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China delivers PLH-11 Multiple Rocket Launchers to Ghana.

| Defense News Army 2024

On December 7, 2023, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) received an undisclosed number of PLH-11 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), along with other advanced military equipment, at their combat training camp in Bundase. This substantial enhancement to the Ghanaian army's military capabilities was facilitated through a donation by the Chinese company Poly Technologies Incorporated, in collaboration with B&G African Trading.
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PLH-11 (SR-4), an export version of the PHL-11 mounted on a 6x6 Shaanxi SX2190KA truck chassis, equipped with 40 launch tubes, and representing an evolution of the Type 81. (Picture source: Ghana MoD and China MoD)

Mr. Gu Jia, the division director at Poly Technologies, along with representatives from B&G African Trading, officially handed over the equipment to the GAF. The consignment included 122 mm PLH-11 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), a reconnaissance vehicle, a command vehicle, 7,200 122 mm rockets, spare parts, and accessories. At least five MLRS systems were observed in a photograph released by the Ghanaian armed forces.

This Chinese aid appears to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by China in 2013, which is a development strategy aimed at enhancing connectivity and cooperation between Asia, Europe, and Africa. It includes two main components: the Silk Road Economic Belt, for land connections, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, for sea routes. In addition to stimulating economic growth and increasing cultural exchanges through the construction of infrastructure such as roads, railways, and ports, the BRI also aims to strengthen security and military cooperation among participating nations. However, the initiative is also viewed by some as a means for China to extend its geopolitical influence and engage partner countries in "debt diplomacy."

Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Michael Appiah-Agyekum, the Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Administration at the General Headquarters, expressed his profound gratitude to the companies for their invaluable support in strengthening Ghana's defense system. He emphasized the crucial role of the equipment in enhancing and safeguarding the nation's sovereignty.

“The acquisition of strategic equipment, platforms, and personnel training in various fields are ongoing efforts to effectively resource the GAF operationally and provide essential welfare packages for troops during their service,” he said.

AVM Appiah-Agyekum highlighted the strategic significance of the equipment acquisition, noting its critical timing amidst a period marked by increased instances of terrorism and transnational organized crime within the sub-region. He affirmed that the equipment would significantly enhance the GAF's operational capabilities, effectively positioning it to handle any aggressive force.

On his part, the Chief Staff Officer at Army Headquarters, Brigadier General Barima Brako Owusu, called upon the troops to uphold a high level of professionalism in carrying out their duties.

The artillery system provided is the PLH-11 (SR-4), an export version of the PHL-11 mounted on a 6x6 Shaanxi SX2190KA truck chassis, equipped with 40 launch tubes, and representing an evolution of the Type 81. This system fires 122 mm artillery rockets, the same ones initially developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s for the Soviet BM-21 Grad. These rockets are currently the most widely used artillery rockets in the world, with options including high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG), smoke, incendiary, and illumination warheads, as well as fragmentation warheads equipped with anti-tank or anti-personnel submunitions. The PLH-11 has a maximum firing range of 50 km with the extended-range rockets developed by the Chinese, covering a total area of 0.8 to 1 hectare per salvo.

This advanced artillery system, which can also be mounted on a CTL181A 6x6 chassis (known as the SR-7), can be equipped with either one pod of twenty 122 mm rockets or six 220 mm rockets, offering a maximum firing range of 50 km for the 122 mm rockets and an extended range of 70 km for the 220 mm rockets.

This delivery of advanced military equipment to Ghana not only underscores the country's ongoing commitment to enhancing its national defense but also reflects the evolving strategic relations between Ghana and China in the field of defense.


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