Djibouti operating Cougar MRAPs


The Djiboutian Armed Forces is operating the General Dynamics Land Systems Cougar mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, which was seen during its Independence Day parade.

At least seven Cougars were seen in television footage screened by Tele Djibouti during the parade on 27 June, including a Cougar with a Lynx 90 turret.

In 2014, 12 MRAPs resembling Cougars were seen during that year’s Independence Day parade, but it turns out that these were General Dynamics Land Systems Peace Keeping Security Vehicles (PKSVs), reports IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. The PKSV weights 11 340 kg compared to the 17 236 kg Cougar, and is lower and slower.

The Djibouti Armed Forces (FAD) has recently acquired a diverse mix of new equipment, including M109 self-propelled howitzers and Iveco Puma armoured personnel carriers. At least eight M109L self-propelled howitzers with Oto Melara 155 mm/39-calibre guns and six Puma 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have been seen during past parades.

The Pumas have been armed with Chinese W85 12.7 mm machineguns. It is believed that they could be ex-Italian vehicles – according to a June 2013 Analisi Difesa report, ten surplus M109L guns and three Pumas were transferred to Djibouti.

Last year the FAD displayed a single Norinco WMA301 tank destroyer. The vehicle uses a 6×6 WZ551 armoured personnel carrier hull fitted with a 105 mm gun in a three-man turret, as well as a 12.7 mm roof-mounted machinegun and 7.62 mm coaxial gun. The vehicle weights around 19 tons. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Djibouti received five of these in 2015.

Djibouti received eight BTR-80 APCs in 2002, nine second hand Casspirs in 2000, 12 RG-33s in 2014 and 12 Ratel-90s in 2004, according to SIPRI. The Army also operates M-11 VBLs, AML-235s, BTR-60s and AML-60/90 scout cars.