Showing posts with label Ethiopia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ethiopia. Show all posts

Monday, 17 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The discovery of Iranian Ghaem-5 precision-guided munition (PGM) remains near the town of Gidami in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia in early January 2022 was a first indication that the Ethiopian Air Force had forward deployed its Iranian-made Mohajer-6 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to an airport closer to the Oromia Region. [1] Satellite imagery now suggests that these armed drones have likely been deployed to Asosa in the neighbouring Benishangul-Gumuz Region. [2] From Asosa the Mohajer-6s have sufficient range to cover most of the Oromia Region where the Oromo Liberation Front (OLA) is currently active.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
An air bridge between Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates and Iran has ensured Ethiopia is equipped with all the armament it needs to defeat the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) in the ongoing conflict. Despite totalling some 140 flights by January 2022, relatively little is known about the types of arms and equipment delivered to the embattled Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). [1] This is not in the least through the enforcement of strong operational security (OPSEC) rules throughout the entirety of the ENDF, forbidding soldiers to take photos of their equipment. Prior to the outbreak of the Tigray War, Ethiopia was known for its laxity in adhering to proper OPSEC procedures, a welcome fact for analysts like us.

Friday, 7 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Not even a week after our earlier revelation that Wing Loong I armed drones operated by the United Arab Emirates over Tigray have possibly been involved in series of airstrikes on the town of Alamata that caused the deaths of dozens of civilians, Iranian unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) are now implicated in the same act. [1] New photographs depict the remains of an Iranian Ghaem-5 precision-guided munition (PGM) encountered near the town of Gidami in the Oromia Region in Ethiopia. [2] Although the drone strikes are reported to have resulted in the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the killing of civilians, these reports have not been independently verified. [2]

Thursday, 6 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The last few months have seen a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the Ethiopian government. After a large Ethiopian Army offensive against Tigray forces in early October 2021 backfired spectacularly, the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) commenced a counteroffensive that at one point even threatened the security of the capital Addis Ababa. [1] Possessing little in the way of air defence systems that can counter (armed) drones flying high overhead, Tigray forces eventually succumbed to the pressure of unabated drone warfare and withdrew to the borders of the Tigray Region in mid-December 2021. [2]

Monday, 3 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Just a month after the deployment of six Emirati Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and their operators to Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates is already implicated in a series of airstrikes on civilian infrastructure in the town of Alamata in the Tigray Region. The strikes resulted in the deaths of 42 civilians and the wounding of at least 150 as munitions struck the town's hospital and market. [1] [2] The majority of deaths are believed to have resulted from unguided bombs dropped by the Ethiopian Air Force's (ETAF) Su-27 fighter aircraft, which Ethiopia has repurposed as makeshift bombers armed with dumb bombs and cluster munitions. [3]

Sunday, 2 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Satellite imagery from early December 2021 indicates that the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) has deployed Mohajer-6 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Harar Meda air base near Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. [1] The ETAF is known to have acquired two Mohajer-6s from Iran in early August, which it subsequently deployed to Semera airport in northeastern Ethiopia. [2] It is unknown whether the Mohajer-6 sighted at Harar Meda is one of the two examples delivered in August or a newly-delivered example that recently arrived to the country on board the Iranian air bridge that is still ongoing. [3]

Thursday, 30 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans based on data gathered by Gerjon
 
In November 2021 the United Arab Emirates deployed at least six Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Harar Meda air base in Ethiopia to help the embattled Ethiopian government in its fight against Tigray forces. [1] The deployment was the first confirmation that Emirati armed drones had begun operating over Ethiopia after rumours concerning their use over Ethiopia first surfaced in November 2020. [2] New data now suggests that the UCAVs are not the first aircraft to have been deployed to Ethiopia by the UAE during the Tigray War.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans based on data gathered by Gerjon 
 
Even as Emirati cargo flights carrying arms and equipment to Ethiopia appear to have come to a halt (but not before delivering six Wing Loong I armed drones), Iranian flights believed to be carrying the same type of cargo continue to reach Ethiopia. [1] [2] In the past month, five Boeing 747-200FSCD cargo aircraft belonging to the Fars Air Qeshm have landed at Addis Ababa Bole Airport. The exact contents of the Boeing 747s can currently only be guessed at, yet it doesn't seem implausible that their flights are related to the deployment of two Iranian Mohajer-6 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Semera airport since August 2021. [3] [4]

Monday, 13 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
After we earlier reported on the deployment of at least six Emirati Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Ethiopia, satellite imagery now indicates that additional infrastructure for the operations of UCAVs is being constructed at Harar Meda air base. [1] [2] New tarmac and hangars are being erected next to the hangar from where Ethiopia's own fleet of three Wing Loong I UCAVs acquired from China in September 2021 are currently operating from. [3] One of these Wing Loong Is was already sighted on satellite imagery of Harar Meda in mid-November. [4]

Saturday, 4 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Though mostly operating weaponry purchased from countries like Russia, Ukraine and China, the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has occassionally looked elsewhere for the acquisition of arms and equipment. This has included defence manufacturers of countries like Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, whose products have been widely introduced with the ENDF. [1] [2] One such product is the 5.56mm IWI Tavor TAR-21 bullpup assault rifle, significant numbers of which would enter service with elite units of Ethiopia's security apparatus during the late 2000s.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The deployment of Emirati unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on the side of the Ethiopian government has been speculated on ever since the beginning of conflict with the rebellious Tigray Region in November 2020. Nonetheless, the oft-repeated claim that several Chinese-made Wing Loong UCAVs operated out of Assab air base in Eritrea to undertake combat missions over Tigray has never been supported by evidence that points towards such a deployment. However, new information received by the authors' from an aircraft mechanic working at Harar Media air base appears to finally disclose the presence of Emirati Wing Loong Is UCAVs over Ethiopia. [1]

Sunday, 21 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Satellite imagery from the 19th of October 2021 indicates that the S-125 surface-to-air missile (SAM) site located northeast of Mekelle has returned to active duty. [1] The reactivation of the SAM site comes as the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) has deployed its newly-acquired Wing Loong unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) over Mekelle to designate targets for Su-27 fighter aircraft, resulting in a number of civilian casualties as the bombs dropped by the Su-27s missed their intended targets and fell on civilian areas instead. [2] [3]

Friday, 19 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans based on data gathered by Gerjon
 
The Emirati air bridge that aims to keep the Ethiopian military stocked on weaponry and munitions shows no sign of abating. Since August 2021, more than 100 cargo flights from the United Arab Emirates to Ethiopia have been recorded by aircraft tracker Gerjon. [1] When also including Ethiopian Airlines cargo aircraft flying between Ethiopia and the UAE and additional flights from Iran, the total influx of armament to the war-ravaged country increases even further. [2] Though originating in countries that couldn't be more opposed to one another, the UAE and Iran appear to have found common middle ground in delivering arms and equipment to the embattled Ethiopian military.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Tigray Defence Forces' ambitious counter-offensive on Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa finally appears to have come to a halt. This was not in the least achieved through the extensive deployment of Chinese-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on the side of the Ethiopian government. Types so far confirmed to have been acquired by Ethiopia include Chinese Wing Loong Is, a VTOL type of UCAV supplied by the UAE and Iranian Mohajer-6s. [1] [2] [3] Ethiopia has relied heavily on its newly-acquired UCAVs to make up for years of neglect of its air-to-ground capabilities, forcing its air force to launch a hasty procurement drive for UCAVs in the summer of 2021.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
After we first reported on the acquisition of three Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) by Ethiopia in mid-September, it took until early October before the type was first sighted in the skies over Tigray. [1] [2] While the Ethiopian military attemped to hide the acquisition of the three UCAVs by hastily moving them to a nearby hangar during their delivery to avoid their detection by prying eyes (an effort which nonetheless failed), the presence of Wing Loong Is at Harar Meda air base has now been revealed on satellite imagery as well. [1]

Saturday, 13 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Ethiopia's use of Su-27 fighter aircraft as bombers against targets in the Tigray Region could count on international condemnation for the numerous civilian casualties caused by the inaccurate strikes. In one instance, the dumb bombs dropped by a Su-27 missed their intended target by a kilometre away. [1] Originally designed as an interceptor and never upgraded to carry guided weaponry in Ethiopian service, the use of Su-27s (which's pilots were never trained to deploy bombs) to strike targets even as large as the Northern Command's headquarters had little chance of success to begin with.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
This website earlier reported on the acquisition of Chinese-made Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) by Ethiopia and their subsequent sighting over Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Region. [1] [2] As the Tigray War appears to be slowly spiralling out of control for the Ethiopian government, the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) has now acquired weaponry for the three Wing Loong Is it purchased in mid-September 2021. The first batch of 50 TL-2 air-to-ground missiles arrived to Ethiopia on the 3rd of November. [3] [4]

Thursday, 4 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) has traditionally relied on its fleet of Soviet-era MiG-23BN fighter-bombers to carry out bombing missions and to provide close air support (CAS). These rugged aircraft have seen considerable use during the Tigray War that commenced in November 2020, so far leading to the loss of two airframes in November and December 2020. [1] Although appreciated by the ETAF for their ability to carry a hefty bomb load, the less than a dozen or so remaining MiG-23BNs lack the ability to deploy modern precision-guided munitions (PGMs), severely limiting their options to accurately strike enemy targets.

Monday, 1 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Tigray’s missile war with Ethiopia and Eritrea was a rare instance of a non-state actor capturing short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and long-range guided rockets and subsequently using them to attack targets in Ethiopia and the capital of a different country entirely: Eritrea. [1] Despite being a notable event in modern history, the Tigray missile war nonetheless received very little attention in international media. And as quickly as the attacks occurred, the threat subsided again, with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces apparently quickly destroying or recapturing the launchers and their missiles.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The number of cargo flights between the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia has left little doubt that the UAE has taken an active role in supporting the Ethiopian military in its fight against Tigray forces in the northern parts of Ethiopia. In two months, some 70 Il-76 cargo aircraft flying out of the UAE landed in Ethiopia. [1] [2] While some of the large cargo aircraft appear to have landed at Addis Ababa international airport, in most other cases they landed at Harar Meda air base, undoubtedly to unload their military cargo away from prying eyes and cameras.