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Turkish automanufacturer BMC confirms MRAP sales to Pakistan
August 18, 2017
BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. Photo credit: BMC

Turkish automanufacturer BMC confirms MRAP sales to Pakistan

Speaking to the Turkish media, BMC (one of Turkey’s largest defence and civil automakers) Board Member Yasin Öztürk stated that the company’s Kirpi mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle has seen growing traction in the overseas market with 300 MRAPs sold (Milliyet).

Öztürk added that BMC has also been producing Kirpi MRAPs for Pakistan, though he did not disclose the numbers sold to or the duration of BMC’s dealings with Pakistan. However, Pakistan had been linked to possible Kirpi MRAP deals as early as 2012.

As per Army Recognition, the 4×4 BMC Kirpi utilizes a steel hull capable of providing protection from 7.62×51 mm small arms fire (STANAG 4569 Level-3) as well as grenades and land-mines under the chassis (STANAG 4569 Level-3B).

With its 370 hp engine, the Kirpi can reach a top speed of 100 km/h and a maximum range of 800 km. It can carry up to 15 fully armed personnel. It can also be armed with a remote-controlled weapon station.

Notes & Comments:

Pakistan’s MRAP requirements stem from its decade-plus long – and ongoing – counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). From bolstering the Army’s air combat arm to enhancing the training and equipment available to infantry, Pakistan has been improving its capacity for COIN. MRAPs have been viewed as key elements for supporting the armoured transport requirement.

In 2014, Pakistan ordered 160 MaxxPro Dash MRAPs from the United States for use as part of Zarb-e-Azb (its current operation), though it had intended to procure a large number from surplus U.S. stocks.

Since other MRAP designs, such as the BMC Kirpi and Blitzkrieg Defence Solutions Hamza AFV, are being sought, it is apparent that the U.S.-avenue has not been as fruitful as Pakistan had originally hoped. It is not known if BMC had been selected to provide the mainstay of Pakistan’s MRAP needs, but others, such as Denel Group, Paramount Group, and NORINCO could see opportunity in this market.

  • Hashim Rasheed

    I thought the locally produced Hamza AFV was a very good vehicle with its features and design. The Army should have ordered it, along with the offering from HMC. It would have kept the local industry going, with incentives to further improve the vehicles.

    • Halz

      Hamza is basically an M113. It’s an outdated design that is susceptible to both RPGs and IEDs. MRAP type vehicles are needed by the PA.

      • The HIT Hamza and BDS Hamza are two different vehicles, the latter is a 8×8 AFV.

    • Steve

      Why are we buying multiple MRAP? Would it not be good to stick to one standard like Hamza for reasons above. I hope the army is trailing it. How many surplus free American MRAP we got? Cougars are good and battle tested with no fatalities in over 300 IED attacks. I remember the Indians (via their mouthpiece the Afghan government) making a big fuss about this, like they make about every single bullet the Pakistan army gets.

      • Hashim Rasheed

        That is exactly my point. I thought indigenous production was one of the aims of the government. And not selecting local products would also hamper their export potential. In my opinion, the deal with Turkey could just be a sweetener for further collaboration and joint ventures. They provide us with stuff we need and we provide them with stuff they need. We might get a share in the production of the next generation Turkish fighter if we buy their FACs and corvettes for our navy

      • Sami Shahid

        Hamza MCV is 8×8 and maybe the Army wants 4×4.

        • Steve

          Well then, stick with Kipri, though limited choices with that especially on the eastern front. I hope commissions are not muddying the waters. That’s been the bane of Pakistan for decades, and has sucked it dry. Politicians are at it and the army is the country’s only long term hope. People doing this are actually the nations enemies not its friends. Such people are not patriotic no matter how they try to convince themselves and others. We should not accept or get inured to this…it’s poison.

          • Sami Shahid

            I think the Army is interested in a 4×4 MRAP because the US Military in Afghanistan has also been using a 4×4 MRAP. However, Kirpi MRAP is built according to the NATO standards though the Army might be evaluating Hamza 8×8 as well.

    • Steve

      Order Hamza in numbers, some in the 105mm gun version for the eastern front if trails are successful. Can add a Bhaktar Shikan or TOW version too, but need a new missile like latest Javelin as the aforementioned are getting a bit dated. That will make it comparable to Stryker. A few brigades would be great!

  • Freebird

    Pakistan has been the fourth country using Kirpi. It has saved so many lives in Turkey, Inshallah it will save lives in Pakistan as well.

  • Sami Shahid

    Well it would be better if Pakistan Army buy MRAP’s from Russia which is ( Kamaz Typhoon ) . Second Option is the ( Blitz Krieg Hamza 8×8 ) which is locally manufactured.

  • Salman Naveed

    This seems like a case of army officers getting kickbacks.
    Or else, they would have selected local products such as the Blitzkrieg MRAP or the ones built by HIT.

    • The Blitzkrieg one is a very recent development, the Kirpi order seems to be going way back to 2012. As for the HIT Burraq, that one didn’t leave the developmental cycle. With urgent requirements, some forces will just go with what’s available instead of just putting money in development, especially if the latter takes time to complete.

  • Sami Shahid

    This armored vehicle has a V-shaped hull, which deflects mine blasts away. Crew and passengers are seated on integrated mine resistant seats, that absorb violent force and pressure generated by mine blasts. The Kirpi withstands mine blasts equivalent to 8 kg of TNT. Also this vehicle can be fitted with a jamming system, which blocks signals that detonate the roadside bombs. Source : Military-Today

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