The Ivory Coast has emerged as the customer for the Cayman armoured vehicle manufactured in Belarus, with the type being displayed during its independence day parade.
Three of the vehicles were seen in Gendarmerie colours and four in Army camouflage during the parade on 7 August, along with nine new Acmat/Arquus Bastion armoured personnel carriers in United Nations colours.
In June, Russian news agency TASS quoted a source in Belarus’s State Military-Industrial Committee (Goskomvoenprom) as saying that an undisclosed African country was receiving Cayman 4×4 armoured vehicles.
The Belarusian armed forces took the Cayman armoured vehicle into service in May 2017. The vehicle is manufactured by the 140th Repair Plant in Boriso.
Unveiled in 2015, the Cayman armoured vehicle weighs about 7 000kg and can carry six people including the crew. Its steel monocoque hull provides STANAG 4569 Level 3 protection and has a V-shaped hull. The vehicle is powered by a Minsk Motor Plant D-245.30E2 diesel engine delivering 170 hp, giving a maximum road speed of 110 km/h and 8 km/h in water with the use of water-jets.
Various weapons systems and turrets can be mounted, including an Adunok remotely controlled weapons station or machineguns and automatic grenade launchers. It can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h on ideal road conditions and has a range of 1,000 kilometres. Belarus is believed to have begun putting the vehicle into service with its military since May 2017.
The Ivory Coast’s Gendarmerie operates French VAB and BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers as well as the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle – one of the latter was seen in the 7 August parade. Its Army operates Bastion and Saxon armoured personnel carriers.
Another recent addition to the Ivory Coast’s military is two second hand Antonov An-26B transports, formerly operated by Rose Air. They were delivered on 19 and 23 July and go a long way in rejuvenating the country’s tiny air force.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Ivory Coast has only received a few items of military equipment since the 2011 civil war, including a Predator patrol craft from China, three RPB 33 patrol boats from France and four AT-105 Saxon armoured patrol vehicles for use in United Nations operations in Mali.