Mali ZSU-23-4 "Shilka"

Source: Reuters

Mali is known to have procured a number of ZSU-23-4 'Shilka' SPAAG (Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun) from an unknown source.

At least three units were on display during a parade in the capital Bamako on 22/09/2010, to celebrate the country's 50th anniversary of independence.

Three ZSU-23-4 on flatbed trailers during the 50th anniversary of Independence Parade, Bamako, 22/09/2010.

ZSU-23-4 on parade during the 50th anniversary of Independence parade, Bamako, 22/09/2010.  'TIRAMAKAN' is believed to refer to a 12th Century regional figure.   Military vehicles displaying the names of historical figure or settlement featured prominently in the parade

Northern Mali Conflict

The involvement of ZSU-23-4 during the Northern Mali Conflict[1] is unclear, with only a single example observed to date, deployed in the city of Konna.

On 10/01/2013 Islamic Militant Forces infiltrated the town of Konna forcing the Malian Army to retreated.  In the process the army reportedly abandoned a number of heavy weapons and armoured vehicles, including at least one ZSU-23-4.

Islamic militant forces, reportedly Ansar al-Din, in Konna,10/01/2013. Source: Sahara Media

Islamic militant forces, reportedly Ansar al-Din, in Konn,10/01/2013. Source: Sahara Media

Screenshot from archive footage of the capture of Konna, date unknown  Source: Euronews [2]

The fall of Konna prompted the French military intervention to assist the Malian Government.  Islamic militant forces in Konna were subject to French air strikes the following day and then engaged by French and Malian ground forces.  Konna was officially confirmed as recaptured on 18/01/2013.

ZSU-23-4 in Konna 26/01/2013.  Note the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher immediately behind Source: Reuters


[1] Northern Mali Conflict http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Mali_conflict (accessed 03/02/2013
[2]  Mali army 'recaptures' Konna from Islamists http://www.euronews.com/2013/01/18/mali-army-recaptures-konna-from-islamists (accessed 03/02/2013)