G5 howitzers seen in Libya

1951

It appears the Libyan National Army (LNA) is now operating South African-made G5 155 mm howitzers, mostly likely delivered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

What appear to be Denel Land Systems G5 towed howitzers were seen in a video released on 14 November by the Libyan National Army, which controls eastern Libya. The video also showed what appear to be Serbian multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), according to Jane’s.

The UAE acquired G5 and self-propelled G6 howitzers from South Africa and is the most likely supplier of the weapons to Libya – it has supplied LNA forces with other equipment. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfers database, the UAE in 2013/14 acquired six second-hand G5s from South Africa that were modernised before delivery. Between 1991 and 1993 the UAE took delivery of 78 G6 self-propelled howitzers for Abu Dhabi.

G5s were possibly seen in Libya in May this year, with Libyan activists sharing an unverified video apparently showing LNA soldiers firing a G5.

The 14 November video showed artillery (including M-46 130 mm and D-30 122 mm guns), mortars, anti-tank missiles and what appear to be Serbian Morava MRLs firing during the exercise, as well as parachute drops from Mi-8/17 helicopters. Numerous Soviet-era tanks were also seen taking part along with technicals and other vehicles.

The LNA said the exercise featured “specialised battalions, artillery, armour, missiles, military engineering, special forces, the air force, and the parachute team”.

The UAE is believed to have supplied Pantsir-S1 air defence systems to Libya, as well as Javelin anti-tank missiles. Since 2014, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have provided the LNA with military equipment, including Panthera T6, Typhoon and Caiman armoured vehicles, MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Mi-24/35P helicopters.

Apart from the G5s, other South African military hardware has ended up in Libya, including Paramount-designed Mbombe armoured vehicles manufactured in Jordan.