At the presence of the President of the Republic Ismail Omar Guelleh, the Djibouti Navy took delivery of four new naval units on November 22. They are two Damen FCS 5009 wide-ranging patrol vessels, a landing ship similar to the Chinese 074 Yuhai class and a patrol boat.

The Damen patrol vessels, built by the Dutch shipyard of the same name in their Cape Town, South Africa, facility, are 53 meters long and equipped with two Damen 1102 FRP assault lances and a 20 mm ROWS remote-controlled weapons station manufactured by Rhainmetall Searanger. The two units assumed the names Capt. Elmi Robleh and Adj. Ali M. Houmed.

The 66-meter-long, Chinese-built landing ship is equipped with a Norinco 30-mm H/PJ17 ROWS weapons system, two heavy machine guns on either side of the bridge deck and an assault lance.

The patrol boat, also Chinese-built and 27 meters long, has been in port in Djibouti since last April – along with the landing ship – awaiting official takeover by the local navy.

According to what President Guelleh said during the handover ceremony, the two Damen patrol vessels will be used for offshore surveillance in the vicinity of the Bab el-Mandeb strait, while the landing ship will remain at the disposal of the armed forces for use in military operations requiring the intervention of land forces and in particular mechanized infantry forces. The patrol boat, on the other hand, will be used to control Djibouti’s territorial waters.

On November 20, a Chinese-made Xinzhou-60 aircraft took off from Kunming Changshui International Airport in China’s southwestern Yunnan province for delivery by Xi’an Aircraft Industry Co. (XAC) to the Djibouti Air Force.

This is the second Xinzhou-60 aircraft delivered to the Horn of Africa country by XAC and was officially handed over at the Djibouti airport on Nov. 24.


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