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Museveni inspects Uganda’s fighter jets

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th July 2011 03:00 AM

THE President, Gen Yoweri Museveni, has said the fighter jets the country has procured were manufactured on order to last and fit Uganda’s military needs contrary to reports that they were second-hand.

THE President, Gen Yoweri Museveni, has said the fighter jets the country has procured were manufactured on order to last and fit Uganda’s military needs contrary to reports that they were second-hand.

By Cyprian Musoke and Kigongo Ssebalamu

THE President, Gen Yoweri Museveni, has said the fighter jets the country has procured were manufactured on order to last and fit Uganda’s military needs contrary to reports that they were second-hand.

The SU-30mk2 are termed as ‘fifth’ generation planes, which ranks them among the newest fighter planes.

The sources call them ‘Air superiority fighters’ because of their swiftness in air-to-air combat.

They are equipped with ‘beyond visual capabilities’ hence able to hit targets far beyond the visual range of the pilots.

The jets’have also got ‘Precision Fighter Capabilities’ which makes them capable of dropping or firing ‘guided munitions’.

According to various Internet sources, the plane has got a range of 3,000kms.

This plane is one of the most heavily armed war plane. It has a weapons payload of 45 air-to-air missiles, 32 air-to-ground missiles, 77 dropped bombs and 120 rockets.

Inspecting the first two of six Sukhoi-Knaapo fighter jets of the Su-30 MK2 type from Russia at the Entebbe military base, where he commissioned them, Museveni compared the purchase to going to a tailor and getting measured to sew what fits you. “In the 1950s when we used to buy clothes, one had to either buy whatever was available or get measured so that a cloth that fits them can be made. This time round, I decided not to buy whatever old technology I found there, but when I went to Russia in August last year, my specifications (needs) were taken and that is in these jets you see here,” he said

In 1987, he added, the Government made the decision to reduce the size of the army, with the purpose of remaining with few men, but with sophisticated technology that operates efficiently.

“This policy will continue although some people are opposing it, saying there are no more wars in Uganda and, therefore, see no reason of spending money to buy fighter jets while there are still other needs like building more schools and hospitals.

“Defence and security does not have to wait for a country to be attacked in order to be strengthened. It is actually during peacetime that is the most opportune moment to strengthen ones’ defence system,” he told air force officers at the airbase. He added that the M16 helicopters bought in 1987 helped the army fight the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels of Joseph Kony, the reason they fled to the DRC.

Since the gunships were new, they are still in use. The function was attended by Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Chief of the Air Force Maj.

Jim Owoyesigire, Russian Ambassador to Uganda Valerie Ivanovich Utkin and the crew of pilots who had just returned from training in Russia.

One jet was flown off to mark the launch, while the second one remained in the hanger.

The President thanked the company Rosoboronexport, a state-owned arms exporter, that manufactured the jets, noting that Russia is one of the countries that helped in the liberation of most African countries.


Museveni inspects Uganda’s fighter jets

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