Djibouti using M109 howitzers, Puma APCs


The Djibouti Armed Forces (FAD) has acquired M109 self-propelled howitzers and Puma armoured personnel carriers, which were spotted during the country’s recent Independence Day celebrations.

Television footage from the 27 June parade showed at least eight M109L self-propelled howitzers with Oto Melara 155 mm/39-calibre guns and six Iveco Puma 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs). IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that many M109Ls have been retired from Italian service after the delivery of new KMW PzH 2000s guns – it appears some of these have made their way to Djibouti.

The Pumas have been armed with Chinese W85 12.7 mm machineguns. It is believed that they could be ex-Italian vehicles – according to a June 2013 Analisi Difesa report, ten surplus M109L guns and three Pumas were transferred to Djibouti.

Also featuring in the parade were 12 Force Protection Cougar mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles as well as 14 AML-60/90 scout cars. Djibouti’s armed forces also operate South African Ratels and BTR-80s.

Djibouti received eight BTR-80 APCs in 2002, nine second hand Casspirs in 2000 and 12 RAtel-90s in 2004, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The Army also operates M-11 VBLs, AML-235s and BTR-60s.

Djibouti last month received an MA60 twin turboprop transport aircraft from China. The MA60 will be used for cargo and VIP transportation duties. “The acquisition of this equipment is timely at the time when the DAF is experiencing difficulties in transporting logistics for the benefit of our contingent deployed in Somalia in line with the AU’s peace mission,” said Lieutenant Colonel Wahib Moussa Kalinleh, commander of the Djibouti Air Force.