China delivered Norinco’s WZ-551 IFVs and VP11 MRAPs to Mali

With a rumble and a roar, the Malian army welcomed a new fleet of military vehicles into their fold. This second batch, a generous offering from China’s Norinco Group, includes the dynamic WZ-551 wheeled infantry fighting vehicles and the resilient VP11 MRAP. 

China delivered Norinco's WZ-551 IFVs and VP11 MRAPs to Mali
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Imagine the sight: a colossal convoy of no less than 70 trucks, each bearing the weight of brand-new, top-of-the-line military vehicles. The stars of this impressive show are none other than the WZ-551 and VP11 MRAPs. These mechanical marvels were last spotted docked at the port in Conakry, Guinea on the 3rd of June, gleaming under the African sun.

Dive into the heart of an expansive arms deal, recently inked between the military government of Mali, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, and China. This robust package includes at least 100 VP11 4×4 Lightweight MRAPs, WZ-551 APCs, and Lynx CS/VP11 ATVs. All these military assets are produced by Norinco, a renowned Chinese weapons manufacturer, and are aimed at bolstering Mali’s efforts against insurgency. 

Let’s put this into a global context. The WZ-551 armored vehicle, a key component of this deal, has found favor beyond China’s borders. Top on the list of international operators is Sri Lanka with 190 combat vehicles, Myanmar with 76, Oman with 50, and Chad with 42. The APCs, or armored darlings, are touring globally, with stops in places like Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Pakistan, Iran, and Tanzania, among others.

Imagine the Malian military, now accelerating their fight against insurgency, powered by the latest military technology. The acquisition of these vehicles isn’t just an upgrade – it’s a game-changing leap forward. The enhanced response speed and effectiveness that they offer will be a crucial shield for the safety of Malian citizens. 

But hold on, this isn’t a solitary move. It’s a piece of a larger puzzle, a strategic plan unfolding. The recent acquisition comes as part of a grander scheme to fortify Mali’s military stance against insurgents. This is even more crucial in the wake of the withdrawal of French and European forces from the country.

As a melting pot of armored vehicles, Mali boasts equipment from around the globe, each piece playing a crucial role in the country’s ongoing battle against terrorism. 

In a major power boost last year, the Malian military added an impressive array of new armored vehicles to their arsenal. This included a fleet of Norinco VN2C 6×6 Infantry Fighting Vehicles [IFVs] gifted by China, a handful of Norinco VN2C BMPs, a contingent of 50 robust Kia KM450 military trucks, versatile wheeled Dongfeng EQ2050 vehicles, six nimble BRDM-2 amphibious reconnaissance vehicles, a few formidable BTR-70 8×8 armored personnel carriers and a squadron of six Puma M36 APCs.


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