Tunisian helicopters operational in Central African Republic


The Tunisian Air Force’s three AB205A helicopters with the United Nations Minusca mission are now fully operational in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The three helicopters were sent off in a departure ceremony at El Aouina Air Base at the end of August, after which they joined the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), arriving in Bangui on 13 October.

On 10 November, Minusca said the 130-strong Tunisian Aviation Unit and its three helicopters were fully operational.

The helicopters will be used for air escort, search and rescue and rapid intervention and will remain in the CAR for at least one year.

According to Scramble, the three helicopters, serials L81-705, L81-714 and L81-717, all operated by 32 Squadron from Bizerte/Sidi Ahmed air base, are equipped with miniguns, a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Star Safire III Multi Mission Surveillance System and HGU-56/P Improved Rotary Wing Helmet System.

The deployment is Tunisia’s first to the CAR. It comes as part of an additional 3 000 peacekeepers being sent to the country under a UN Security Council decision in March.