The Somali National Army (SNA) has taken delivery of Tiger 4×4 armoured vehicles and Ford Super Dutiy utility vehicles, which it will use to fight al Shabaab militants.
Photos released by the SNA on 3 September, and other photos circulated on social media, show that at least 12 Tigers, 13 Ford Super Duty pickups, five trucks and several smaller SUV/pickups (apparently Toyota Land Cruiser types with emergency services lights on top) have been delivered.
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly notes that the Chinese-made Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicles Company Tiger vehicles appear to be painted in standard People’s Liberation Army camouflage scheme, indicating they are second-hand vehicles. The 6.5 ton Tiger can carry up to ten people, including the driver. It is powered by a 200 hp Cummins diesel engine, giving a speed of 110 km/h and range of 600 km. The all-welded steel armour of the Tiger provides protection against 7.62 mm armour piercing bullets.
The other vehicles are painted in green, and have most likely been donated by foreign countries. The Fords were fitted with pintle weapons mounts at the back and the Tigers were fitted with roof-mounted turrets, but no weapons had been added yet.
Somalia has received a large number of donated vehicles over the years. For instance, in 2015 the Interim Jubba Administration of Somalia received at least half a dozen RG31s and around a dozen Toyota Land Cruisers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in 2014 the UAE’s armed forces donated vehicles and equipment to the Somali National Security and Intelligence Agencies.
Also in 2015, the Italian government donated 54 vehicles to the Somali National Army as part of efforts to strengthen its ability to combat al Shabaab militants and other security challenges. The shipment included trucks and 5 MAV 5 light armoured vehicles, based on the IVECO 40.10 and capable of carrying six personnel. In April 2014, Italy delivered 30 vehicles to the Somali Police Corps in the first instalment of materiel donated by the Italian ministry of defence to Somalia’s armed forces. This year it donated four patrol boats to Somalia to patrol its ports and coastline.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfers database, since 2014 Somalia has received 13 Acmat Bastion armoured personnel carriers, nine second hand Reva armoured personnel carriers and six second hand RG31 Nyalas (the latter two from the UAE). IHS Janes also reports that Somalia has taken delivery of 50 AT105 Saxon armoured personnel carriers.
In May this year the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) handed over an assortment of items to support the Somali National Army in its security operations. The equipment was donated by the Chinese government and included three mobile kitchen units with a combined capacity to cook for 600 soldiers, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, non-metallic bullet-proof helmets and tents.