Namibia to buy Chinese FN 6 MANPADS surface to air missiles

At the recent Heroes' Day celebrations, Namibia revealed that it had acquired and is using FN-6 man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) from China, defenceWeb reports. Pictures of this appeared in 2016.

Namibia to buy Chinese FN 6 MANPADS surface to air missile

Chinese FN-6 MANPADS surface-to-air missile (Picture source: Chinese MoD)

It is not known how many launchers and missiles the country imported. However, defenceWeb noted the possibility that Namibia may have been the intended end-user of a batch of 50 FN-6 MANPADS imported to South Africa in 2016. South Africa's report to the Arms Trade Treaty in 2016 included an import of the FN-6, but defenceWeb reported, "However, in response to a defenceWeb enquiry about the missiles, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) stated that, 'the SANDF can confirm that there are no missiles imported from China in its possession.'"

African Defence Review's Darren Olivier raised a similar question about whether the 50 FN-6s were transferred to Namibia. China has made a number of inroads in selling military equipment to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the region's countries have procured armored vehicles, in particular, to support internal security missions.

The FN-6 is a man-portable air defense missile system (MANPADS) designed and manufactured in China by the Defense Company Poly Technologies. It is a third generation passive infrared (IR) man portable air defense system. The FN-6 has the capability of all-direction attack and anti-infrared jamming. Featured with a fire-and-forget capability, the system is easy transport and use. The FN-6 is especially designed to engage low flying targets as fighter-bomber, helicopter and other aerial targets. Under the visual condition, by head-on and tail-chase attack (mainly head-on), the combat equipment can intercept the fighter, fighter-bomber, strike aircraft and armed helicopter whose speed is no more than 300m/s, maneuver overload is no more than 6 and the flight height is no more than 4000m. The combat equipment can also cooperate with other air defense equipment to protect the marching troops and important places. In order to meet the requirement of training operations and improve the operation effectiveness, the training devices of operation, aiming and firing and comprehensive test vehicle are available. There’s been ample video proof that Syrian rebels have received some Chinese FN-6.