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Iraq announces start of VN22 armoured vehicle production

A still from a DICI video shows a Norinco VN22 at the Al-Rabie factory. (Defence Industry Commission of Iraq)

Iraq's state-owned defence industry has said it has begun producing Norinco VN22 6×6 armoured vehicles.

The Defence Industry Commission of Iraq (DICI) posted a video on its Facebook page on 1 April in which engineer Mustafa Ati Hassan, the president of the Military Industrialization Authority, stood next to a VN22 to announce the start of production of a 6×6 vehicle he did not name at the Al-Rabie factory, which is in southeast Baghdad. He provided no further details of the programme, with the video showing a production line for 4×4 light armoured vehicles, not the VN22.

Norinco unveiled the VN22 in 2021, with an Arabic-language brochure released the following year saying it has a combat weight of 25 tonnes when fitted with a remotely operated 30 mm weapon station, which leaves space for eight dismounts in addition to three crew members. The brochure says the vehicle has Level 14 ballistic protection (up to 14.5 mm rounds under the VPAM standard) and Level 4A and 4B landmine protection.

The vehicle's only known operators are the Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal's National Gendarmerie, both of which have the VN22B fire-support version.

The VN22 seen in the DICI video had a manned weapon station with a Norinco 12.7 mm LM5 three-barrel heavy machine gun, which can fire either 1,000 or 2,000 rounds a minute.

For more information on VN22, please seeVN22 .

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