LUANDA, Angola – Russia and Angola have traditionally strong cooperation in the military field. Russia’s ambassador to Angola, Vladimir Tararov, revealed the new projects between the two countries, as well as explaining why Angola is betting on Russian armament.
During the visit of the Angolan delegation to Russia in early April, Angolan Defense Minister Salviano de Jesus Sequeira said that “cooperation in the military field with Russia will continue forever” and that Angola received six Russian Su-30 fighter jets and awaits the delivery of two more planes expected by the end of May.
Vladimir Tararov, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Angola, said the latest advances in military cooperation between Moscow and Luanda and the future prospects of such mutually advantageous cooperation.
The diplomat stressed that the Angolan authorities declared that they set a course to form their Armed Forces on the model of the Russia military. It is evident that the whole structure will demand the corresponding military material.
“Without a doubt, Russia has its military advisers in Angola, who work in the General Staff, in the Ministry of Defense and even a consultant to the Supreme Commander, who analyze these needs and, after conciliation with the Angolan side, purchase of war material,” he explained.
Currently, it is the purchase of Russian aircraft, which have already shown their capabilities.
“They are quite simple, quite reliable and at the same time their maintenance is cheaper than the equipment produced by other countries.”
“When I spoke to experts, they said that countries that produce very sophisticated appliances saturated with equipment can ask, say, a price 1.5 times less than Russia. But when the issue of reparations arises, it turns out that each screw and each nut cost as if they were made of gold. Taking into account maintenance costs, this military equipment would be 20-30 times more expensive than the Russian,” said the ambassador.
For Tararov, taking into consideration that Angola decided to form its Armed Forces according to the model of the Russian Armed Forces, it is logical that the country is interested in the purchase of Russian armament.
“In addition, the Russian Armed Forces have proved their capabilities, for example, in Syria and in other countries to which we have provided assistance at the request of their governments and have shown their effectiveness. This underlines once again that they [Russian Armed Forces] are an example of organization for other countries. This is very important. ”
“The aircraft represent part of the war material on which we can develop our future cooperation and future investments. For example, Angola buys from Russia not only aircraft, but also helicopters – about 20 helicopters operate in Angola, in addition to the recent meeting of the recently-convened Intergovernmental Committee on Military Cooperation has expressed its interest in the creation of a kind of regional aviation repair center,” said the ambassador.
According to the ambassador, this would be a very important step, because it is the repair of not only Angolan helicopters, but also of South Africa and other countries of the region that received helicopters of Russian production. Then repairs of military aircraft and, gradually, of civilian airplanes could begin.
“This would create a mega-structure that could carry out aeronautical maintenance at a regional level,” said Tararov, adding that this would favor the prestige not only of Angola but also of Russia.
As for other types of military equipment, the diplomat says that Russia is considering building several military industrial units in Angola in the form of joint ventures so that Russia, in the first stage of its operation, helps Angolans manage these facilities and to organize production and sales.
“We are studying the creation of factories to produce light weapons, ammunition, military uniforms, which is also important for Angola, and for the repair of Russian military equipment,” Tararov said, adding that prospects for cooperation in this area are very favorable.
“The visit of President João Lourenço [to Russia] showed again the desire of the Angolan authorities and full confidence in this area and, on the Russian side, showed the interest not only of the State in general, but also of public capital to establish mutually advantageous cooperation to a new level,” the ambassador said.