Saturday, May 21, 2016

Botswana is buying Piranha III's with 30mm turrets and K2 Black Panther Main Battle Tanks?

via Tank and AFV News from IHS Janes.
Botswana’s The Sunday Standard newspaper reported in February that, in the wake of Khama’s visit to South Korea, the BDF was planning to spend BWP2 billion on eight T-50s and was also expected to buy K2 Black Panther tanks from South Korea.
More recently, on 16 May, the newspaper reported that the country was planning to spend nearly BWP2 billion on 45 Piranha 8×8 armoured vehicles made by General Dynamics Switzerland – presumably a reference to General Dynamics European Land Systems Mowag (GDELS-Mowag) – and turrets armed with 30 mm guns.
The BDF already uses Piranha III vehicles, 45 of which were delivered from 2003 .
This is T&AFVN's take.
Given the cost and complexity of the K2 Black Panther, this seems like a rather ambitious (and somewhat unrealistic) purchase for a country ranked only 118th in terms of GDP. Currently, the most capable MBT operated by a Central or Southern African country is the South African Olifant MBT, which is a significantly upgraded version of the venerable British Centurion tank.
I think that's putting it mildly.

In one purchase Botswana would go from being a typical African Army to being as gunned up as middle European power.

There has to be more going on here.  Was there a natural resource find that we're not aware of?  Is it simply a bit of bluster that has no substance?  Is it crazy funding from Mowag and the S. Korean govt to sell vehicles?

Either way this will be worth watching.

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