68 STORM APCs With Weapon Mounts But No Weapons
The Qatari Defence Ministry announced on 17 January that the Gulf nation has donated 68 STORM armoured personnel carriers to the Somali government.
Built by Stark Motors, Qatar’s first armoured vehicle manufacturer, the STORM is based on the Toyota LAND CRUISER 79, accommodates six or eight troops plus two crew and is powered by a 195hp 4.5l V8 turbodiesel. The variants delivered to Mogadishu were seen to have weapon turrets fitted for machineguns or grenade launchers, but with no visible weapons. The vehicle is armoured to CEN B6 levels, according to the manufacturer.
Qatar has also recently donated STORMs to Mali, delivering 24 to the country’s armed forces in late December. In both cases, the vehicles stated use will be for countering insurgent and terrorist forces. The Somali donation, in particular, is believed by analysts to be a sign of Qatar attempting to exploit the growing rift between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates, caused by the latter nation’s investments in the ‘breakaway region’ of Somaliland.