Togo’s military has revealed it is operating Paramount Mbombe 4 infantry combat vehicles, as well as recently acquired Mamba Mk 7 armoured vehicles.
These were displayed during recent military parades to mark independence from France on 27 April 1960. The 27 April 2021 parade revealed two Mbombe 4s fitted with machinegun turrets, as well as Mamba Mk 7 armoured personnel carriers, while this year’s parade included ACMAT Bastion Patsas vehicles and Dutch-made DAF 1800 trucks fitted with 14.5 mm ZPU-4 anti-aircraft guns.
It is believed that 20 Mbombe 4s were ordered in 2019 along with 20 Marauders and some Maverick internal security vehicles, according to Africa Intelligence.
In March this year, Paramount said it had sold 150 Mbombe 4 vehicles to the armed forces of five countries, receiving its first orders in 2019.
First unveiled at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the Mbombe 4 was initially acquired by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which bought an initial four. In early 2021 it was revealed that the vehicle would be built in India as the Kalyani M4 by Bharat Forge Limited, part of the Kalyani Group. A ‘large number’ are being manufactured for India’s Ministry of Defence.
Key features of Mbombe 4 include flat-floor mine protection, a burst speed of 140 km/h and a range of 800 km. The platform offers crew compartment NATO STANAG 4569 Level 3 ballistic protection and blast protection to STANAG 4569 Level 4A and 4B and protection against a 50kg TNT side blast or IED/roadside bomb. The 16 tonnes Mbombe 4 provides a payload of nearly three tonnes, and has been designed to accommodate a wide range of payloads and turrets, including a 30 mm cannon.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Togo received 30 Bastion vehicles from France between 2013 and 2014, and is receiving 100 Mamba Mk 7 APCs from the USA’s Osprea Logistics. Deliveries began last year and at least 50 have arrived in Togo so far. At least one is an open-topped version for the President, which has been used for parades.
Togo has beefed up its military as it faces a jihadist threat on its borders. In early May, eight soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in an attack in northern Togo in what is believed to be the first deadly raid on its territory by Islamist militants who have killed thousands in neighbouring countries. Jihadists groups are active in both neighbouring Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
In 2018, Togo’s military launched an operation to stop Islamist groups coming in from the north.
Togo has also provided peacekeepers to the United Nations mission in Mali, and suffered losses of troops and vehicles there.