To enhance the mobility and overall operational capabilities of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has inducted 245 vehicles of various types into service.
Ghana’s president and commander-in-chief Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presented the vehicles to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in the capital Accra on 1 February. The vehicles include 70 Kamaz trucks, 20 BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 20 Navistar Defence Husky tactical support vehicles (TSVs), and 65 Toyota utility vehicles.
Last year May, it was announced that Ghanaian military will be receiving 70 Husky 4×4 tactical support vehicles (TSV) from the United Kingdom to help improve security in it’s northern borders. UK will also provide related training regarding the operation and regular maintenance of the vehicles. UK will also provide related training regarding the operation and regular maintenance of the vehicles.
OMNI Bank and CAL Bank assisted the main contractor to prefinance the acquisition of the vehicles and equipment in an arrangement where the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Messrs. Excel Design and Integration Ltd of the United Kingdom to test, repair, refurbish and deliver a quantity of the logistics presented, part of which are yet to arrive in the country.
The C-In-C statedthat he had no doubt that the vehicles and equipment will go a long way to enable GAF contain security threats of terrorist groups operating along Ghana’s northern borders, violent extremists (VE), contain internal security challenges and secessionists activities, deal with the Galamsey menace, and secure a peaceful atmosphere along Ghana’s Northwestern, Northern and Northeastern borders, as well as support GAF’s external peacekeeping operations.
The President also stated that in the face of other competing national needs, and with the threats from Ghana’s northern border, the Government endeavoured and released funds in 2020 to start retooling, construction and upgrading of 15 Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and new Units, such as the 10 & 11 Mechanized Battalions, 154, 155 Armoured Regiments and supporting logistics units.
The Minister for Defence and Member of Parliament for Bimbilla – Mr Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul said that GAF continues to be resourced by the Government, since combatting contemporary threats of aggression and terrorism in the subregion requires Realtime surveillance capabilities, high mobility, force protection, firepower and communication capabilities.
The President’s last visit to the Burma Camp, in October 2021, Jeeps, Toyota Mini Vans, Toyota Hilux Pickups and equipment were presented to GAF to enhance its operations.
Some of the vehicles are to be deployed as part of the Northern Border Project, in an effort to maintain peace and stability along Ghana’s northern borders, as well as deployments to enhance troop mobility and protection for the Bawku Task force in Operation Gongong, in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Also, Ghana Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and to meet up with the UNISFA Status of Units Requirements, has procured a number of vehicles to support the Mission, which will be inserted into the mission areas within the next few weeks, after receiving clearance from both the UN and the Government of Sudan.
Also, a number of communication equipment. communications equipment was also handed over which includes Barrett two-way encrypted radios which are to be deployed within all the Garrisons of the Ghana Armed Forces, particularly units along the northern borders, as well as UN Peace Support Operations.
Ghana had earlier acquired 40 Otokar Cobra II APCs in March 2021, and in December 2019, 33 Otokar Cobra I and IIs, 41 Toyotas, and various utility vehicles. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Ghana received a first batch of 30 Cobra I and II vehicles in 2018-2019. In February 2019, the Ghanaian Army displayed its fleet of Streit Group Spartan 4×4 Mine Resistance Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
In 2021, eleven Elbit Systems Guarani APCs were supplied via an Israeli company in a government-to-government deal funded by an agreement between the Discount Bank of Israel and the Ghanaian government. The business is insured by Israel Foreign Trade Risk Insurance Corporation. A year later, the Ghanaian Parliament has approved $86,1 million in government loans to fund acquisition of 19 armoured vehicles from Israel’s Elbit Land Systems. Elbit Land Systems was asked to deliver nine 8×8 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) equipped with Elbit Systems UT30 30 mm remotely operated turrets. The order also includes ten 6×6 IFVs fitted for reconnaissance operations.
Besides regularly buying equipment from foreign suppliers, Ghana has taken the first step in building a viable military industrial complex to supply it’s military with equipment. In April last year, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia inaugurated a joint venture companies under the Defence Industries Holding Company (DIHOC), and also commissioned construction equipment worth US $18 million to support the military’s operations and the General Headquarters Office Complex of the Military.
Around 13 JVC are collaborating with Ghana’s military to manufacture equipment such as ammunitions, bullion vans, electronic gadgets, footwear, computers, phones, pre-paid metres, military weapons, textiles and garments.