Slow Rebuild of Air Force Largely Destroyed in 2004
Press reports indicate that the Ivory Coast Air Force received two ex-Bulgarian An-26B transporters via Tunisia on 19 and 23 July.
The African nation’s small air force was largely destroyed in 2004 by French forces after an attack on French troops. Combat capability today rests on a single Mi-24 HIND and six ALPHA JETS. The new airlifters will join a transport fleet that includes a single An-12, three SA365 DAUPHINs and several PUMAs and ALOUETTE IIIs.
As rebuilding the armed forces continues in a fiscally constrained environment (the 2016 defence budget amounted to US$390 million, according to the WORLD DEFENCE ALAMANC 2017), the Ivory Coast has received very little equipment from abroad since 2011: three RPB 33 patrol craft from France, a single PREDATOR patrol craft from China and four AT-105 SAXON armoured patrol vehicles, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.