Venezuela plans to order 12 new Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to bolster its air force, President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday.
"I will talk to [Russian] President Vladimir Putin to deliver at least 12 new [Sukhoi] Su [fighter jets] to Venezuela and replace the one lost [on Friday]," Maduro said as quoted by the Noticias24 news website.
A Venezuelan Su-30 jet crashed over the weekend in a region near the border with Colombia while on a mission to intercept an unauthorized aircraft entering the country’s air space. No further details are available of the crash.
Venezuela has 24 Su-30MKV aircraft before the crash and 12 F-16s. A recent increase of tensions with Columbia and an increase of drug cartel flights is said to be increasing pressure on the country’s air force to fly surveillance and intercept missions.