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Mali receives more TB2, L-39 aircraft

Bayraktar TB2 UAVs and L-39 jets lined up for a handover ceremony at Bamako's international airport on 16 March. (Presidence Mali)

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) held another reception ceremony for new aircraft on 16 March, lining up four L-39 trainer/light attack jets and three Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the event at Bamako's international airport.

The FAMa was already operating Turkish-made TB2s, having displayed two at Air Base 200 (previously Air Base 102) at Mopti-Sévaré airport in December 2022. At least two of these were then transferred to Air Base 300 (previously 103) in Gao in February, one of which was numbered TZ-03D, indicating the FAMa had received three.

The TB2s lined up for the latest handover had the serials TZ-04D, TZ-05D, and TZ-06D, confirming the FAMa now has six. The FAMa also revealed that it has a fixed ground control station for the TB2s at Air Base 101, which is on the south side of the runway at Bamako's Modibo Keita International Airport.

The four L-39s had previously unseen serials, albeit non-sequential ones, suggesting some may have been received in earlier instalments from Russia. This is the third L-39 delivery the FAMa has announced since August 2022.

While the FAMa has not said how many L-39s it has received, media coverage has now shown aircraft with 13 different serials, and gaps in the number sequences suggest there are at least four more.

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