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New helicopters flyby in Benin's military parade

A still from television footage shows one of Benin's three new Super Puma helicopters in Jordanian camouflage. (Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin (ORTB) )

The parade to mark Benin's 63rd anniversary of its independence confirmed that its air force is now operating Super Puma helicopters.

Television coverage of the event showed what the commentators identified as three H215 and two H125 helicopters flying past.

The national broadcaster ORTB sent a news team to the airbase at Cotonou's international airport, where three Super Pumas were seen in the same camouflage used by the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF). The RJAF reportedly put its fleet of nine surviving AS332 Super Pumas on sale in 2020.

The delivery of the H125Ms to Cotonou was reported in February and the helicopters have subsequently been seen fitted with infrared cameras in media coverage of Operation ‘Mirador', the counter-terrorism mission in the northwest of the country. One was shown being flown by a European pilot to monitor the Pendjari river that forms the border with Burkina Faso.

The Benin Air Force also appears to have acquired at least one Mi-8 transport helicopter and at least one Mi-17 that is painted white.

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