utility 3[14]
PZL Mi-2 Poland utility / liaison 1[14]
IAR 330 Romania utility / liaison 10[14]
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility 22[14]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack 36[14]
Trainer Aircraft
Hongdu JL-8 China jet trainer K-8 6[14]

Retired aircraft

Pervious aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of the BAC Jet Provost (20), Percival Pembroke (3), Douglas C-47,[15] Shenyang J-6, MBB Bo 105, and the Agusta-Bell 212 helicopter.[16][17]


  1. "Sudan Air Force". Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Library of Congress Sudan Country Study, 1991, accessed March 2009
  3. "Sudan-military-leaders-killed-in-plane-crash ", BreakingNews, 4 April 2001, Retrieved 12 April 2010
  5. "Directory: World Air Forces", Flight International, 11–17 November 2008.
  6. "Russia says fighter pilot shot down in Sudan was an ex-military officer". Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "South Sudan says it shot down Sudanese fighter jet as tensions escalate". CNN. 4 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 'Letter dated 24 January 2011 from former members of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to Resolution 1591 (2005) and renewed pursuant to Resolution 1945 (2010) addressed to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, page 30
  10. War Is Boring. "Sudan's Drones Are Dropping Like Flies". Medium.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Sudan Armed Forces Implicated in Video Captured by Their Own Drone".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Warplanes: Iranian UAVs In Africa".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Africa Confidential - The world's leading fortnightly bulletin on A".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 29". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "World Air Forces 1969 pg. 253". Retrieved 16 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 87". Retrieved 16 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Shenyang J-6 / F-6 Farmer Fighter Aircraft - Airforce Technology". Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>