Multiple new armoured vehicles were unveiled by Chad’s military during a parade in the capital N’Djamena earlier this month to celebrate the country’s 61 years of independence.
A large number of Terrier LT-79 light armoured personnel carriers (APCs) were seen in the parade, operated by the elite Directorate General of Security Services of the State Institutions (DGSSIE).
Terrier LT-79s are manufactured by The Armoured Group, who said earlier this month that 30 of the vehicles were being shipped to a ‘central African country’. The APC is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 chassis, and has a combat weight of 5.6 tonnes. It has all round CEN B6-level armouring, can carry six to eight people and is powered by a 4.4 litre V8 turbo-diesel engine. Chad’s vehicles have weapon stations on their rooves fitted with 12.7 mm DShK-type machineguns.
The DGSSIE elements of the parade also featured two Arquus Bastion vehicles, which according to Janes, are the same APC variant that the European Union delivered to Mali and Burkina Faso as part of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Chad is also part of that force.
Two more Bastion vehicles of the same variant were displayed by the Division of Special Anti-Terrorist Groups (DGSAT). One of the APCS had several antennas, possibly indicating it is used as a command post. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Chad received seven Bastions in 2019/2020, financed by the European Union.
The DGSAT, a force committed to operations against militants in the Lake Chad area, also featured two Ejder Yalçin APCs vehicles and six Nigerian-made Proforce Ara 2 vehicles. The Ejder Yalçin MRAPs are made by Turkish company Nurol Makina and this was their first official presentation to the public, according to Janes, adding Chadian soldiers serving in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali have previously been seen operating Ejder Yalçins.
Chad was the first export customer for the Ara 2, ordering 20 in June 2019 – eight were delivered in May this year. The Ara 2 is built to STANAG level 4569 protection standards with double skin protection of Level 3A and 3B, and an underbelly of 4A and 4B. This protection level ensures an underbelly with a V-shaped hull design that can withstand a 100 kg mine. With the capacity to carry up to 12 personnel plus equipment, the 15 ton Ara 2 can be configured into multiple variants including recovery, command and control, ambulance, field kitchen and reconnaissance. A 12.7 mm machinegun can be mounted on a 360 degree roof turret which can be open or fully enclosed.
The Chadian military utilises a mixed bag of APCs and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). French, Chinese, Israeli, Turkish, modernised Soviet era and US APCs and IFVs have been acquired by Chad since 2010 as the country battles terrorist groups in the region. The latest acquisition was nine ERC-90 armoured vehicles from France in January this year, joining Chad’s RAM, BMP-1, WZ-523, VAB-VTT, Bastion Patsas and BTR-60/80 armoured personnel carriers.
In July 2020, the United States handed over 28 David armoured vehicles to Chad, along with ten trucks, eight water tankers and other equipment as part of support for the country’s anti-terrorism efforts in the Sahel. According to SIPRI, the United States donated 78 David vehicles to Chad between 2016 and 2020.
The David is manufactured by MDT Armor, which says the David is a cost-effective, survivable, light protected all-terrain vehicle that seats four, six or eight crewmembers. Its armoured capsule is mounted on a commercial Toyota Land Cruiser, Hilux or LandRover Defender pickup truck.
In 2013, Chad sent its troops to fight jihadists in northern Mali, during the French intervention Operation Serval. The Chadian army is also part of the regional organization G5 Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad), which since 2017 has been helping France fight terrorist groups in the region.