Advanced Israeli weapon systems sighted at Zambian Army parade

The weapons displayed at the African country's Defense Force Day event included artillery systems, mortars and UAVs made by Elbit as well as Tavor, Galil and ACE rifles made by IWI

Photo: Patriotic Front (Zambia)

The Zambian Army displayed various advanced Israeli weapons systems at a military parade held earlier this month on the occasion of the country's Defence Force Day. As seen in a video by Zambian channel ZNBC of the June 13 event, the Army displayed artillery systems, mortars and small arms made in Israel including six Elbit ATMOS M46 wheeled self-propelled howitzers and six Elbit Spear MK2 self-propelled mortars.

The Zambian howitzers use a 130mm M-46 cannon mounted on a Czech 6×6 Tatra 10-ton chassis. The Janes website reported that that this is one of a range of ATMOS upgrades Elbit offers for legacy towed artillery, although Zambia appears to be the first known customer for the M-46 variant. The upgrade process typically includes modern navigation, fire control, and command-and-control systems, according to Janes. 

The Spear MK2 is a soft recoil mortar fitted with a computerized fire control system paired with an automatic laying and inertial navigation systems for greater accuracy. The Zambian variant appears to be the same as the one adopted by Thailand and uses an Indian Tata Trucks LPTA 713TC 4x4 chassis, the report said. 

The Defense Force Day parade also included Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with the Zambian Air Force displaying three Elbit Hermes 450s, and the Army displaying two smaller Elbit Skylark UAVs. The Air Force confirmed acquiring the UAVs in 2018.

In addition, Zambian Army Special Forces troops were seen carrying IWI Tavor assault rifles fitted with grenade launchers and Galil sniper rifles. The Army was already known to use Galil ACE rifles, apparently ever since a deal in 2015.

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