The Togolese military has taken delivery of three Mi-35M combat helicopters and two Mi-17 transport helicopters in early November from Russia.
Faced with a jihadists threat on Chad’s northern border and with troops engaged in peacekeeping operations in Mali.
The new Mi-35Ms will join the fight against Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO) operating in the region, and threatening the country.
The Mi-35M is a multirole combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. It is an export variant of Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter.
The helicopter is primarily designed for attack and military transport missions, the helicopter offers a more superior flight performance and manoeuvrability compared to its predecessor.
The delivery completes an agreement signed between Togo and Russia last year.
At the beginning of November, the Togolese general staff received three Russian Mi-35M combat helicopters intended to boost the response against armed groups. A contract that seals the military-diplomatic rapprochement sketched out last year between Togo and Russia.
Lomé received three Mil Mi-35 combat helicopters at the beginning of November. The Russian-made aircraft, delivered with armaments and ammunition, have since been stored in Air Force hangars.
This reinforcement follows the acquisition of two Mi-17 troop transport helicopters, which arrived a few weeks earlier.
The arrival of new Russian aircraft should make it possible to strengthen the Togolese Air Force commanded by Colonel Tassounti Djato to secure the country’s northern border, which is under pressure from armed groups.
In late April, Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey received Russia’s non-resident ambassador, Igor Evdokimov, in Lomé to work on strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
Lomé has been meeting with arms suppliers from the UAE, Turkey and Russia in a move angers Paris, which continues to lose ground in the field of security cooperation across Africa.
The Russian Federation is trying to strengthen its presence on the continent, and in July, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited four African countries. He met with country leaders and African counterparts, speaking to Arab League officials in the hope of enlisting support for their positions on the war in Ukraine.
The three Mi-35 will join two Mi-17s in service in the Togolese Air Force, and four modernized SA342L1 Gazelles acquired from French company, SECAMIC in 2016, albeit still not fully operational.
The Mi-35 series combat helicopters continues to enjoy export successes in Africa.
The Republic of Mali received two Mi-35 helicopters from Rosoboronexport in October 2017.
Last year, Russia delivered an Mi-35M attack helicopter to Mali on 13 January, bringing the total number of the type in Mali to eleven.
Nigeria ordered 12 Mi-35M combat helicopters in 2015. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) received two helicopters in December 2016, while two more helicopters were delivered in April 2018. Nigeria ordered additional 12 helicopters in October 2019.
Other users includes Chad and Senegal.