Senegal’s armed forces last week showcased new hardware during the country’s 57th independence day celebrations in Dakar. The new hardware included Oncilla armoured vehicles and 122 mm rocket launchers.
The celebrations on 4 April were attended by President Macky Sall and other government officials who witnessed the march past of 3 800 military and paramilitary forces as well as 1 800 civilians.
Several Oncilla 4×4 armoured vehicles were seen during the parade, Army Recognition notes. The vehicle is produced by Lacenaire in Cyprus in partnership with Polish company MISTA. It is based on the Ukrainian built Dozor-B vehicle and can carry six people including crew. It is lightly armoured and in Senegalese service fitted with a 12.7 mm machinegun on the roof.
Also seen during the parade were several KrAZ-6322PA Bastion-1 122 mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) vehicles. This has launch tubes for a total of 40 122 mm rockets which can deliver a variety of payloads up to a range of 40 km with extended range ammunition.
Other vehicles seen during the parade included a dozen WMA301 Assaulter armoured vehicles, Ram Mk III armoured vehicles and TRF1 towed howitzers. These were also seen during last year’s parade – the howitzers were apparently delivered in 2011, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Senegal was revealed as a customer for the Ram Mk III vehicle in February 2015, when it emerged that Senegal acquired them from Israel to use on behalf of the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOC).
Television footage also showed recovery vehicles, tankers, technicals (including half a dozen with dual cannon mounts), earthmoving equipment, boats, trucks and Humvees. The police had a big presence as well, and displayed numerous vehicles, boats, mobile scanners and eight wheeled all-terrain vehicles.
Senegal is equipping its armed forces under the Armees Horizon 2025 project. Some equipment received over the last few years includes EE-11 Urutu and Puma M26 armoured vehicles, three refurbished Hind attack helicopters, and 2B11 120 mm mortars. Four KT-1 Woong Bee aircraft are due for delivery from South Korea by 2018.