Armed Forces Overviews

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Air Force

Other Forces

By Michiel Vermeer & Erwin van Dijkman

Ethiopia saw its fair share of wars in recent decades. Hence its armed forces have been tested to the limit, especially in the 1990's. Many aircraft of that era were sourced from former Eastern block countries and are no longer in use. The main base is Debre Zeit, near Bishoftu, and it is littered with aircraft in various states of disrepair. Apart from these derelict aircraft, the pointy end of the stick is formed by Su-27s along with Mi-35s at FDREAF's other main base Dire Dawa.

Remnants of fleets previous used are still thought to be in service. Notably the L-39C, SF260, DHC-6 and some Antonov transports. Gradually, new acquisitions trickle into the ranks with FMS C-130B, VIP AW139 and Mi-17 transport  helicopters. The future will probably see the role of the air force move further towards support of regional UN missions.