The small Togolese Air Force has received a major boost in its inventory with the acquisition of an ex-Botswana Defence Force CASA CN235M transport aircraft.
The aircraft was cancelled from the US register on July 11 and seen landing at Lanseria International Airport on July 17 in its new Togolese Air Force markings, reports Air International.
The Botswana Defence Force Air Wing retired its two CN235M-10s after replacing them with new production CN235M-300s from December 2009. Botswana was the second African customer for the CN235 and received its two examples in 1987-88. The older aircraft were subsequently placed in storage at Lanseria. The second example is still at the airport, and registered with Fayard Enterprises of Wake Forest, North Carolina. This company primarily provides skydiving operations with aircraft and aircraft maintenance services.
The CN235 will fill the gap left by the retirement of the Togolese Air Force’s de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo transport. The Togolese Air Force is very small and only comprises of a few types, including a King Air 200, two Aerospatiale SA 315 Lamas, an Aerospatiale SA 316 Alouette III, one Eurocopter SA 365 Dauphin, four Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, four Embraer EMB 326s and three Socata TB 30 Epsilon trainers, according to Flight International.
Although it is a very small air force, the Togolese air arm does possess combat-capable aircraft which “constitute a regionally significant attack element that is probably equal to anything west of Nigeria,” according to Jane’s World Air Forces.
The CN235 is able to carry up to six tonnes of payload. Its two General Electric GE CT7-9C3 turboprop engines, each delivering 1 870 shp, give it a maximum cruise speed of 240 kt (450 km/h). CN235s have accumulated more than a million flight hours.
In June it was announced that the Cameroon Air Force had ordered a single CN235 medium transport to modernise its transport fleet. Cameroon’s CN235 is the 276th to be ordered from Airbus Military. A total of 43 operators around the world have ordered the aircraft in transport and surveillance versions, and it is currently in service with 28 countries.