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Sudan’s Own Plane Takes to The Skies
By LUCAS BARAS, NATION Reporter. Sudan has marked a major milestone in the aviation industry by making its own plane, the Al-Safat.

President Omar Al-Bashir launched the Al-Safat Planes Industry Complex at the weekend as part of the country’s policy to be self-reliant.

Sudan already has been making its own cars at the GIAD Industrial City.

Sudan News Agency (SUNA) quoted President Bashir as saying the policy of being self-reliant has made the country achieve huge development in field of dams, roads, sugar and ethanol production and would continue with the investments. Brigadier (rtd) Mirgani said maintenance of planes outside the country is expensive and that “our strategic goal is to establish the technology in Sudan using the most advanced systems.”Sudan, he said, wants to tap from Chinese, Russian and Serbian experiences before the work could be left to locals.

Source: Daily Nation

“The President said all parts used to assemble the plane have been manufactured at its own Al Yarmouk complex and commended the achievements made by the military manufacturing authority in producing vehicles, heavy machinery, armoured vehicles and tanks,” according to Suna.

Suna continued: “He added that the next programme of the government is to spread the national electricity grid to cover the whole country.” Sudan’s Minister for Industry Jalal Yousif Al-Degair said Sudan is able to venture in air planes industry despite sanctions by western countries “especially with regard to the manufacturing of plane spare parts.”

Al-Safat Planes Complex general director Mirghani Idris said a five year plan is in place to produce the first model of the Safat-01 and that 10 more will follow.

Eighty per cent of the plane will be Sudanese manufactured with the assistance from Russian and Chinese partners. The director said Safat-01 will cost $15,000 (Sh11 million).

“He said in three years the plane manufacturing will be localised adding that the maintenance section of the complex will primarily focus on civilian aviation,” he said.

The director said the complex was currently the largest in Africa and Arab world “in terms of infrastructure and training to international standards.”

The complex was started in 2005 to support the Sudanese air force and is part of the country’s military manufacturing commission.

Besides maintenance, the complex will rehabilitate civil and military planes at Wadi Saydina military area in Omdurman.

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