Taiwan has donated two UH-1H Huey helicopters to Burkina Faso’s Air Force during the visit of General Wang Hsin-Lung, Chief of Staff of the Republic of China’s armed forces.
The aircraft were handed over to Burkina Faso’s defence minister Jean-Claude Bouda on 6 June at Air Base 511 in Ouagadougou. Bouda said the aircraft would be used to combat terrorism, amongst other duties.
The aircraft, worth an estimated $8 million, were delivered in May assembled in Ougadougou with the help of Taiwanese experts.
Hsin-Lung, who is visiting Burkina Faso between 4 and 7 June, said the UH-1Hs will assist the Burkinabe government maintain peace, fight crime and deliver humanitarian aid.
Chief of Staff of the Burkinabe Air Force, Colonel Kounsaouma Palenfo, said the helicopters would be armed and used to fight terrorism in the Sahel.
Bouda said Burkina Faso and Taiwan enjoy good political, economic and military cooperation and further projects are planned for this year and next, including the construction of a shooting range in Kamboinse, the establishment of a shooting simulator at Bobo-Dioulasso and the delivery of 750 bullet resistant vests and ballistic helmets.
Taiwan and Burkina Faso have enjoyed good relations since 1994, and Taiwan has provided military equipment on previous occasions. Burkina Faso indicated it is keen to receive additional aircraft from the Asian nation.
Burkina Faso’s air force is believed to fly a couple of Mi-35 attack helicopters, a couple of Mi-17s and a handful of Alouette III, AS350 and SA365N helicopters.