Senegal takes delivery of second C295

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Senegal’s Armed Forces have just taken delivery of a second and final C295 transport aircraft from Airbus, eight months after receiving the first.

The new aircraft (6W-TTE) arrived at Dakar Air Base on 31 March where it was received by defence minister Sidiki Kaba. It was seen undergoing flight testing in Spain in October last year ahead of delivery.

Kaba said the aircraft’s short takeoff and landing capabilities and its versatility allows it to carry out different missions such as transport, paratrooping and medical evacuation. The new aircraft will strengthen the transport capacity of Senegal’s military and support domestic and international missions. “The reception is a testament to Senegal’s willingness to modernise its army to meet security and defence challenges in a complex regional environment,” Senegal’s armed forces said.

The West African nation received its first C295 (6W-TTD) on 28 July 2022. At the same time, Kaba formally received two Mi-17 and four Mi-35 helicopters that had undergone major servicing.

The C295 is accumulating a steady stream of orders in Africa. In November 2021 Airbus delivered a C295W to Burkina Faso and on 31 May 2022, Mali received a second C295 after a year’s delay due to US sanctions. The first arrived in December 2016 from Airbus. Last year, Angola firmed up an order for three C295s, four years after its government first revealed plans to acquire the aircraft, which will be used in part for maritime surveillance. The Nigerian Air Force is looking at acquiring at least one C295.

Senegal has previously received CN235 aircraft manufactured by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI). A single CN-235-220M was delivered in 2017 and a single CN-235-220 MP was delivered in 2021. The latter is in maritime patrol configuration with a 360 degree Ocean Master search radar with a range of up to 200 nautical miles, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor for day/night operations.

In addition to Islamist terror groups in the Sahel, Senegal has been dealing with separatists in its Casamance region, the location of one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. As a result, in recent times Senegal has been expanding its armed forces, receiving patrol boats, trainer aircraft, armoured vehicles and other equipment. France’s Piriou will soon deliver three OPV 58S patrol vessels and Nexter will supply eight LG1 105 mm howitzers.

In June last year, Senegal’s armed forces received 11 Puma M36 armoured personnel carriers from South Africa, as well as heavy machineguns, mortars, recovery vehicles, assault rifles, riot shields, a dozen Toyota Land Cruisers equipped with pintle-mounted heavy machineguns, combat ambulances, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and riot helmets.