Debre Zelt, Ethiopia, January 1999. In December 1998 and January 1999 Ethiopia received six ex-Russian Air Force Su-27S and two Su-27US. The aircraft were disassembled at the Krasnodar AB before transport to Debre Zelt, where they entered the service with either the No. 5 Fighter-Interceptor Squadron EtAF, and were initially mainly flown by Russian mercenaries. One of these, Col. Vyacheslaw Myzin, crashed during a demonstration flight for VIPs over Debre Zelt, on 6 January 1999. Myzin ejected safely, but his Ethiopian pupil - Flt.Lt. Abaniyeh - was killed. A replacement aircraft was rushed to Ethiopia and the EtAF Su-27s became operational within only one month, so that by February of the same year they could already fly CAPs along the embattled border to Eritrea. The battle for air superiority over Ethiopian and Eritrean frontlines could finally begin: it was eventually to be decided by the appearance of Su-27s in Ethiopia.
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1995 - ...) | Military > Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) > 1st Mixed Regiment > 1st Fighter Squadron