Senegal receives new military hardware, including Puma M36 APCs


Senegal’s armed forces have taken delivery of a batch of new military hardware, including Puma M36 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) as the country continues to strengthen all branches of its military.

The hardware was received in Dakar by Sidiki Kaba, Senegal’s defence minister, and Chief of Army Staff Brigadier General Cheikh Wade on 24 June. The shipment included at least 11 Puma M36 APCs as well as heavy machineguns, mortars, recovery vehicles, assault rifles, riot shields, a dozen Toyota Land Cruisers equipped with pintle-mounted heavy machineguns, combat ambulances, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and riot helmets.

The equipment acquisition is part of President Macky Sall’s Emerging Senegal Plan that aims to enhance the country’s armed forces. Impending deliveries include LG1 105 mm towed howitzers from France’s Nexter, and three OPV 58S offshore patrol vessels from Piriou.

Kaba said the military has never received so much equipment at once, and the new hardware is a qualitative and quantitative leap that will greatly enhance the capacity of the military.

It has also been revealed that Senegal’s Gendarmerie is operating Urovesa Vamtac ST5 armoured personnel carriers, fitted with what appear to be Truvelo 12.7×99 mm anti-material rifles. At least three vehicles were seen in service from 2019. They are operated by the Gendarmerie’s rapid reaction unit, formed under the auspices of the European Union to enhance security in the Sahel.

Senegal already operates OTT Puma APCs – according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 84 of these were delivered between 2014 and 2020, but it is not clear how many Puma M36s have been delivered in the most recent batch.

In addition to Islamist terror groups in the Sahel, Senegal is dealing with separatists in its Casamance region, the location of one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts.