Maputo — The Mozambican air force has purchased a second hand executive jet, a Hawker 850 XPA, according to a report on the South African website “Defence Web”, which specializes in defence and security news.
A source in the Mozambican Defence Ministry confirmed the news to the independent daily “O Pais”.
The aircraft was purchased in the United States. “Defence Web” said it left Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida on its delivery flight on September 9 and had its US registration cancelled on September 18 following its transfer to the Mozambican Air Force.
“Defence Web” does not say how much the plane cost, but a company in the sector told “O Pais” that the price for a plane of this sort would be around 14 million US dollars.
The purpose of an executive jet is to transport VIPs. The economic justification for the purchase would certainly be that, in the long run, it is cheaper for the Mozambican government to have its own executive jet than to hire such planes repeatedly.
The Mozambican air force is very short of equipment. The planes used during the war of destabilisation were largely of Soviet manufacture (various generations of MiG fighters, Antonov transport planes, and helicopter gunships). Most of these aircraft are no longer operational.
Recently Portugal, under its technical military cooperation agreement with Mozambique, provided the air force with two Cessna FTB-337G Milirole planes. These are small aircraft, used for such purposes as medical evacuations, maritime surveillance and pilot training.
There are a few other light aircraft, used mainly for training.