Tag Archives: Mali

Germany to send Tigers and NH90s to Mali

The Germany government is planning to send four NH90s medium transport helicopters and four Tiger light attack helicopter to Mali. In the African country, the helos will be used for the UN’s MINUSMA peace keeping mission. They will replace Dutch CH-47D Chinook and AH-64D Apache helicopters.

If parliament in Berlin approves the proposal, the helicopters will head for Mali in the first half of this year. The NH90s will be used for transport tasks, including the evacuation of wounded personnel. The Tigers will be there to provide securty. Both the NH90 and Tiger were used in Afghanistan before by the Germans, who encountered difficulties in operating the NH90 in ‘hot and high’ conditions.

Apart from Afghanistan, the Tiger attack helicopter also saw earlier use  in Libya, Somalia and Mali.

The Dutch contigent has been in Mali for three years. On 17 March 2015, a Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Apache crashed with fatal consequences for the two crew. The cause was recently found to be a design flaw in the helicopter’s control system.

© 2017 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A German Tiger attack helicopter (Image © Marcel Burger)

 

Export milestone for Airbus C295

Airbus on Tuesday 16 February reported the sale of one winglet-equipped C295W to Mali.

Th aircraft for Mali marks the first export order for the C295 this year. Delivery is due in the second half of this year, according to Airbus. Mali was the 23rd nation to order the C295.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Philippines Air Force C295, which was transferred in December 2015 (Image © Airbus)

Norway to send Hercules to Mali operations

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) will dispatch one of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules with 50 personnel in support of the UN backed multinational operations in Mali in Africa. The government in Oslo decided on 24 June 2015 that the tactical airlifter should be operational at Bamako-M’poko Airport in Mali in the beginning of 2016.

The Herc will provide airlift to the international forces in Mali – with a heavy French involvement – limiting the movement and fighting rebel forces in the north and northeast of the country. However, Norway will withdraw the about 20 intelligence officers from Mali in November this year, the Norwegian newspaper VG reports.

In the recent past Bamoko has seen Hercules’s many times. Norway’s neighbour Sweden uses its older TP 84 versions regularly in support of its troops in Mali.

© Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J (Image © Nils Skipnes / Luftforsvaret / Forsvarets mediesenter)

Recap: defense orders at Paris Air Show

UPDATED 19 June | As always its the orders for airliners that fight for attention at the Paris Air Show, but on the military side, things are happening as well. Most interesting little fact was the apparent first export order – announced on Monday – for the Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder, although no country was mentioned. Let’s not be surprised however when it turns out to be Myanmar.

Pakistan Air Force officials only described the country that soon may add the JF-17 to its military inventory, as ‘Asian’. The same officials reported that current turmoil in the Middle East has slowed down export talks. The JF-17’s development meanwhile continues, with a possible two seat version on the way.

On the slower spectrum, Mali and Ghana agreed to buy six and five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft respectively, while Saudi Arabia signed for four Airbus C295W medium transport and patrol aircraft. Perhaps the most prominent deal was the purchase of four Boeing C-17s for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

As far as helicopters are concerned, Malaysia placed an order with Airbus Helicopters for two AS365 Dauphins for SAR duties.

Unnoticed by many was the first sale for Aero Vodochody of its new L-39NG aircraft. More on that is here.

Flying
Dassault’s Rafale was the most numerous aircraft. Three Rafales were on the ground, while a fourth gave a flying display. In the trade halls, models of Rafales in the colours of Qatar, India and Egypt were seen. Given the recent orders from those countries, further Rafale sales are unlikely.

Also in the halls, Alenia Aermacchi was pitching its M-345 jet trainer. France is reportedly interested in this trainer aircraft. Elsewhere, Antonov was pitching its new An178 transporter. The Ukrainian company also announced the An188, a military transport aircraft in the A400M and Boeing C-17 category, powered by four turbofan engines.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Caught by its tail: a Black Panther’s JF-17 from Pakistan. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Fatal Dutch AH-64 Apache crash in Mali

Update 21 March: helicopter involved was serial Q-15, according to the Dutch
Ministry of Defense. | A Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) AH-64D Apache has crashed in Mali on Tuesday 17 March, according to news reports. The two crew members were  killed in the accident, which happened in the northern province of Gao.

The helicopter went down at 2pm local time during a live shooting exercise, some 45 kilometers north of Gao. One of the pilots died on the scene, while the other one died in a French army hospital. Both were members of 301 squadron, home based at Gilze Rijen airbase in the southern part of the Netherlands.

The RNLAF deployed four AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and three Boeing CH-47D Chinook transport helos to the African nation to support UN peace keeping operations. The first helicopters arrived here in May 2014.

The accident marks the second time the Dutch loose an Apache during operations abroad. On 29 August 2004, an Apache crashed while in Afghanistan. The cause was later determined to be crew error. The Netherlands now operates a fleet of 28 remaining Apaches, of which a small number is kept in the US for training purposes.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

Q-15, the Dutch AH-64D Apache involved in the crash in Mali. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Q-15, the Dutch AH-64D Apache involved in the crash in Mali. (Image © Elmer van Hest)