The Sudanese military has assembled the country’s first-ever military aircraft from spare-parts manufactured locally as part of the country’s industrialization strategy, state media said in a report.
Sudanese President Hassan Omar el-Bashir launched the country’s first aircraft at a ceremony witnessed by diplomats accredited to Khartoum, where he lauded the country’s military for its efforts to ensure that Sudan is self-sufficient in its industrialization efforts.
The first ever Sudanese-made plane, named the Alsafat-01, is manufactured to fly using the normal benzene-fired fuels, not jet-fuel, used by most commercial aircraft, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said in a report posted on its website.
Bashir said the manufacturing of the aircraft was a sign of the country’s growing self-sufficiency, adding that the country had manufactured cars, heavy military tanks and artillery for use by its military.
Sudan has been under international sanctions that bar its local companies from trading with American firms.
Sudan’s military officers in-charge of the plane-manufacturing complex said their plan was to manufacture 10 such aircraft in future before moving to the construction of civilian aircraft, SUNA reported, quoting Brigadier Mirghani Idris.
Idris said the inauguration of the plane was a gift extended by the Military Manufacturing Organ to the Sudanese people after the establishment of GIAD Industrial City, according to the report.
Idris told reporters that a five-year plan was put in place to produce the first model of the plane named ‘Safat-01’, stressing that the planes were Sudanese manufactured up to 80 per cent, with assistance from Chinese and Russian partners.
He also said the cost of the ‘Safat-01’ plane was US$ 15,000.
Sudan is undertaking a three-year plan, aimed at effectively manufacturing and maintaining aircraft in the country and the plan is to effectively transfer the expertise gained from the Russian and Chinese engineers to “Sudanize” the entire production process.
The military complex where the aircraft was manufactured would be transformed in to a civilian manufacturing facility in future, the officials said.
Sudan also plans to transform the complex into regional center for North Africa, the Sudanese officials said, noting that the facility where the aircraft was produced is currently the largest in the Arab and African world.
The Safat aviation complex was founded in 2005 to primarily support the Sudanese Air Force.