Mali operating Paramount Marauders


Mali’s armed forces are operating Marauder armoured personnel carriers delivered from Paramount as the country’s military expands its vehicle inventory.

A Marauder was seen during the country’s 59th anniversary parade at the Kati military camp on 20 January. It was fitted with a 14.5 mm gun turret, which was seen fitted to Paramount’s Mbombe 4 armoured vehicle in 2016.

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, Mali’s Marauders were first seen during a 22 September 2019 parade, with three displayed, but none of these were armed.

It is not clear how many Marauders Mali has acquired, but according to the South African National Conventional Arms Control Committee’s first quarter report for 2019, Mali bought 19 armoured vehicles from South Africa for R55 million.

Another recent African Marauder operator is Nigeria, which in March 2019 revealed it had the type in service with the Nigerian Air Force. Nigeria’s Marauders are fitted with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) Snake Head turret with a 7.62mm machine gun. Paramount and Jordan’s KADDB have worked together on vehicles in the past, with KADDB fitting its turrets to a number of Paramount vehicles, including the Mbombe.

The 17 tonne Marauder can accommodate up to 12 personnel including two crew, and offers STANAG Level 3 protection. Its hull can withstand a direct explosion of 8 kg of TNT. Other sub-Saharan African operators include the Republic of Congo and Malawi.

Mali, meanwhile, has taken a large mumber of new types into service, displaying new vehicles during the 20 January parade. This included Streit Typhoons and DongFeng EQ2050 Mengshi vehicles configured for reconnaissance and troop transport.

By the end of January, Mali’s armed forces said they had taken delivery of 35 Typhoons from the United Arab Emirates. The UAE has also donated 30 Streit Cougar armoured personnel carriers to Mali to combat Islamist militants in the Sahel. By the end of January, 30 Cougars had been delivered.

Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse in December 2019 said on national television that the UAE was giving Mali 30 vehicles to strengthen its armed forces. According to Cisse, the acquisition of about 100 additional armoured vehicles was being negotiated with the UAE. Agence France Presse reported that 30 of the vehicles are a gift from the UAE and the remaining 100 are being bought by the Malian government.

These join 13 Aarqus Bastions handed over to Mali for its contribution to the Sahel G5 Joint Force. They were transferred on 17 January by the European Union Training Mission Mali.