Burundian troops deployed with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has received a consignment of new armored vehicles to support ongoing counter-terror operations.
Details from photographs released by the Burundian government reveals that the vehicles comprises of ten Springbuck Heavy Duty (HD) mine-resistance ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) manufactured by DCD Protected Mobility and at least ten Fahd-300 wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs) manufactured in Egypt.
In August, Burundian operators completed an on-site training on the Springbucks that were delivered during that period.
Responding to this delivery in Mogadishu, head of AMISOM and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Francisco Madeira said that even though AMISOM troops are quite brave, they still need protection while fighting. So, these armored personnel carriers will protect them.
Madeira also noted that as a result of the high rate of wear and tear of equipment due to the harsh operating environment, nations contributing men or materiel are encouraged to replace equipment periodically to ensure the efficiency of operations.
While inspecting the consignment on 5 November, he disclosed that it will boost the AU mission's capacity to combat terrorism while ensuring the safety of the soldiers. "They are force enablers and force multipliers, no doubt, and I thank the Burundi President for providing this essential equipment," he said.
Today, with the approval of the United Nations Security Council, AMISOM is mandated to support Somalian transitional government, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Regarding the armored vehicles, the new Fahd 300 has the capacity to carry ten soldiers excluding the 3 crew members.
The Fahd-300 is based on a Tatra chassis and powered by a 300 hp diesel engine, giving it a speed of more than 100 km/h and range of 700 km. While the hull is armoured against 7.62×51 mm armour piercing rounds, while mine protection is STANAG Level 1A/B.
The Springbuck HD is powered by an MWM 6.12TCA 7.2 litre six cylinder turbocharged diesel engine delivering 286 horsepower and giving a maximum speed of 110 km/h and range of 600 km.
DCD Protected Mobility claims that the Springbuck APC comed with a ballistic protection upgradeable to STANAG Level 3, while the all-steel armoured V-shaped hull is certified against STANAG Level 4a under any wheel and 3b blast protection under the hull.