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Ethiopia quietly building its air defense systems

Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, May 5, 2016

S-75 Surface to Air Missiles SAMs mounted on modified T-55 tank chassis
Above is s-125 SAMs modified and mounted on a T-55 from Cuba which is similar to those which are modified by Ethiopia.

This week an article published by Jeremy Binnie for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly from London indicated that Ethiopia is converting its stationary S-75 Surface to Air Missiles SAMs to mobile systems.


To make the S-75 SAMs mobile they are mounted on to a heavily modified T-55 tank chassis. Both the S-75 SAMs and the T-55 tank chassis have to be modified for the whole system to work seamlessly.

The Gafat Armament Industry is doing the modification and mounting project of these cost saving but extremely ingenious solution. Gafat Armament Industry is part of the federal government owned and run by the Ethiopian military Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC).

Cuba, Poland, and Iraq have done the successful similar modification to S-75 and sometimes to the S-125 fixed missile systems.

The Ethiopian defense industries produces a range of light weapons like machine guns, assault rifles, automatic grenade launchers –RPGs, ammunition for variety of weapons. On top of manufacturing ammunitions and light weapons, The Ethiopian defense industries do major modifications to tanks, armored cars, transport trucks, and fighter jets.

This latest modification making the S-75 Surface to Air Missiles SAMs mobile will greatly enhance the Ethiopian air defense capabilities by moving the SAMs to different locations as required.

S-125 Surface to Air Missiles SAM system in a fixed location
Above is S-125 stationary Surface to Air Missiles which are deployed at the border with Eritrea.

Ethiopia have different types of SAMs including the more advanced S-125s which are now deployed closer to the Eritrean border at fixed points in case the crazy old gangster in Asmara tries to launch an attack against Ethiopia.

Some of the Ethiopian military industries were established when Mengistu Hailemariam (credit when it is due) was in power and he talked and bragged about it in public.

S-75 Surface to Air Missile fixed to one location
Above is s-75 SAM deployed in a fixed location.

The EPRDF government established many more military industries and a military Engineering School. Ethiopia now exports military hardware to some African countries and the armored cars used by UN forces in Somalia are assembled in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is located in a hostile neighborhood and having a strong military including a powerful air defense system is a must to defend its people and territorial integrity.


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