Eritrean Republic Air Force
By Arnold ten Pas
After 30 years of guerrilla war, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The result of 30 years fighting between the Ethiopian forces and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) didn't last long however. There is still fighting going on about the exact position of the border.
In 1999, the ERAF bought ten MiG-29s after the Ethiopian Air Force bought Su-27s. The MiG-29s are probably flown and maintained by both Eritean, Russian and Ukrainian pilots and technicians. In 2000 the ERAF bought eight Su-25s from Georgia, and six more MiG-29s from Moldavia. Unconfirmed reports mention that at least two MiG-29s were brought down by Ethiopian Flankers. Nowadays, Eritrea has received six Su-27 Flankers themselves. Other recent additions to the ERAF are four Mi-17s transport helicopters.
The MiG-21s which were taken from the Ethiopian Air Force are believed to be no longer in service. The main airbase is Asmara AP, which is a combined civil/military airfield. At this moment, peace-keepers from different countries try to maintain the fragile peace over the disputed border. Other bases are Barentu, Mitsiwa and Aseb. Serials are sometimes worn with ERAF in front of the digits, but not always.