China’s defence company Poly Technologies Incorporation has donated a rocket artillery to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Battle Training Camp in Bundase.
The Division Director of Poly Technologies Incorporated, China, Mr Gu Jia and B&G African Trading representatives have handed over a newly acquired artillery and other equipment to Ghana Armed Forces Battle Training Camp, Bundase on December 7, 2023.
The newly-acquired system comprises 122 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 1 Reconnaissance Vehicle, 1 Command Vehicle, 7200 122mm rockets, spare parts and accessories.
The artillery system appears to be Chinese-made PLH-11 (SR-4), which has 40 launching tubes. It fires 122 mm artillery rockets. These are the same rockets, that were originally developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s for the Soviet BM-21 Grad. Currently these are the most widely used artillery rockets in the world. Rockets with various warheads are available, including HE-FRAG, smoke, incendiary and illumination. Also there are cluster warheads with anti-tank or anti-personnel submunitions. Maximum range of fire is up to 50 km with Chinese newly developed extended-range rockets Full salvo of the PHL-11 covers an area of 0.8-1 hectares. The PHL-11 (SR-4) is based on a Shaanxi SX2190KA 6×6 heavy-duty military truck. This truck is in service with the Chinese army. It is powered by a Weichai WD615-77A diesel engine, developing 277 hp. Engine is mated to a 9-speed manual transmission.
At Least five MRLS system was seen in a picture posted by the Ghanaian Armed forces.
Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) in-charge of Administration at the General Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Michael Appiah-Agyekum expressed gratitude to the companies for their invaluable support in strengthening Ghana’s Defence system. He emphasised that the equipment would help in improving and safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty.
This recent donation is coming barely a few weeks after Zimbabwe has received a large shipment of military hardware from China, including new armored vehicles, guns, and other equipment.
“The acquisition of some strategic equipment, platforms and the training of personnel in diverse fields among others are all part of ongoing efforts to effectively resource GAF operationally and produce needed welfare package for troops while in service”. He added.
He stated that the equipment has come at the time when terrorism and trans-organized crime were at all-time high within the sub-region. The equipment he said would increase the operational capability of GAF and position it in a better place to handle any aggressor force.
Beijing also recently redeemed a pledge it made to Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) with $100 million donation which includes protective assault vehicles, military utility trucks, mine detectors, generators, personnel protective gear, tents, sleeping bags, beds and mattresses, computers, printers, cameras, conference furniture, projectors, sound systems and other accessories.
Similarly, in March 2022, China gifted several military vehicles and military equipment to the Somali government, to help the country in it’s fight against terrorism.
A shipment of military vehicles including armoured tactical vehicles and trucks arrived in Mogadishu on Friday 18, March 2022 for the Somali National Army (SNA).
Apart from the vehicles, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Fei Shengchao handed over ambulances, water trucks, landmine detectors, and other military hardware from China to the country’s Defense minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Jama.
However, these donations also raises questions about the implications and conditions of China’s assistance to Zimbabwe, which has been under international sanctions and scrutiny for its human rights record and democratic governance. It is not clear what Zimbabwe will offer China in return for the donation, or how it will affect its relations with other countries and regional organizations.
Some analysts have warned that China’s involvement in Africa could have negative consequences for the continent’s sovereignty, development, and stability. Recently, a report on Chinese security companies operating in an increasing number of African countries where Beijing projects are being implemented. China’s government has been increasingly using PMCs to protect its investments and interests in Africa, as part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Meanwhile, last October, the European Union (EU) donated over 100 armoured military vehicles to the West African nation. These vehicles were originally seized from a ship off the coast of Libya as part of EU maritime efforts to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya.
The donated vehicles includes BATT UMG armoured vehicles, Toyota Land Cruisers, Chevrolet trucks, and GMC trucks. At least 28 BATT UMGs, manufactured by the United Arab Emirates’ The Armoured Group, were being transported by the MV Meerdijk to Libya when the merchant vessel was inspected by Irini forces on 11 October 2022.