Ethiopia Ups Defense Spending Amid Egypt Tension

Ethiopia Ups Defense Spending Amid Egypt Tension
Sukhoi Su-30 MKI-5

AFRICANGLOBE – The Ethiopian government is set to increase defense spending by more than 15 percent, a rise that comes amid tensions with Egypt over the building of a new dam on the Nile River.

Cairo says the Ethiopian dam project, set to become Africa’s largest, could diminish its share of Nile River waters, which provides almost all of the desert nation’s water needs.

Ethiopia’s parliament on Wednesday debated the proposed budget, which would increase defense spending to $400 million, up from about $350 million. The parliament is scheduled to approve the budget on Thursday.

Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Hailemariam Desalegn, insists the defense increase has nothing to do with the recent disputes with Egypt. Getachew told reporters that the increase corresponds to the country’s growing economy.

In Other Defense News: 

18 Su-30K fighter jets that India returned to Russia, probably will not be sold to Vietnam, but instead may be heading to Ethiopia. Deputy Group Director arms exporter Rosoboronexport[Рособоронэкспорта] Alexander Mikheyev said that Russia is negotiating to supply 18 Su-30K fighters to Ethiopia.

Eighteen multipurpose fighters were returned to India to replace the Russian fighter Su-30MKI is newer.

“We are in consultation with Ethiopia for the supply of the fighter. They have proposed a variant to modernize, enhance combat capability as well as the specification and provide additional tactics the rocket – to – land/sea more advanced,” said Mikheyev said.

The Rosoboronexport officials also stressed that, at present, four Su-30K first being repaired at a local aircraft factory.

“Just got the proposal from customers and financial resources, we are ready to upgrade and modernize all 18 Su-30K aircraft within 4-6 months,” he said Mikheyev.

Complete 18 Su-30K aircraft the IAF was not used in 10 years time, then returned to Russia. This aircraft was delivered to some 5 factories in Belarus to repair and upgrade, before being sold to 3rd party without giving back to Russia to avoid import taxes.

There has been much speculation about the fate of 18 Su-30K and its destination. There has been news that Belarus wants to buy the whole lot and that Russian planes do not extend credit to them (Belarus) to purchase the Group’s Irkut aircraft, then, a few other sources revealed that customer Nan is Vietnam after Vietnam military mission sent to check out a few planes.

Since then, no further information about the fate of this 18 Su-30K. However, the recent disclosure of Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General that Vietnam will not be a customer of 18 Su-30K aircraft, may be negotiated by the two parties, but does not meet requirements of each other, or maybe, Vietnam will not buy old planes instead is buying new aircraft Su-30 at a point.