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Sudanese Air Force

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Sudanese Air Force
  • القوّات الجوّيّة السودانيّة
  • Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya As-Sudaniya
Sudanese Air Force roundel
Founded1956; 68 years ago (1956)
Country Sudan
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size13,000 personnel
Part ofSudanese Armed Forces
Equipment166 aircraft[1]
Air Force CommanderEssam al-Din Saeed
Fin flash
Aircraft flown
AttackSu-24, Su-25, Nanchang Q-5
FighterMiG-29, MiG-23, MiG-21, Chengdu J-7, Shenyang J-6
HelicopterMil Mi-8, Mil Mi-17, Bell 205, Bell 212
Attack helicopterMil Mi-24, Mil Mi-35
TrainerHongdu JL-8, Guizhou JL-9
TransportIl-76, An-12, An-26, An-30, An-32, C-130, DHC-5

The Sudanese Air Force (Arabic: القوّات الجوّيّة السودانيّة, romanizedAl-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.[2]


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 51s were delivered for jet training in 1961. In 1958, 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 SAF gained its first combat aircraft when 12 Jet Provosts with a close air support capability were delivered in 1962. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union and China started supplying the Sudanese Air Force with aircraft. This included supply of Shenyang F-5 fighters (F-5/FT-5 variants).[3]



The air force flies a mixture of transport planes, fighter jets and helicopters which are mainly sourced from the Soviet Union/Russia and China. However, not all the aircraft are in a fully functioning state and the availability of spare parts has been limited. In 1991, the two main air bases were at the capital Khartoum and Wadi Sayyidna near Omdurman.[4]

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.[5]

In 2009, Sudan made a successful deal to buy two different batches of 12 MiG-29 Russian fighter jets each.[6] There were 23 MiG-29s in active service as of late 2008.[7] 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.[8] South Sudan also claimed to have shot down a Sudanese MiG-29 during the 2012 border conflict.[2]

In mid-2011, members of the UN Panel of Experts on the Sudan documented the following aircraft in Darfur which potentially indicated violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556:

  • 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
    • 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]

Sudanese Air Force MiG-29
K-8s of the Sudanese Air Force take off from Port Sudan Airport
Sudan Air Force Sukhoi Su-25
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Nanchang Q-5 China attack A-5 20[1]
Shenyang J-6 China fighter F-6 8[1]
Chengdu J-7 China fighter F-7 20[1]
MiG-21 Soviet Union fighter MiG-21 4[1]
MiG-23 Soviet Union fighter MiG-23 3[1]
MiG-29 Soviet Union multirole MiG-29 10[1] 1 is used for conversion training.[1]
Sukhoi Su-24 Soviet Union attack Su-24 3[1] Delivered from Belarus starting in 2013.[14]
Sukhoi Su-25 Soviet Union attack Su-25 9[1] 3 are used for conversion training.[1]
Antonov An-12 Soviet Union transport An-12 5[1]
Antonov An-26 Soviet Union transport An-26 2[1]
Antonov An-30 Soviet Union transport An-30/32 4[1]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 1[1]
DHC-5 Buffalo Canada transport DHC-5 1[1]
Ilyushin Il-76 Soviet Union heavy transport Il-76 1[1]
Combat helicopter
Bell 205 United States utility Bell 205 2[1]
Bell 212 United States utility Bell 212 3[1]
Mil Mi-8 Soviet Union utility Mi-8/17/171 24[1]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-24/35 35[1]
Training aircraft
Guizhou JL-9 China jet trainer FTC-2000 6[1]
Hongdu JL-8 China/Pakistan jet trainer K-8 5[1]
mohajer-6 Iran UCAV N/A


Previous notable aircraft operated were the BAC Jet Provost, Douglas C-47,[15] MBB Bo 105, and the Agusta-Bell 212 helicopter.[16][17]


Missile Origin Type Variant In service Notes
R-77 Russia air-to-air BVR missile R-77 N/A[18]
R-73 (missile) Russia Short-range air-to-air missile R-73 (missile) N/A[18]
R-27 (missile) Russia air-to-air BVR missile R-27 (missile) N/A[18]
K-13 (missile) Russia Short-range air-to-air missile K-13 (missile) N/A[18]
PL-8 (missile) China Short-range air-to-air missile PL-8 (missile) 40[18]

Air Defense[edit]

Weapon Origin Type Variant In service Notes
ZPU Soviet Union Anti-aircraft gun ZPU +3200[18] ZPU/1/2/4/23
AZP S-60 Soviet Union Autocannon S-60 +100 Both S-60 and Type 59 versions
KS-19 Soviet Union Anti-aircraft gun KS-19 +40 Status unknown
M163 VADS United States Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun M163 +8[18]
9K32 Strela-2 Soviet Union Man portable surface-to-air missile launcher SA-7 +400[18]
FN-6 China Man portable surface-to-air missile launcher FN-6 +200[18]
FIM-43 Redeye United States Manportable surface-to-air missile FIM-43 +125
QW-2 China Man portable surface-to-air missile launcher QW-2 +200 Sudan operates QW-1/2
SA-2 Guideline Soviet Union Strategic SAM system SA-2 +90 Launchers[18] Sudan has operated the S-75 and the Chinese HQ-2 since 1970.
9K33 OSA Soviet Union SAM system SA-8 Unknown
HQ-64 China SAM system HQ-6 Unknown
HQ-16 China Surface-to-air missile HQ-16 Unknown[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Hoyle, Craig (December 2023). World Air Forces 2024. FlightGlobal (Report). London: Flight Global Insight. p. 30. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b "South Sudan says it shot down Sudanese fighter jet as tensions escalate". CNN. 4 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Sudan Air Force". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  4. ^ Library of Congress Sudan Country Study Archived 10 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 1991, accessed March 2009
  5. ^ "Sudan-military-leaders-killed-in-plane-crash Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine", BreakingNews, 4 April 2001, Retrieved 12 April 2010
  6. ^ "Russia delivers MiG-29 fighter-jets to Sudan". Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Directory: World Air Forces", Flight International, 11–17 November 2008.
  8. ^ "Russia says fighter pilot shot down in Sudan was an ex-military officer". 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Sudan gets second hand Belarusian Su-24 Fencer attack planes. And here are some photos". 19 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  10. ^ War Is Boring (5 May 2014). "Sudan's Drones Are Dropping Like Flies". Medium. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Sudan Armed Forces Implicated in Video Captured by Their Own Drone". satsentinel.org. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Warplanes: Iranian UAVs in Africa". strategypage.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Africa Confidential – The world's leading fortnightly bulletin on A". africa-confidential.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  14. ^ Cooper, Tom (2018). Hot Skies Over Yemen, Volume 2: Aerial Warfare Over the South Arabian Peninsula, 1994-2017. Warwick, UK: Helion & Company Publishing. p. VI. ISBN 978-1-911628-18-7.
  15. ^ "World Air Forces 1969 pg. 253". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  16. ^ "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 87". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Shenyang J-6 / F-6 Farmer Fighter Aircraft – Airforce Technology". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Trade Registers". Stockholm International Peace Research. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  19. ^ "HQ-16 For Sudan". Chinese Magazine. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.


  • Silvester, John. "Call to Arms: The Percival Sea Prince and Pembroke". Air Enthusiast, No. 55, Autumn 1994, pp. 56–61. ISSN 0143-5450