The HAIYHO, MB SFA-18 Catbird is a 4.5-generation jet fighter aircraft currently under development by Somali-based aerospace manufacturing and defense corporation HAIYHO, MB. Designed to replace the East African Air Force's stock of aging F-14 Tomcats and F-4E Phantom IIs, the SFA-18 Catbird(Strike Fighter Aircraft) was conceptualized in early 2008 and officially began development a year later in early 2009. Designed to be fully capable of engaging both ground targets and air targets using long-distance Beyond Visual Range AAMs and AGMs, the Catbird is currently being developed by HAIYHO, MB with subcontracts to Alenia Aeronautica, AfraSpace and Leclère Weapons Systems. The SFA-18 is designed to have two primary variants; the "male" SFA-18GA (Ground Attack) designed primarily for engaging heavily-armored ground targets, and the "female" SFA-18AA (Aerial Attack) designed primarily for engaging other aircraft and serving as an escort fighter and interceptor.
The SFA-18 Catbird is the direct evolution of the X-09, the experimental prototype developed by HAIYHO, MB to serve as a proof of concept for the Catbird fighter's main design philosophies. The first flight of the X-09 took place on 14 March 2016 at EAAFB Mitsamiouli on Ndzuwani.
The first operational
SFA-18AA Catbird, designated
"Lady Mariam", in Hangar at
The East African Ground Forces was formed from the basis of the Imperial Ethiopian Army. Following the foundation of the East African Federation, the Imperial Ethiopian Army and the Somali Arab Army were merged into a single standing army as part of the East African Defense Forces. Originally, these units were based on linguistic demographics rather than ethnic or regional demographics, with Somali and Arabic-speaking divisions being formed and stationed in Somali and Arabic-speaking areas of the Federation, Tigray-speaking divisions being formed and stationed in parts of Tigray, etc. However, as the role and size of the Defense Forces grew, restrictions on inter-linguistic divisions lessened until 1977 when they were completely done away with.
Less than a year after its establishment, the East African Ground Forces were deployed against Tigrayan militias in the 1963 Tigray Insurgency. In order to ensure mission stability and eliminate the threat of Tigray soldiers refusing to fight the Tigray militias, divisions comprised of Somali soldiers were deployed into Tigray and managed to quell the revolt within two years of small-scale skirmishes in the countryside.
During the Retribution, the East African Ground Forces were deployed throughout various Ethiopic and Littoral states and imposed a five year long martial law within the states of Tigray, the Red Sea, Bab El-Mandeb, Amhara, Oromia, Somalia, and Benishangul-Gumaz. Still equipped with mostly outdated Colonial-Era equipment, the Ground Forces were forced to act as an occupational force in some capacities and as a counter-insurgency force in others.
Following the Retribution, First Citizen Berhanu Berhe pursued a policy of “Armed Peacemaking”, which oversaw the use of the EAGF as a peacemaking and redevelopment force within the country. Ultimately, the EAGF would, in conjunction with the East African Air Forces, overthrow Berhe during the Hagenia Revolution of March 1985. Under the command of Supreme Commander Michael Andom, the Ground Forces besieged the East African Capitol Complex and eventually liberated it, replacing Berhanu Berhe with Interior Minister Tesfaye Dinka Yadessa and ushering in the Duumvirate.
As the East African Federation was essentially ruled by two military men, Supreme Commander Andom and First Citizen Dinka, the Ground Force’s we’re extremely modernized alongside the other ranches of the
Crew: Two(Pilot, Weapons Adviser)
Length: 49ft 3 in(15.01 m)
Range: 840 nmi(1,555 km)
Guns: 1x East Africarms 25mm M1616 rotary cannon, 875 rounds
Hardpoints: Total 8, 2 wing-tip, 6 under-wing