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Sudanese Air Force
Sudanese Air Force Ensign.svg
Sudanese Air Force Ensign
Founded 1956
Country Sudan
Size around 13,000 perssonel
Part of Sudanese Armed Forces
Equipment 249 aircraft
Air Force Commander Abbas Yusuf Ahmed Al-Badri
Roundel Roundel of the Sudanese Air Force.svg

The Sudanese Air Force (Arabic language: 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.

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) of which 70, after being retired from the air force later, were sold to Jordan.


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 April 4, 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]

Sudanese Air Force MiG-29

K-8s of the Sudanese Air Force taking off from Port Sudan Airport.

Sudan Air Force Sukhoi Su-25

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]

Aircraft Type Versions Number Notes
Russia Mikoyan MiG-29 Fighter MiG-29 24 procured. Unknown number lost[10] In different occasions, in 2007, 2008 and 2012, rebel groups and later South Sudan claimed the downing of some Sudanese Air Force MiG-29s.[11][12][13][14] One destroyed by rebels in Geneyna airport. The actual losses are unclear.
China Chengdu F-7 Airguard (MiG-21) Fighter F-7M 10[15] Numbers in operational condition not confirmed. Likely they are retired or in poor service condition[16]
China Mikoyan MiG-17 Light attack/trainer MiG-17F 16 were ordered.[10] Service status unknown. Likely they are retired.
Belarus Sukhoi Su-24 Medium bomber Su-24M Up to 12 The aircraft were in service with Belarus Air Force until 2012. Pictures appeared in August 2013 showing the aircraft in Sudanese colors and reporting the transfer with support personnel.[9]
Belarus Sukhoi Su-25 Subsonic Ground attack Su-25 15[10]
Soviet Union MiG-23BN/MiG-23UB Fighter-bomber/Trainer MiG-23BN 12[15] Active. Ex Libyan, they were transferred in 1987-1988. One Sudanese MiG-23 crashed on 20 December 2012. The government claimed it crashed while landing in El-Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state, but it blamed the crash on a technical failure, while Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) rebel group claimed it shot it down few days later they claimed an Antonov improvised bomber.[17] A number of MiG-23's crashed or were shot down during the late 1980s and 1990's.[18][19] How many remain and their service status in unknown.
China / Pakistan K-8 Subsonic Trainer/light attack


China Nanchang A-5 Ground attack A-5 11[15] Delivered 2003. Possibly up to 20 may be in service. Sighted in the South Darfur region based at Nyala Airport.
China Shaanxi Y-8 Transport / multipurpose 2[10]
Ukraine Antonov An-24 Transport/Improvised Bomber An-24RV 8[10] Used to bomb rebel encampments.[20][21] On 7 November 2012, one was claimed shot down by Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) while bombing a region close to South Sudan border.[22]
Canada de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo Transport DHC-5D 5[10]
Netherlands Fokker F.27 Friendship Transport F.27 Mk 100 1[15] VIP flights only
United States Lockheed C-130 Hercules Transport C-130H 4 (IISS 2009) Active.
Romania IAR 330 Puma Transport/search and rescue ICA IAR-330L PUMA 15[10] Active.
Italy Agusta-Bell AB212 Twin Huey Transport AB212 12[10] Active.
Germany MBB Bo 105 Transport/ attack/search and rescue Bo 105CB 20 Active.
Russia Mil Mi-8 Transport Mi-8T ~20[10] Active. 12 on order, option for 6 more.[23]
Russia Mil Mi-24 Attack Helicopter Mi-24D/Mi-24V/Mi-24P Approx 50 ordered from various sources[10] 12 on order, option for 6 more.[23]

Retired Aircraft

Shenyang J-6[24]


  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. Wasil Ali, 'Russia says fighter pilot shot down in Sudan was an ex-military officer' Sudan Tribune (30-5-2008)
  7. "South Sudan says it shot down Sudanese fighter jet as tensions escalate". CNN. April 4, 2012. 
  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
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 "Arms Trade Register". SIPRI. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 IISS, Military Balance 2009
  20. "Dodging Bombers in Sudan". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 Sudan; Air Force orders additional Mi-8 & Mi-24 -, 28 August 2013

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