Warplanes: Sudan Now Manufactures Military Aircraft


November 21, 2011:  Sudan is offering a two seat trainer aircraft for sale. Based on a Serbian design (UTVA 75), the SAFAT-03 is a one ton aircraft with a cruising speed of 175 kilometers an hour and can stay in the air about four hours per sortie. Sudan obtained components for the aircraft from Ukraine and Serbia. No weapons can be carried, unless there is only one pilot. Basically, Sudan personnel assembled the SAFAT-03 from mostly imported components. Sudan is also offering the Ukrainian AK1-3 light helicopter, as the SAFAT-02. This one is also assembled in Sudan from imported components.

Sudan established an aircraft maintenance company seven years ago, and after several hundred locals acquired skills and experience at maintaining military and commercial aircraft, it was decided to try aircraft manufacturing. If the SAFAT-02 and SAFAT-03 don't sell, they are also being used by the Sudanese military for training. Not a lot was invested in the aircraft production effort, as it's mainly an assembly operation. This is something maintenance personnel are familiar with, as aircraft often have to be partially disassembled to make repairs.

Sudan touts the two aircraft as Sudanese designs, but almost all the design and engineering was imported, along with the components. Some changes were made to the external appearance of the aircraft, but that was it.


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