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Zimbabwe's British-manufactured Hawk Fighter Jets Are Flying Again

Zimbabwe's British-manufactured Hawk Fighter Jets Are Flying Again

Zimbabwe’s Air Force has mysteriously found parts for its grounded Hawk fighter jets – 21 years after Britain imposed a crippling arms embargo.

Four BAE Hawk jets took part in a fly-past during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba wrote on Twitter:

Whaooooo! Zimbabwe’s long mothballed squadron of Hawk Fighter jets are flying again! This after years of being grounded because of military sanctions against the country by Britain! Bravo Zimbabwe! We continue to scale to new heights under conditions of sanctions!

Zimbabwe bought 12 British-manufactured BAE Hawk jets in the early 1980s using a £35 million loan from the British government. One of the jets was destroyed on the ground and two others were damaged during an attack on the Thornhill Air Force base by disgruntled ex-ZIPRA fighters in 1982.

Some of the Hawk fighter jets saw active duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998 as Zimbabwe took part in repelling a rebel push to overthrow the government.

European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe, imposed in 2000 in response to the chaotic land reform programme during which gross human rights abuses were recorded, saw Zimbabwe unable to import parts or get support from manufacturer BAE Systems.

The entire fleet was reportedly grounded in 2011.

How Zimbabwe obtained parts for the previously grounded jets is still a mystery.

Sixteen countries currently operate the BAE Hawk fighter and training jets including Zimbabwe. Four others – Kenya, South Korea, Switzerland and Jordan – have retired theirs.

Three scenarios are possible:

  • a). that Zimbabwe performed reverse engineering and manufactured its own parts or serviced the faulty parts;
  • b). that a third country secretly supplied the parts and
  • c). that an arms dealer busted the sanctions.

Another unknown is how many of the Hawk fighters jets have returned to service, with only four having taken part in the ZITF fly-past.

More: ZimLive

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18 Comments

9 months ago


千凵几Ꮆ Ҡ凵 9 months ago

Why are they risking our lives ? Those things are so old even the smoke frm the engines now comes out in the form of powder !
Get them all to a museum , I wl get u kites they r much better they fly higher than those jets n they silent kkkkk


The King of Serpents 9 months ago

😂😂😂😂😂😂 Taura hako, the museum is the best place for those ancient jets, vana vedu vadzidzewo History.

Air Commondor 9 months ago

These will now be used by tye President for his overseas trips, instead of hiring. We will definitely save a lot of RTGS dollars.


Machiavelli 9 months ago

Hahahahaha!
I don't see ED Shweeee risking his skin in these flying bombs

cute 9 months ago

saka zvikureva kuti hatina kuzombotengawo mamwe maJets sure kana drone zvaro


Machiavelli 9 months ago

Yes @cute.
Simba revatongi vedu rakawandira pamuromo sepinjisi. Chaitwa DOLOLO

gboy 9 months ago

ancient planes death traps


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gboy 9 months ago

ancient planes death traps


Chapwititi Kestombela 9 months ago

These ancient jets belong to a museum and not in our skies. Last time one of these jets ejected a large piece of metal in Warren Park hills, Harare. Stop being fools who celebrate DOVER STOVES. Dira hako rizare wangu 🥃🍾


mutant 9 months ago

iye Charamba kufarira ndege dzachembera vanhu vane nzara. very foolish.


karoi 9 months ago

tikugadzirira Russia ikada kuuya kuno kkkk.
Shame on you my beautiful Zimbabwe.


The King of Serpents 9 months ago

😂😂😂😂😂😂 Russia inongounza 1 Sukhov stealth fighter and it will be more than enough

Malema 9 months ago

Hey 50 years old plane, what a joke, those jets supposed to be in meusium


... 9 months ago

There will be given to Chamisa for champaigning purposes


Boss Vardy 9 months ago

KAROI ....... BOE hre yamataura yeRussia 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣


The King of Serpents 9 months ago

😂😂😂😂😂😂Reverse engineering ndairamba, if they could do that, they would have reverse engineered the economy yavakasiirwa naSmith.


chirombo icho 8 months ago

hatifarire kumuka kwema jets isu tisina a stable currency. do we eat those old jets??? I wonder kuti charamba akanyatsokwana here? Iye na mutsvangwa vanotorwara ne pfungwa basi these guys.



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