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Two Xi’an MA60 turboprop transports have been seen in Angolan Air Force (FANA) colours en route to Luanda, where they will be operated by the transport squadron, according to press reports on 21 August.

Ordered from Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in January last year, the MA60 is a stretched version of the Xi’an Y7-200A, based on the Antonov An-24/26 series and was designed to replace earlier Y-7 variants. It can carry 60 passengers at a cruising speed of 430 km/h over a range of 1,600 km and is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops. Other African operators include the armed forces of Cameroon and Djibouti.

The FANA currently relies on about 30 Antonov and Ilyushin aircraft for transport, alongside two C212s. In an effort to modernise its airlift capabilities, the service ordered three C295s – to be used for both transport and maritime surveillance – from Airbus in March 2018.

An MA60 in Chinese service. (Photo: AVIC)

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