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Ugandan Peoples Defence Air Force

Uganda air force remains the lynchpin in the countrys strategic defence by deterring threats and winning wars. Location of Headquarter: Entebbe, Uganda. The Uganda Air Force is a statutory institute and a service arm of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, the other being the Land Forces. It is established by the Defence forces Act, 2005, Section 3 Sub section 2(b).

There are conflicting reports on what aircraft the Air Wing has in service. Uganda has small air force, with the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force Air Wing only having five MiG-23 Floggers (believed to be ex-Libyan) and six MiG-21 Fishbeds in the way of fighters, according to the IISSs The Military Balance 2012. Seven reconditioned MiG-21s, including a two-seater, were acquired from Poland in 1999, and upgraded by IAI in 2002-2005. However, one was lost in a crash in December 2008, killing the pilot. Ugandas air arm also has 16 helicopters, but much of Ugandas aircraft are non-operational for instance, out of six Mi-24 Hinds, five are non-operational. It is said that Russian pilots are responsible for flying the helicopter fleet.

UPDF has a number of air capabilities which are used for both operations and transport. These capabilities are expensive to acquire and maintain. Routine maintenance is expected so as to keep the equipment in a use-able state. During FY 2013/14, these capabilities were maintained at a cost of shs 7.7bn and this was for acquisition of spares for the capabilities, routine maintenance and servicing. Although this appears to have performed within budget, this area has for over years been receiving the same budget allocation and yet its performance is affected by increase in aircrafts, increase in ground support equipment and evolving technology.

A big part of the aviation component in Mogadishu under AMISOM is drawn from Uganda Air forces. They closely work with UNSOA and Somalia Civil Aviation and Metrological Authority to ensure quality service delivery and promotion of international standards in Somali Airspace and Airports. At the time of UGABAG I (Uganda battle group 1) there aviation industry in Somalia was mostly related to aircraft delivering khat (mairungi). Since the inception of fight against the Al shabaab, aviation component has been significant in supporting the mission in various aspects Airports in Somalia.

The presence of AMISOM that has been for long dominated by Uganda has seen improvement of not only the internal flights but also increased number of International Flights especially to and out of Mogadishu International Airport with over fifty flights in a day and operation time extended to dusk from the 0900hrs to 1200hrs.

The Uganda Air Cargo Corporation (UACC) is a statutory entity created under the Uganda Air Cargo Corporation Act of 1994 (Cap 322) of the Laws of Uganda. It is wholly owned by the Government of Uganda. The Corporation is supervised by the MoD who appoint the Board of Directors who in turn recommend the appointment of a General Manager in charge of the day to day running of the Corporation. The headquarters for the UACC are at Entebbe International Airport main terminal building.

In April 2014, the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) carried out an audit at Entebbe airport and found out that Uganda Air Cargo was not meeting the international standards set by ICAO and as a result it suspended the license of Uganda Air Cargo Corporation.

In total the Corporation had 4 aircraft. in addition to its existing fleet of aircraft, the UACC had fully operationalised the Hercules L 100-30 Cargo aircraft that was acquired in the FY2011/12. Prior to its grounding, the Corporation had contracts With the private sector, public sector and International agencies like the United Nations and World Food Programmme.

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Page last modified: 16-06-2015 20:53:12 ZULU