Senegal has ordered Ground Master 400 air surveillance radars and SkyView command and control systems from Thales, which will deliver them next year.
Thales on 19 April said the radars and command and control system will be installed at Ouakam Air Base in Dakar. “The Senegalese armed forces are to deploy a state-of-the-art airspace surveillance and control capability,” it said in a statement.
Thales did not specify how many radars have been ordered.
The Ground Master 400 has been selected by a dozen countries, with 36 radars sold between 2008 and 2013. The S-band radar has a detection range of 5-470 km at an altitude up to 30 500 metres and can be deployed in a single 20 foot shipping container. It can also be vehicle-mounted – it is available in mobile or fixed versions.
Thales also said, in a separate press release, that Senegal’s Air Force will be using its helicopter mission trainer to train pilots flying its two Mi-17 transport helicopters and three Mi-24 attack helicopters. The training system will be installed at the Air Force academy near Dakar.
Senegal received two more refurbished Mi-24 attack helicopters in December 2017 from Poland’s WZL-1 aviation company. Senegal is believed to have ordered three Mi-24Vs in 2015, which were acquired from Slovakia. The first Mi-24 to be overhauled by WZL-1 was delivered in February 2017. WZL-1 also provided technical training for Senegalese personnel on the helicopters.
In addition to the three refurbished Hinds, Senegal in 2007 received two Mi-24/35Ps in 2007 after placing an order from Russia in 2005. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Senegal also received two Mi-171s from Russia.
In June 2016 it was announced that Senegal was upgrading its Mi-24 attack helicopters with Israeli Controp DSP-HD electro-optical systems.
The Ground Master acquisition comes after Senegal ordered four L-39G trainer/light combat jets from Aero Vodochody in a deal announced on 4 April. These will be delivered in 2020 and 2021 and fitted with AIM-9L missiles for the air-to-air role.
The contract will also cover the training of pilots, including conversion, instructor and combat training, maintenance personnel training, spare parts, ground support equipment and logistic support services.
At the moment the Senegalese Air Force doesn’t operate any jet aircraft. Its only ground attack platforms are Mi-24/35 and Mi-17 helicopters.