European Union offers 13 Arquus Bastion armored vehicles to Mali battalions of G5 Sahel

These vehicles are intended to equip the two Malian battalions of the Joint Force of the G5 Sahel: eight are intended for the transport of troops, two for the fight against IED, two for medical evacuations and the last one is fitted out as a command post.

European Union offers 13 Arquus Bastion armored vehicles to Mali battalions of G5 Sahel
The delivery of the 13 Arquus Bastions was made at the Kati military camp (Picture source: EC Delegation in Mali / SEAE)

This delivery is part of a batch of 46 armored vehicles already delivered or about to be delivered by the European Union to the Joint Force in the five G5 Sahel countries, as part of the EU support project to the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It is funded through the African Peace Facility, as part of a counter managed by Expertise France. The Burkinabe battalion of the G5 Sahel had received four of these vehicles at the end of November, + two other vehicles.

The European Union has committed to support the Malian army since the creation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Together (EU + Member States), a first envelope of 155 million euro has been released for various equipment. "Almost 70% is today achieved or delivered," said the EC Delegation for Mali. A second envelope of 138 million euro was promised in the summer of 2019, and confirmed by the current High Representative Josep Borrell, at the G5 Sahel summit in Pau (France).

The Arquus Bastion is a modular range of 12-tonne armored vehicles. Its chassis, developed on the VLRA 4x4 base, offers a combination of tactical performance, robustness and simplified maintenance. Bastion’s armored hull offers a large internal volume, as well as a protection against ballistic aggression, mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), according to the STANAG 4569 standard. The vehicle is offered in two versions: personnel carrier or PATSAS for Special Forces. The APC version can also be utilized as an ambulance, cargo carrier or command post. Numerous African and Middle Eastern countries trust the Bastion for their peacekeeping, reconnaissance forces and combat missions. These vehicles are also used by Special Forces units.