Saturday 27 August 2022

Photo Report: Haftar’s Last Parade

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
The following photos were taken during a Libyan National Army (LNA) parade to commemorate the 7th anniversary of Operation Dignity at Benina airbase in Benghazi on the 29th of May 2021. Even though the LNA of warlord Khalifa Haftar was to merge with the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) as part of the newly-established Government of National Unity (GNU), the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) passed a no-confidence motion against the unity government in September 2021. Khalifa Haftar subsequently announced his candidacy for the presidential election in December 2021 before it was postponed. The May parade was aimed at showing the LNA's (and thus Haftar's) strength to both internal actors and the outside world. In doing so, the LNA showed off a large number of equipment types inherited from the Gaddafi-era and received from Russia, the UAE, Jordan and Egypt since. [1]

Photos of the soldiers and vehicles during the parade can be seen here. The parade can be watched in its entirety here.

9K31 Strela-1s (NATO designation: SA-9 Gaskin).

A 1S91 SURN radar and 2K12 Kub (NATO designation: SA-6 Gainful) SAM systems.

A Russian-delivered P-18 'Spoon Rest D' radar. This system was initially based at al-Jufra airbase and operated by Wagner PMC.

LRSVM Morava MRLs that can be armed with both 107mm and 122mm rocket pods. The Moravas were acquired by the UAE from Serbia and delivered to the Libyan National Army in 2020.

122mm BM-21 Grad MRLs on Ural-375D (old version) and Ural-4320 (newer version) trucks.

A 122mm 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled gun (SPG).

A South African-made 155mm G5 towed howitzer delivered by the UAE to the LNA in 2020.

Russian-delivered KamAZ 6x6 trucks towing (from top to bottom) 122mm M-30 howitzers (delivered by Russia in 2017), North Korean 122mm field-guns and 130mm M-46 field-guns.

122mm D-30 howitzers.

Two T-72M1s. The second example is one of the few T-72s to have been upgraded with radio systems by General Dynamics UK shortly before the 2011 revolution.

A T-72 'Ural'.

A Russian-delivered T-62MV. Limited quantities of T-62Ms and T-62MVs were delivered to the LNA in 2020.

A T-55A (front) and T-55E delivered by Egypt (rear).

T-55As (left) and T-62 Obr. 1972s (right).

ZSU-23 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAGs).

A T-55 fitted with a KMT-5M mine roller and a VT-55KS armoured recovery vehicle (ARV).

A MT-LBu command vehicle.

Al-Mared APCs and Al-Wahsh infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs) received from Jordan.

Four GAZ Tigr-Ms delivered to Libya for use with Wagner PMC and then passed on to the LNA. They can be seen armed with SG-43 medium machine guns.

In front: MSPV Panthera T6 IMVs by the UAE followed by several more IMV types received from the UAE, which delivered at least twelve IMV types to Libya in the period from 2014 to 2020.

Jeep Wranglers with ATVs in the back.

The LNA's R-17 Scud-Bs also made an appearance along with the associated support equipment. Embarrassingly, the crane truck broke down in front of the main stage. The Scud-Bs were tested as recently as March 2022.

Rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) that were ordered from the French military boat maker Sillinger in 2013.

A Mirage F1AD fighter-bomber (left) and a Mirage F1ED interceptor (right). Due to a lack of spare parts these two Mirages are only flown during special occasions such as parades.

MiG-21bis '698', which crashed shortly after this image was taken. The pilot, Brigadier General Jamal bin Amer, was killed in this incident.

Two AS332L Super Pumas during the parade (top). These have since been repainted in military camouflage patterns (below). Both AS332Ls were acquired by the Lancaster 6 private military company from South Africa.

Three Su-24Ms originally delivered by Russia along with a number of MiG-29s in 2020 for use with Wagner PMC in Libya.

[1]  Tracking Arms Transfers By The UAE, Russia, Jordan And Egypt To The Libyan National Army Since 2014