in Defence / Features

Transport of the light for Mali Air Force

Posted 26 March 2018 · Add Comment

The Force Aerienne de la Republique du Mali (FARM - Republic of Mali Air Force) has taken delivery of a pair of Harbin Y-12E Harbinger light transport aircraft, which staged through Malta on delivery in September 2017.

The Harbin Y-12 is a high-wing twin-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with a fixed tricycle landing gear, similar in configuration (and performance) to the DHC-6 Twin Otter.
The aircraft is optimised for short take-off and landing and is designed to fulfil passenger and cargo transport, parachute jumping, medical evacuation, geological exploration, aerial photography and coastal surveillance missions. It is built by the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) – previously known as the Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation – in Heilongjiang province, China.
The Y-12E variant is powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135A engines driving four-bladed propellers and has a maximum payload of 5,700kg. It can be fitted with up to 18 passenger seats.
The aircraft are expected to augment Mali’s recently delivered Airbus Military C295W, and to replace the air force’s long-serving Basler BT-67 Turbo Dakota, a re-manufactured and extensively modified version of the Douglas DC-3.
The delivery of the Harbins represented one part of a wider FARM modernisation and expansion programme, which has seen it take delivery of new attack, transport, and training aircraft and helicopters.
In October 2016, Mali received the first of a pair of Airbus Helicopters H215 Super Puma helicopters. A single Airbus Military C295W transport aircraft followed in December. The C295W has entered service with the Transport Squadron at Base Aerienne 101 Bamako-Senou, which is likely to take the two Harbins as well.
The three aircraft will provide the Malian Army with troop transport, logistics support, and medical evacuation capabilities. All will be able to operate from unpaved runways.
As well as these transport and support aircraft, Mali is inducting a number of new frontline types. The EU Training Mission in Mali revealed in its September newsletter that the country had received two Russian Helicopters Mi-35M attack helicopters and has another two on order, while the air force is also awaiting the delivery of six Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, ordered in June 2015.
 

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