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Ugandan air force improves pilot training facilities

07 November 2019
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Museveni talks to a graduating pilot cadet in front of an L-39 at UPDF-AF Gulu base. Source: State House Uganda

The Ugandan People's Defence Force - Air Force (UPDF-AF) has upgraded its training facilities at Gulu Air Base in the Northern region, it was revealed when President Yoweri Museveni visited for the graduation of 18 cadet pilots and 20 technicians on 6 November.

Photographs released by the president's office showed the base now has a simulator as part of a training centre that was constructed by the Bulgarian company Jostov and Son, according to a plaque that Museveni unveiled. The company provides training, maintenance, and infrastructure services to air forces.

Museveni was also shown a new VOR/DME radio beacon to enable pilots and ground controllers to accurately plot aircraft locations.

The UPDF-AF has also acquired additional L-39 jets, a type that can be used as the lead-in trainer for its fleet of five Su-30MK2 combat aircraft and as light attack aircraft. Six L-39s were seen in the photographs of Museveni's visit, with at least one displayed with air-to-surface rocket pods and a 23 mm twin-barrel gun, confirming it to be an L-39ZA variant.

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