The Ivory Coast Air Force just recently took delivery of two Antonov An-26Bs tactical transport aircraft.
Scramble Magazine reports through Twitter that two former Bulgarian An-26s (TU-VMA and TU-VMB) were delivered to Abidjan-Port Bouet Groupe Aerien du Transport via Tunisia on 19 and 23 July.
The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
The An-26 has a secondary bomber role with underwing bomb racks. The racks are attached to the fuselage in front of and behind the rear landing gear. In the bombing role it was extensively used by the Sudanese Air Force during the Second Sudanese Civil War and the War in Darfur.
Current State of the Ivory Coast Air Force
Historically, on 6th of November 2004 a lone Air Force of Ivory Coast Sukhoi Su-25 bomber attacked a French peacekeeping position in the rebel town of Bouaké at 1 pm, killing nine French soldiers and wounding 31, Ivorian authorities claimed the attack was unintentional but French forces insisted otherwise. Few hours after the attack, the then French President Jacques Chirac ordered the destruction of the Ivorian air force and the seizure of Yamoussoukro airport, the country’s main airport.
The French military attack destroyed two Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft, three Mi-24 helicopter gunships and three undisclosed helicopters.
However in 2007, in a bid to rebuild its Air Force fleet, the country acquired six aircraft vis:
- 1x Antonov An-32 tactical transport
- 1x Cessna 421 Golden Eagle utility aircraft
- 2x Eurocopter SA 365 Dauphin helicopters
- 1x Gulfstream IV VIP aircraft
- 1x Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter
- 2x Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 attack aircraft (Deagel.com)