The Senegalese military has revealed the purchase of the Norinco CS/VN-3C 4×4 Light armored Vehicle.

China in recent years has sharply increased its exports of weapons and security services to Africa, directly competing with Russia. In a latest development, the Senegalese military has revealed the purchase of the Norinco CS/VN-3C 4×4 Light armored Vehicle. This acquisition is an important move towards modernizing the Senegalese military and improving its combat capabilities. These four were seen during the parade on April 4.

It appears to be a non-amphibious version of the CS/VN3C that was unveiled in China in 2014. Norinco promotes the CS/VN3C with the 30 mm turret as a light, air-transportable infantry fighting vehicle that weighs 9 tons, has a 180 kW engine, and carries a crew of three with  a passenger compartment for four soldiers in the rear.

The CS/VN3C is a new type of light wheeled armoured vehicle specially designed to be used for rapid deployments and for emergency operations. The vehicle can be configured to perform a full range of missions as reconnaissance, urban warfare, or troop transport. It is equipped with a 30mm cannon, a 7.62mm machine gun, and a smoke grenade launcher, providing the Senegalese Army with a formidable fighting vehicle that can hold its own in combat.

The design of the CS/VN3C is quite conventional, with the driver and commander in the front, the turret in the middle, and the troop compartment at the rear. There is a single door on each side of the hull and one at the rear. The hull is made of welded steel armor providing protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. It can be fitted with bolt-on armor to increase the level of protection.

While the CS/VN3C has its air intake on top of its glacis and an exhaust running high along its right side, the Senegalese version has intakes at the front and smaller exhausts running around its rear right wheels. The turret of the vehicle can also be armed with an anti-tank guided missile Red Arrow 73C, a Chinese copy of the Russian-made 9M14 “Malyutka”. The Red Arrow line features effective firing ranges from 500 to 3,000 meters.

In addition to Islamist terror groups in the Sahel, Senegal has been dealing with separatists in its Casamance region, the location of one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. As a result, in recent times Senegal has been expanding its armed forces, receiving patrol boats, trainer aircraft, armoured vehicles and other equipment.


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