Senegal’s Armed Forces took delivery of a second C295 transport aircraft from Airbus eight months after receiving the first.
The new aircraft arrived at Dakar Air Base at the end of March 2023 and was received by Defence Minister Sidiki Kaba.
Kaba said the aircraft’s short takeoff and landing capabilities and its versatility allow it to carry out different missions such as transport, paratrooping and medical evacuation. The new aircraft will strengthen the transport capacity of Senegal’s military and support domestic and international missions. Senegalese officials said the acquisition demonstrated the country’s willingness to modernize its military to meet “security and defence challenges in a complex regional environment.”
Senegal got its first C295 in July 2022. At the same time, Kaba formally received two Mi-17 and four Mi-35 helicopters that had undergone major servicing.
The C295 is increasingly popular in Africa. In November 2021, Airbus delivered a C295 to Burkina Faso. In May 2022, Mali received a second C295 after a year’s delay. The first arrived in December 2016 from Airbus. In 2022, Angola firmed up an order for three C295s, four years after its government revealed plans to acquire the aircraft, which will be used in part for maritime surveillance. The Nigerian Air Force is looking at acquiring at least one C295.
Senegal has been dealing with separatists in its Casamance region, the location of one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts, and also with Sahelian terror groups. As a result, Senegal has been expanding its armed forces, receiving patrol boats, trainer aircraft, armored vehicles and other equipment.
In June 2022, Senegal’s armed forces received 11 Puma M36 armored personnel carriers, heavy machine guns, mortars, recovery vehicles, assault rifles, riot shields, a dozen Toyota Land Cruisers equipped with heavy machine guns, combat ambulances, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and riot helmets.