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Malian forces unveil new vehicles and weapons

23 January 2020
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A Paramount Marauder is seen with a turret armed with a 14.5 mm heavy machine gun for the first time in Mali during the parade in Kati on 20 January. Source: Présidence de la République du Mali

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) displayed recently delivered vehicles during their 59th anniversary parade at the Kati military camp, the main base of the 3rd Military Region, on 20 January.

These included Streit Typhoon mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles and a Paramount Marauder with a previously unseen turret.

It was announced earlier in the month that the FAMa had received the first seven of an expected 130 Typhoons: its largest armoured vehicle procurement to date. Malian media coverage confirmed that another seven were delivered on 19 January. The parade revealed that these include the 6×6 variant.

The Marauder in the parade was fitted with a one-man turret armed with a 14.5 mm heavy machine gun. This turret has previously been seen on a Mbombe 4 MRAP that Paramount displayed during the Africa Aerospace and Defence show in South Africa in 2016, but it is unclear if it is made by the company or provided by another manufacturer.

The FAMa's acquisition of Marauders was revealed when three were seen during the 22 September 2019 Independence Day parade in Kati, but none of these were armed.

The Marauder has a combat weight of 17 tonnes, can accommodate up to 12 personnel including two crew, and offers STANAG Level 3 protection. Its hull can withstand a direct explosion of 8 kg of TNT, according to its manufacturer. Other sub-Saharan African operators include the Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Nigeria.

The latest parade included DongFeng EQ2050 Mengshi vehicles configured for reconnaissance and troop transport. This is the first time that the EQ2050, a Chinese version of the US Humvee, has been paraded by the FAMa, suggesting that the vehicles were delivered recently.

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