Taking delivery of the Airbus C295 aircraft, Senegal has successfully become the latest African nation to receive two of the transport at the end of July. According to the armed forces of Senegal, the aircraft was received in Dakar, during a ceremony that was held at the place and the second C295 aircraft is expected to be received at the end of the year 2023.
Sidiki Kaba, who is the minister of the Armed forces stated that the two aircraft will allow Senegal to assure, autonomously, the projection and withdrawal of its forces involved in the various theatres of foreign operations and to meet all the transport and training and development needs of the internal theatre. Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters were also received by Kaba, which had previously undergone major servicing for better operations. The Air Force fleet is growing as a result of the purchase of the CASA 295 and the turnaround of the combat helicopters. In the very demanding industry of aviation, there is still work to be done on the subject of maintaining potential, said Kaba.
The aircraft was received in Dakar during a ceremony and the second C295 aircraft is expected to be received at the end of the year 2023.
He also added that the day is specifically historic for the armed forces which are remarkably increasing their potential for strategic air transport this day is a turning point in their lives and they are hopeful to become better in the near future. The CASA 295 is a multirole deliberate transport aircraft that is equipped with the latest generation technologies and also has large capacities to carry personnel. Beyond its capacity to take off and land on narrow runways, its adaptability enables it to undertake a wide range of air transport, airdrop, and medical evacuation missions due to a configuration change capability in a very short amount of time.
In terms of aircraft, Senegal is also lined up for taking delivery of eight LG1 105mm howitzers from Nexter, which is a French Arms manufacturing company, while it is also receiving M4A1 rifles around 5000 in number from the United States to replace the M16A1 assault rifles of the nation. Dakar received its latest proportion of the rifles earlier in January this year.
Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters were also received by Kaba, which had previously undergone major servicing for better operations.
President Macky Sall’s Emerging Senegal Plan included the acquisition of the equipment as it aims to develop and enhance the armed forces of the country. Approaching further deliveries to include OPV 585 offshore vessels for patrol from Piriou. At the same time in June, the armed forces of Senegal received armored personnel carriers of Puma M36 from South Africa, along with recovery vehicles, riot shields, heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars, riot helmets, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, a dozen of Toyota land Cruisers that are equipped with pintle-mounted heavy machineguns and combat ambulances.
Senegal also has to contend with separatists in its Casamance region, which is the scene of one of Africa’s longest-running wars, in addition to Islamist terrorist organizations in the Sahel.
A steady surge of orders is being accumulated by the C295 in Africa. Burkina Faso acquired a C295W from Airbus in November 2021, and Mali received a second C295 on May 31, 2022—a year later than planned because of US sanctions. The first one came from Airbus in December 2016. Four years after first disclosing plans to purchase the aircraft, which will be used in part for maritime surveillance, Angola has confirmed an order for three C295s.