17 April 2009

Vietnam Seek To Bolster Air Force With More Su-27s

06 Januari 1999

Vietnam hopes to substantially strengthen its air force with an additional 24 Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority/ground attack fighters, under the terms of a military co-operation agreement concluded with Russia. The agreement was signed in Hanoi on 21 October during the visit of a Russian delegation headed by defence minister Igor Sergeyev. This is described as an 'umbrella' document intended to provide a framework for future Russian defence sales and support without specifying the programmes to be pursued.

Su-27 of the Vietnam Air Force (photo : Militaryphotos)

Hanoi-based sources nevertheless told Jane's Defence Weekly that Vietnam will seek 24 Su-27s worth "a billion (US) dollars" to supplement 12 already acquired. The first six Su-27s were delivered in 1994 and six more were ordered the following year. At least two have since been lost through attrition.

Analysts have been expecting Hanoi to pursue the acquisition of moreSu-27s since the initial deliveries became known. The first 12 platforms provided the air force with only a limited operational capability but the proposed follow-on purchase, if concluded, would boost its strength significantly.

Vietnam's acquisition list also includes an unknown number of MAPO MiG-29 fighters but it is not yet clear whether these represent a separate requirement or an alternative to the Su-27.

Already signed is a contract for Russia to upgrade two MiG-21MF/bis air defence/attack fighters, most likely the initial phase of a substantially larger programme that could eventually cover up to 125of these platforms. Naval ships and "other military hardware" are also being sought from Russia, although details of these proposed acquisitions have not yet become known.

Sumber : Jane’s

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