The Venezuelan Air Force announced that all of their Su-30MK2 are out of order and cannot go for an operational mission, learned GDC citing Avia pro newspaper.
Under President Hugo Chavez Venezuela’s heavily rentier oriented economy was free from Western economic sanctions and, more importantly, benefited from high oil prices, which represented the large majority of the country’s exports.
The government had invested much of this into modernising its armed forces, purchasing 24 Su-30MK2 heavyweight fighters and what was at the time the Russian long-range air defense system ever exported – the S-300VM. Alongside orders for armour, artillery, attack helicopters, and other weapons systems, Venezuela signed a contract for the Su-30 jets in 2006. These aircraft were based on the same ‘Flanker’ airframe as the Su-35.
Venezuela is thought to have considered purchasing 24 Su-35 fighters to follow on from its order for the Su-30MK2, with President Chavez stating this effect in the early summer of 2012.
According to Avia pro newspaper, the Su-30MK2 has flight control systems malfunctions and metal fatigue, which forced the official in Caracas to abandon these combat aircraft’s operation.
According to Latin American media, Venezuela intended to maintain only a part of the Su-30 fighters in good technical condition, while the rest of the combat aircraft could begin to be grounded. It is known that at the beginning of 2020, the Venezuelan Air Force was armed with 11 technically serviceable Su-30 combat aircraft, which indicates the fact that the number of such aircraft has decreased by 11 more combat units in just a year.
According to the source, the Venezuelan Air Force does not have a maintenance agreement with Russia, and the aircrafts are grounded and face the same fate as the Malaysian Air Force’s Su-30MKM.
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