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Senegal moves ahead with military procurements

03rd March 2017 - 15:35 by Erwan de Cherisey in Paris

The Senegalese military has been conducting significant purchases of equipment in the last few years, with the army receiving new armoured vehicles, small arms and artillery while expecting additional fire support weapons over the coming months.

The army has already taken delivery of IAI RAM Mk.3 light armoured vehicles and NORINCO WMA-301 tank destroyers; IWI Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles and Negev light machine guns; and Nexter TRF-1 towed howitzers.

Meanwhile, the navy has been provided with three coastal and offshore patrol vessels in the last three years.

As their recent intervention in The Gambia, as part of Operation Restore Democracy – a military deployment undertaken as part of the Economic Community of West African States' Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) – has evidenced, the Senegalese Armed Forces (SAF) have developed into a well-structured and coherent force working under the principles of joint forces integration and combined arms operations.

The SAF has also been receiving new equipment and officially commissioned its new CN235-220 transport aircraft and a first Mi-24V in a ceremony at Yoff Air Base in Dakar, on 16 February.

The SAF only received the CN235-220 from Indonesia in January but the aircraft was immediately mobilised to support ECOMIG, even flying The Gambia's President elect Adama Barrow back to Banjul on 26 January.

The new aircraft joins a pair of CN235s and is likely to be supplemented by C295W medium transports in the near future, a type for which Senegal has expressed strong interest.

Additionally, Senegal is considering the purchase of a single CN235-220MPA maritime surveillance aircraft from Indonesian Aerospace, according to Indonesian sources.

The Mi-24V is one of three former Slovakian Air Force aircraft being procured second-hand from Poland where they are being refurbished by WZL-1.

Senegal already flies two Mi-24P upgraded with sensors from Controp Precision Technologies Ltd, both of which are currently committed to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA) where they have recently been used in combat, stopping a column of Seleka rebels on 11 February, according to the UN.

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