A West African Nation, Ivory Coast recently acquired two Antonov An-26Bs tactical transport aircraft to boost its Air Force fleet.
Antonov An-26B is a twin-engine turboprop, short-to medium-range military transport aircraft by the Soviet design bureau OKB Antonov, today known as the Antonov ASTC, Ukraine.
An-26 is a military development of the Antonov An-24 that was first designed in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
Military reports indicate that the modified former Bulgarian An-26s aircraft (TU-VMA and TU-VMB) were delivered to Abidjan-Port Bouet Groupe Aerien du Transport through Tunisia on 19th and 23rd July 2018.
An-26s have a secondary bomber role with underwing bomb racks. The racks are attached to the fuselage in front of and behind the rear landing gear.
The aircraft has been used widely by the Sudanese Air Force during the Second Sudanese Civil War and the War in Darfur. Also, Russian Forces train with the An-26 as a bomber.
A Look at Ivory Coast Air Force
On 6th November 2004, Ivory Coast’s Air Forces using its Sukhoi Su-25 bomber raided on French peacekeeping mission in the rebel town of Bouaké at 1 pm killing nine French soldiers and wounding scores.
Ivory Coast government claimed that the raid was not intended but French forces were not convinced. Few hours later, French Air Force attacked Ivory Coast Air Force, destroyed two Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircrafts, three Mi-24 helicopter gunships and three unnamed helicopters.
Currently, Ivory Coast Air Force has been left with few operational aircrafts in its inventory.
Ivory Coast’s other Air Force hardware include, 6 Alpha Jets and a single Mi-24 Hind providing some combat capability.
For transport, it has acquired several SA330L Pumas, a number of Alouette IIIs, three SA 365 Dauphin helicopters and a single An-12 transport.