Showing posts with label Mali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mali. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 February 2022

,

By Thomas Nachtrab in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer
 
The S-125 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system gained wide popularity for its performance during the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. Initially supplied to a number of countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the S-125 (NATO designation: SA-3 'Goa') quickly found its way to a great number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well. One of these countries was Mali, which received its S-125 systems somewhere during the early-to-mid 1980s.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

,

By Thomas Nachtrab in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Many of our readers are certain to be familiar with the French tradition of adorning their armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) with the names and dates of important battles fought by the French Armed Forces. Nowadays, this tradition is mainly showcased during parades, but the markings are often retained even after the conclusion of the parade, sometimes even seen during combat deployments of the vehicles.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

,

By Thomas Nachtrab in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Malian Armed Forces used to operate large quantities of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) received from the Soviet Union. In addition to acquiring sizeable numbers of T-54B MBTs, PT-76 light tanks and BTR-60 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), several more types operated in the shadows of their more numerous counterparts. One of these types is the 9P133 Malyutka, an anti-tank variant of the BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle. Instead of the original turret, the 9P133 features an elevatable launcher with six 9M14 Malyutka anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). 

Friday, 22 October 2021

,
 
By Thomas Nachtrab in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The goal of this list is to comprehensively catalogue Mali's current and past inventory of (armoured fighting) vehicles and heavy weaponry. Historically a major recipient of Soviet military aid, frequent arms deliveries in the 1970s and 1980s turned Mali into one of the strongest militaries in western Africa, operating advanced equipment such as dedicated tank destroyers, S-125 SAM systems and MiG-21bis jet fighters. The 1990s and 2000s saw the Malian Army retiring much of this equipment amid a changed security situation and resulting decrease in its defence expenditure.
 
Like most other African militaries, the Malian Army's combat effectiveness in the late 2000s and early 2010s was extremely low, a fact that prevented it from dealing with the 2012 Tuareg insurgency and the subsequent rise of Al-Qaeda, ultimately forcing France to intervene to prevent a hostile takeover of Mali and throwing the rest of the region into turmoil. In the years since, the Malian military has been rebuild with the help of the European Union (EU), with Soviet heavy weaponry making place for modern MRAPs and infantry mobility vehicles. 

Nonetheless, Mali continues to operate equipment like the T-54 and PT-76, albeit in much small numbers than before. Interestingly, the Malian Army appears to have returned several other Soviet-era AFVs back to operational condition in recent years, although these appear to spend most of their time collecting dust in barracks with little training being undertaken as they are of little use in fighting the ongoing insurgency. Nonetheless, the ultimate result is an exotic inventory of equipment that could surprise many seasoned analyst for its sheer diversity.