Togo’s armed forces have received 30 Bastion wheeled armoured vehicles from French company Acmat, as part of a programme to rebuild the country’s military.
The vehicles, supplied by Renault Trucks Defence subsidiary Acmat, were observed last month during a training exercise with French military personnel. Between 9 and 19 May, a French training detachment from Senegal visited Lome where they conducted various activities including vehicle manoeuvres, live fire exercises and maintenance. AML 90, Scorpion and Bastion vehicles were used, according to the French defence ministry.
The Bastion range of tactical armoured vehicles features STANAG 4569 protection and can carry ten to 12 people. They are based on the VLRA TDN-TDE platform for easy maintenance and logistics. The Bastion APC is configured for troop transport while the Bastion Patsas, also operated by Togo, is a semi-open-top design developed with French Special Forces for reconnaissance and assault.
The acquisition of the Bastion vehicles is part of the Togolese military’s renewal efforts, according to Abalo Kadangha, Chief of Defence Staff of the Togolese Armed Forces. Earlier this month Kadangha said the government was taking measures to rebuild the armed forces and this included the addition of 1 500 new personnel and the acquisition of new hardware.
President Faure Gnassinbe at the military’s annual review on June 5 said the defence force needed to be overhauled to better respond to outbreaks of violence, terrorism, piracy and trafficking. Under his restructuring programme, the country has been divided into two military regions, each with a rapid interventional battalion for quick national and international deployment.
In April this year the Togolese Navy received a new 33 metre RPB33 patrol boat, P763 Agou, from French company Raidco Marine. A second vessel will be delivered later this year. Gnassingbe said the boat would be used to fight maritime crimes within the country’s waters and contribute to the fight against rampant piracy in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea by regional and international naval forces.
He said the boat will be used primarily for maritime patrol, surveillance operations and as a rapid response platform in the event of incidents happening within the country’s maritime domain.
Togo has embarked on a programme to strengthen its naval forces to fight illegal fishing, human trafficking, illegal immigration, piracy and international terrorism.