Following a pause in production, the Turkish company of BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret (Turkish Pavilion, Stand 10-D10) has ramped up output of its Kirpi (4x4) mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, which is being shown at IDEX 2015 fitted with a remote weapon station.
Following a competition, the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) selected the Kirpi to meet its requirement for its first MRAP vehicle.
An initial contract was placed for 468 vehicles, but production ceased for a period after 278 vehicles. Production has now started again, and the company told the IDEX Show Daily that, “around 600 vehicles have now been delivered and they are now operating successfully”.
The Kirpi MRAP has been offered on the export market for several years and the first customer was Tunisia, which has taken delivery of about 40 vehicles. The Kirpi MRAP features an all-welded steel armoured monocoque hull with a V-shaped lower half that provides a high level of protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), small arms fire and shell splinters.
In addition to its crew of three, the Kirpi MRAP carries a total of 10 dismounts when used in the armoured personnel carrier configuration. Standard equipment includes an air-conditioning system and suspended seats with five-point safety belts for a higher level of crew survivability.
Further development by the company has resulted in a 6x6 version of the Kirpi, which shares many common automotive components with the current production 4x4 vehicle, but has more volume and payload and can undertake a wider range of battlefield missions.
Development of the Kirpi (6x6) is complete and production can commence when firm orders are placed. BMC has delivered approximately 5,000 wheeled vehicles to the Turkish armed forces, including 2.5-ton and 5-ton (4x4), 10-ton (6x6) and 20-ton (8x8) versions.
In addition to the Kirpi (4x4) MRAP, the company is exhibiting its BMC 380-26-P (6x6) 10-ton cross-country tactical truck fitted with a cargo body – just one of the many versions currently available.