Ugandan army refurbishing APCs


The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has set up a facility to refurbish and reassemble armoured vehicles at its Magamaga army barracks.

Minister of State for Defence General Jeje Odongo launched the facility last week and commissioned the first seven Nyoka armoured personnel carriers, which are assembled from old Mamba vehicles acquired from South Africa.

Uganda’s Kwemela Radio reports that the vehicles are being refurbished with assistance from Impala Services and Logistics, a Ugandan based company supplying military and security forces with armoured vehicles, night vision equipment, rugged boat systems, thermal imaging devices and a wide range of training and support programmes. UPDF personnel from the Motorised Infantry Brigade completed a specialised steel course in South Africa to enable them to work on the vehicles.

Odongo said the facility was an example of the growing capabilities of the UPDF, making the force independent and reducing the costs of maintain such vehicles.

UPDF land forces commander, Major General David Muhoozi said by the end of September, ten Nyokas will have been completed, while two are already serving in South Sudan.

The UPDF several years ago was estimated to have 40 Mambas, as well as 20 ex-South African Buffels in service according to the IISS’s The Military Balance. These were acquired in batches over the years – for instance Uganda bought five Mambas in 2004 and ten in 2005, according to the South African National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).

South Africa usually sells small numbers of ex-military vehicles every year – for instance two Mambas were sold to the African Union for operations in Somalia and four Mambas were sold to Sierra Leone last year. In total, the South African defence industry in 2013 sold 452 new and refurbished armoured vehicles to 20 different countries, according to government statistics. The total value of these sales came to R2.421 billion, according to the NCACC.