The Angolan military has acquired new armoured vehicles from China, which were displayed during a recent exercise.
The exercise concluded on 28 January and involved more than three thousand troops from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) in the province of Cuando Cubango, Jornal de Angola reports. Preparation for the exercise began in September 2016.
The exercise was hosted by the 50th Infantry Brigade in the town of Soba Matias. A wide variety of military hardware was used in the exercise, including tanks (T-55s and T-72s), infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-2s), armoured personnel carriers (MT-LBs) artillery pieces (D-30, M-46), anti-aircraft artillery (ZSU-23), rocket launchers (BM-21) and mortars (82 mm) while the Angolan air force contributed helicopters (Mi-171s) and the Navy boats.
Around 20 main battle tanks; 32 armoured personnel carriers; 24 fire support vehicles, mortars, and artillery pieces; and an unspecified number of anti-aircraft guns took part.
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that Chinese-made NORINCO WMA301 tank destroyers and the command-post variant of the WZ551 armoured personnel carrier (APC) were seen at the exercise and noted that an Angolan officer had told local media that the tank destroyers were delivered in 2016. The WMA301 is in service with Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, and Senegal.
Minister of National Defence Joao Lourenco attended the exercise and said that combat preparation is blood that is spared in combat. He said Angola does not want a foreign army once again threatening Luanda, as happened in 1975 and added that the best way to prevent war is to prepare for it.