Ivory Coast operating An-26Bs


The Ivory Coast Air Force is now operating Antonov An-26Bs, with two recently delivered to the West African nation.

Scramble reports that two former Bulgarian An-26s (TU-VMA and TU-VMB) were delivered to Abidjan-Port Bouet Groupe Aerien du Transport via Tunisia on 19 and 23 July.

The Ivory Coast has a small air force, with only half a dozen Alpha Jets and a single Mi-24 Hind providing some combat capability. Transport aircraft include several SA330L Pumas, several Alouette IIIs, three SA 365 Dauphin helicopters and a single An-12 transport.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Ivory Coast has only received a few items of military equipment since 2011, including a Predator patrol craft from China, three RPB 33 patrol boats from France and four AT-105 Saxon armoured patrol vehicles for use in United Nations operations in Mali.

Much of the Ivory Coast’s air force was largely destroyed by French troops in November 2004, following a deadly attack on French soldiers. Apparently seven aircraft were destroyed, leaving only eight military aircraft in operation. Further conflict and the second civil war in 2011 took their toll on the air arm, with few operational aircraft in the country’s inventory.