Tank delivery

A Mowag Piranha deployed by the Irish Defence Force. Photo: Irish Defence Force.

Tank delivery video no cause for alarm says military expert

The viral video of a ‘tank delivery’ is nothing to be alarmed about, says a South African military expert.

Tank delivery

A Mowag Piranha deployed by the Irish Defence Force. Photo: Irish Defence Force.

An independent military expert says South Africans have no cause for alarm over a video that showed ‘tanks’ being transported.

The director of African Defence Review, Darren Olivier, was asked to comment on the video by a Twitter follower and he quickly allayed any fears South Africans might have.

‘Tank delivery’ video

Olivier says the video was likely filmed in Namibia and shows what is probably a shipment of Swiss-made Mowag Piranhas. Botswana are known to have placed on order for the armoured fighting vehicles with General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag GmbH.

Past orders of these vehicles have also been transported over land as Botswana is a landlocked country.

The clip has been circulating on social media for the last week with some claiming it was captured in the Cape. Even though these vehicles may at times be shipped through South African ports, Olivier believes it was filmed in Namibia. The Afrikaans spoken in the clip led most to believe this was filmed in South Africa, but the language is also spoken in Namibia.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) do not deploy the Mowag Piranha and at this time.

Olivier diffuses fears over ‘tank delivery’

“Because Botswana is landlocked, it has to have vehicles delivered by sea to a neighbouring country and sent overland by road or rail and it often uses South African ports,” wrote Olivier on Twitter.

“In 2016 [the Botswana Defence Force] ordered an additional 45 Piranhas, which have been arriving in small batches over the past few years in convoys just like this. In other words, nothing to worry about.”

Olivier suggested there was ample evidence to suggest that this shipment was intended for the Botswana Defence Force and it has nothing to do with the lockdown. 

“The trucks seem to be part of the MICA VL ground-based air defence system, which we know that the BDF recently acquired, and the Panhard VBL looks to have a Mistral launcher assembly fitted, which again is something we know the BDF has recently acquired.”

The video explained in short

Olivier rounded off his explanation by making it clear the ‘tank delivery’ video should not be a cause for alarm for South Africans or anybody else.

  1. Probably filmed in Namibia, not South Africa.
  2. These are vehicles being delivered overland to the Botswana Defence Force. Known orders, nothing unusual.
  3. Has nothing to do with the lockdown, COVID-19, or any conspiracy theories about foreign troops.