Procurement: September 20, 2004


The two year old Russian contract to deliver twelve MiG-29 fighters to Sudan is being completed, with the aircraft being delivered ahead of schedule. The deal, which cost Sudan about $150 million, includes training for pilots and maintenance personnel. However, it appears that Russian technicians, and perhaps pilots as well, will be provided in the short term. The MiG-29 is a modern warplane, on a par with the U.S. F-16. Its a complex beast, as are the missiles that are normally used on it. To be effective, the MiG-29 requires well trained pilots and maintenance crews. Sudan received the interceptor version of the MiG-29, and lacks the electronics that enable it to hit ground targets. However, theres nothing to prevent Sudan from having its MiG-29s modified to drop bombs. There have already been reports from Darfur of civilians being bombed by what appear to be fighters. These may have been some of Sudans older MiG fighters, but the descriptions from eyewitnesses seemed to indicate the bombers may have been MiG-29s. Sudan says it needs the MiG-29s for defense against Egypts much larger force of over a hundred  F-16s. A dozen MiG-29s would not last long against an Egyptian attack. If Sudan wanted efficient ground attack aircraft, it would have been better off buying Russian Su-25s. 

Russia is now negotiating to sell Sudan another twelve MiG-29s. It is believed that these arms deals include Russian diplomatic cooperation in preventing the UN from imposing sanctions on Sudan because of atrocities the Sudanese government is inflicting on its own people in Darfur. Thus this sale of MiG-29s is seen more a purchase of diplomatic assistance, than one of air defense against the Egyptian air force.


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close