The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has for the first time displayed its T-90 main battle tanks as well as Chinese Type 85 tanks.
This emerged from a photo posted on President Yoweri Museveni’s Twitter account on 23 July, describing him presiding over a combined arms exercise of land and air defence forces of the Special Forces Command (SFC) at Karama Armoured Warfare Training School in Kabamba.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Uganda received 44 T-90S main battle tanks from Russia in 2011, as well as 23 T-55 AM-2 tanks second hand via Belarus in 2009, but this is the first time they have been seen in service.
Also in the picture was at least one Type 85-IIM main battle tank, but it’s not clear how many Uganda received from China, or when. In 2008 a military source said China exported a very small batch of Type 85-IIMs to Uganda “for a military parade only”. The type has also been exported to Sudan and Pakistan.
The UPDF’s heavy armour is believed to comprise some 185 T-54/T-55s, ten T-72s, 50 PT-76s and 30 BMP-2s.
According to SIPRI, other Ugandan defence equipment deliveries over the last 15 years include nine second hand D-30 122 mm towed guns and six second hand RM-70 122 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launchers from the Slovakia/Czech Republic; 17 ACMAT Bastion armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from France for use with AMISOM; 18 Model 839 155 mm towed guns and six ATMOS-2000 155 mm self-propelled guns from Israel; 32 BTR-80As fro Russia; and 15 RG-31 Nyala, five Mamba, 31 Buffel and 42 Casspir APCs from South Africa.
On the aerial side, Uganda received six second hand Bell 206/OH-58 helicopters delivered via Austria; five ex-Libyan MiG-23BNs; four Mi-24V/Mi-35 attack helicopters from Belarus; two Y-12 transport aircraft from China; and six Su-30MK fighters and three Mi-24Ps from Russia.