The beginning of the SAF was a few months after the Sudan had gained independence in January 1956 with British (the former colonial power) providing most of the equipment and training needed.. The newly formed SAF received four new Hunting Provost T Mk 53s for training duties in 1957. Four more re-furbished RAF Provosts were handed over in 1960. The transport wing received its first aircraft in 1958 with the arrival of a Hunting President, with the addition of two more in March of 1960. In may of the same year, the strength of the transport wing was further enhanced with the addition of two Pembroke C Mk 54 which were used for light transport and twin conversion.
The first "fighter" aircraft came in the form of 12 Jet Provosts in 1962. The new aircraft replaced the Mk 53s and had an additional close support role. The SAF had a "rough" start with its combat training: Four pilots parished in a training accident in 1962. The four airment were among the first twelve Sudanese "fighter" pilots to have earned their wings. A further crash in June brought the number of lost aircraft to three in less than two months; a fourth incident sent a another Jet Provost to England for repair in April of the following year following "heavy" landing.
The transport wing was strengthened with the addition of two Douglas C-47 and four Fokker F-27M troopships in the 1964. Light transport capability came from Switzerland in the form of eight Turbo Porters ordered in 1967. Two of the four initial Fokkers were transferred later to Sudan Airways, the flag carrier.
The monopoly of British and western equipment was broken in 1969 following a
military coup by Col. Gaffer Numeiri. With assistance from the Russians and the
Chinese, the SAF was equiped with 16 Shenyang F-4 (the chinese version of the
MIG-17F). The Russians supplied a squadron of MIG-21s, An-12 and An-24
transports, Mil Mi-4 and Mi-8 helicopters, and soviet technician and pilot
training facilities in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The "red"
preference was altered after Numeiri linked a failed coup attempt to the
U.S. made aircraft made their first flights with Sudanese insignia in
1978; six C-130H Hercules heavy transports formed the backbone of the
transport wing till recently. Four Canadian DHC-5D Buffaloes were also
received by the transport unit.
The U.S. however, was not as generous when it came to the supply of fighter aircraft, which forced president Numeiri to head to France in April 1977 to negotiate for 14 Mirage 5SO's, two 5SOD's and Puma helicopters. The french deal was later canceled when the U.S. finally agreed to supply the SAF with its Northrop F-5 in April of 1978. A total of ten F-5Es and Two F-5F trainers and six ground radar units were received. It is highly unlikely that any of these aircraft - including the Hercules - is still operational due to the U.S. embargo on the Sudan and war attrition. The SAF also received 20 MBB Bo-105 helicopters from Germany for communication and SAR duties and several Romanian built Pumas for the same purpose.
More recently, the Libya's Col. Gadaffi donated a squadron MIG-23 Floggers to the SAF. Although, the status of this squadron is not known, it is believed that no "Floggers" are currently flying due to lack of parts and high attrition rates.
The late eighties and early nineties brought the Inqaz era to the Sudan; with
it came the supply (Iranian funding) of many fighter and helicopter types to the
service. these include Chinese built F-7 fighter bombers and and Mi-24
The SAF is a seperate service under the commander-in-chief
Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir
Lt. Gen. Abbas Yusuf Ahmed Al-Badri
|Antonov An-24RV Coke||5||Transport|
|Chengdu F-7M Airguard Fishbed||10*||Tactical Fighter|
|CASA C-212-200 Aviocar||2||Transport|
|Dassault Falcon 50||1||VIP Transport|
|Dassault Falcon 20F||1||VIP Transport|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo||3||Transport|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300||1||Photogrammetric Surveyor|
|Fokker F.27 Mk 100 Friendship||1||VIP Transport|
|Lockheed C-130H Hercules||3*||Transport|
|Mikoyan MIG-23BN Flogger-H||3*||Tactical Fighter|
|Shenyang F-5/ Chengdu FT-5 Fresce||10*||Tactical Fighter|
|Agusta-Bell AB 212||10*||Transport|
|ICA IAR-330L (Romanian Built Pumas)||12*||Transport / SAR|
|MBB Bo 105 CB||20*||Transport / Antiarmor / SAR|
|Mil Mi-8T Hip||6*||Transport|
|Mil Mi-24 Hind-D||6*||Gunship/Assault|
Note: Any information regarding the SAF, its organization or
equipment would be greatly apprecaited.