Uganda’s government has enlisted the help of India’s defence sector to maintain and sustain its Sukhoi Su-MK30 jet aircraft. A letter of understanding was inked earlier this month between the African country and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, an Indian state-owned aerospace company that has been granted a Sukhoi manufacturing licence by Russia.
According to the Indian High Commission, this is Uganda’s first major defence pact since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the “10 Principles of India-Africa Engagement” in 2018.
The financial terms of the agreement have yet to be revealed by India and Uganda.
However, because Uganda’s combat jets are considered one of the country’s “most cherished” military assets, the action has stirred controversy among military analysts about their future.
Last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda employed Sukhois to strike multiple ADF camps.
The Su-MK30 is a multi-role two-pilot combat fighter aircraft with a fly-by-wire flight control system based on the Su-30. To guide air-to-surface missiles and ammunition, it has a passive electronically scanned array radar, a laser-optical locator system, and a target designation pod.
The plane is equipped with a 30-millimeter gun and is capable of firing a variety of air-to-surface missiles, including the Kh-31A/P, Kh-59M, and Nirbhay.
Two Al-31FP turbojet engines power the Su-MK30, giving it a top speed of Mach 1.9. (2,346 kilometres or 1,457 miles per hour). Without refuelling, the aircraft has a maximum range of 3,000 kilometres (1,864 miles).