Have you ever wondered how strong Uganda’s security forces like the army are? So, have we, and we were particularly curious, what are the most powerful declassified weapons that the country has at its disposal?
The United States or Russia aren’t the only countries with a powerful deadly arsenal. Uganda may be a small country in size, but its police, security agencies and army have a powerful array of weaponry.
Uganda is currently ranked 92 out of 133 countries considered for review under the Global Fire Power index with a strong force of over 14 million personnel combined for both army and police. Based on data available and research, here is the list of our top ten most powerful weapons/arsenal in Uganda;
1. The Sukhoi Su-30/Su-30MKK multirole fighter plane
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat super manoeuvrable fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. Each Sukhoi Su-30 costs US$37.5 million (Ugx 135,333,050,000).
Uganda currently owns 8 of these deadly birds with 4 more on their way. The cost for these fighter planes is enough to build new hospitals and schools across Uganda.
2. Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter
Despite being an old model, the Mil Mi-24 gunship is still considered as one of the deadliest attack helicopters in the world. The Ugandan army has 6 in service each costing about US$12 million (Ugx 43,891,800,000).
Don’t be fooled by its age, a good number of armies around the world like the Russian Air Force, North Korea, Iraq, India and the United States still have the Mil Mi-24 helicopters in service doing several different missions around the world.
3. T-90 main battle tank
The T-90 is among the best main battle tanks around the world and still in service with over ten countries like Iran, Algeria, India and Syria.
The T-90 is a third-generation advanced Russian battle tank with a 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore main gun, a fire-control system and a protective composite steel armour capable of blocking off high explosive anti-tank rounds.
It is also armed with smoke grenade dischargers, Kontakt-5 explosive-reactive armour and the Shtora infrared ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) jamming system. Each costs about $4.5 million (Ugx 14,630,600,000). When you see this on the street, RUN!
Uganda has 100 T-90 tanks with 44 of them still in service.
4. Type 85 battle tank
Type 85 is a Chinese second-generation post-cold war battle tank which has been in service since the 1980s. Compared to the Russian T-90 tank which holds a better ray of weapons such as missile jamming systems and thermal sights, the Type 85 isn’t as advanced but can still pack a fight with its upgraded 125mm gun, a NATO 105mm rifled gun and 12.7 mm air-defence machine gun.
The actual number of Type 85 tanks in Uganda is still unknown but have been in service since 2017.
5. ATMOS 2000 Self-propelled Howitzer
The ATMOS 2000 (Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System) is a 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled, fully computerised, high firepower mobility gun system manufactured by Israel.
The ATMOS has a firing range of 24 – 30 km which means, its projectile can be fired from Kampala hitting a target somewhere in Entebbe. One has to wonder why this hasn’t been banned yet 😀 .
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6. RM-70 multiple rocket launcher
This is something anyone should be afraid of. The RM-70 is a multiple rocket launcher vehicle capable of carrying forty 122mm rockets which offer a concentrated fire coverage of up to 3 hectares.
When you look at Uganda’s Namboole Stadium, the size and area of coverage may be approximately two or more hectares in size which means that the RM-70 is capable of levelling it in less than thirty minutes after constant bombardment since it has a fire coverage of 3 hectares. Once this weapon is deployed, it puts the fear of God in men.
7. Cardom heavy mortar
The Cardom “Hatchet”, is an Israeli 81mm/120mm Recoil Mortar System (RMS), which is autonomous and computerised. It has a range of 7,000 – 8,000 meters with a maximum firing rate of 16 rounds per minute on its own without the need for human direction other than inputting the first instructions on where to aim.
8,000 meters is equivalent to 8 kilometres in distance, which is roughly the same distance you take from Kampala to Rubaga. Let that sink in for a minute. Be sure when it is deployed they will say, “fire is raining down”.
8. M-46 towed field gun
For many years, the M-46 130mm field gun was one of the longest-range artillery systems around, with a range of more than 27 km which is roughly the same distance when you take a taxi ride from Entebbe to Kampala.
This artillery gun is capable of hitting your house 25 kilometres away without a sweat. Imagine the UPDF army placing this gun at the top of Muyenga tank hill, they could hit anyone from Najjanakumbi to Zana or further.
9. RG-31 Nyala mobility vehicle
Despite having a name that sounds like a local Ugandan word, the Nyala is actually South African origin. The RG-31 Nyala is a 4×4 multi-purpose mine-resistant ambush-protected infantry mobility vehicle. It’s a V-shaped all-steel welded armour vehicle that can protect its crew against small-arms and mine blasts.
The Nyala was designed to resist a blast equivalent to two TM-57 anti-tank mines detonating simultaneously which have 5.7 kg worth of TNT explosive each and an operating pressure force capable of lifting 120–400 kg worth of weight.
If someone planted over ten TM-57 mines around Mutasa Kafeero plaza or maybe Mapera House, they could probably bring down both buildings. The RG-31 is classified by the United States Department of Defense as a category 1 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
10. Mamba Armed Personnel Carrier
The Mamba is a South African mine-resistant and blast-proof armoured personnel carrier with a 12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun designed for internal security purposes. We honestly don’t know if it was named after the Black Mamba snake or the amazing Black Mamba security unit.
According to the global firepower listing, the Uganda People’s Defence Force has 40 Mambas which are not in service. However, there have been sightings of such similar armoured vehicles in the police force and army units across the country.
Is there something we have left out on this list that you think deserves to be shared? Don’t choke down on that opinion, please let us know in the comments!
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.