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Iraq takes first steps to producing its own military vehicles

14 March 2019
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Iraq’s Samar Alkhair factory unveiled the Hajjam 1 at the IQDEX exhibition in Baghdad earlier this month. Iraqi defence concerns are taking the first steps towards producing their own military vehicles. Source: M Najib

Iraq's Samar Alkhair factory, a subsidiary of the Iraqi State Military Industries Company, unveiled an indigenously produced, lightly armoured 4×4 vehicle at the IQDEX exhibition, which was held in Baghdad from 9-12 March.

Called the Hajjam 1, the vehicle is likely to be based on a Toyota Land Cruiser chassis and features a Toyota V8 4.5-litre turbo-diesel engine delivering 232hp coupled to an automatic transmission. The vehicle is 4.7 m long, 1.8 m wide, 2.1 m high, and has B6-level armoured protection, meaning it can withstand 7.62×39 mm rounds from a Kalashnikov rifle.

Company officials told Jane's that the new vehicle could be used as a troop transport, ambulance, combat vehicle, for border protection duties, or for use by private security companies.

"The Iraqi armed forces need armoured combat and tactical vehicles, so we designed and manufactured an Iraqi-model Hajjam that matches international standards," Jalal Hussein, the chief engineer of Iraqi State Military Industries Company, told Jane's on 11 March.

"Our manufacturing is taking place in complete co-ordination with [the] Iraqi Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior, as at the first stage we are looking to respond to the Iraqi security forces' needs, then looking for export opportunities," Hussein added.

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