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MINE RESISTANT AMBUSH PROTECTED VEHICLE “KIRPI” DELIVERED WITH A CEREMONY TO THE TURKISH

With the contract signed on 27 March 2009 between the Undersecre

Issue 27

Speaking at the ceremony, the Undersecretary for Defence Industries Murad Bayar said that a total of 2,720 tactical wheeled vehicles were procured of which approximately 2,000 came from BMC for the requirements of the Land Forces Command and that as of now during the first stage 37 had been delivered. Explaining that the demanding tests on the mine resistant ambush protected vehicles and the 2.5, 5 and 10 ton tactical vehicles were conducted according to NATO standards, Bayar pointed out that nearly 70 percent was domestically accomplished. Furthermore, Bayar stated that 450 KOBIs provided support by producing parts to the vehicles.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Çukurova Holding and BMC Mehmet Emin Karamehmet also delivered a speech at the ceremony. Karamehmet said that as Çukurova Holding in line with the national interests they were they ready to provide any support and make any sacrifice and stated that they were proud and honored to have delivered these reliable, highly protected, durable and high performance land vehicles.

Speaking at the ceremony, BMC Defence Industry and Special Projects Department Manager Nadi Posto?lu indicated that BMC has an annual 20,000 vehicle, 22,000 engine capacity, that up to now had manufactured 304,000 vehicles with 700 different features and that they were a 100% independent Turkish defence industry company. Stating that with their 3,000 employees they were manufacturing vehicles towards the requirements of the TSK, Posto?lu noted that up to know they had manufactured around 5,000 tactical and logistic vehicles for the TSK. In addition Posto?lu stated that with the purpose and wish to serve the Turkish defence industry they had undertaken the mine resistant armored vehicle KIRPI and the 2.5, 5 and 10 ton 4x4 and 6x6 tactical vehicles project and not content with this they had commenced with the development of the multi-purpose armored vehicle “ÇAZA” and armored weapon carrier vehicles and, in addition, that they were continuing with the development of the 8x8 tactical wheeled vehicle. With the approval of the Defence Industry Executive Committee they had signed a contract with the SSM on 27 March 2009 to undertake the responsibility of developing and manufacturing the mine resistant ambush protected vehicle and the 2.5, 5 and 10 ton tactical vehicles that covers nearly 2,000 vehicles said Posto?lu and went on to add that they had completed this difficult assignment in 5 months working intensively in 3 shifts on a 24 hour basis and that all of the vehicles were subjected to a 50,000 km durability test including mountainous terrain, rugged land and on asphalt road. Citing that under normal conditions one mine test is applied to one vehicle, Posto?lu indicated that they had applied four tests to one vehicle. The mine resistant and ambush protected vehicle called “KIRPI” has hundreds of different features emphasized Posto?lu and stated that: “It provides the necessary protection against mine and ballistic threats. At the same time because the base of the engine is protected as well if a vehicle is exposed to any mine threat; it has the capability to continue its mission after a short period of repairs. The seats are equipped with a special suspension system that absorbs the pressure instantly from a mine explosion. It can also be used as an armored combat vehicle in warfare against a tank.” Naci Posto?lu also noted that the main target of BMC’s KIRPI was to produce a far superior vehicle from the vehicles used and based on experiences of NATO members in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The responsibility that they received on March 2009 was successfully realized together with 280 firms of which 220 are domestic companies. They had provided 70% to this project with domestic contribution and that this was a success for Turkey, said Posto?lu.

After the opening remarks, a model of KIRPI was presented to those who contributed to the Project and the mine resistant armored vehicle was viewed by the Minister and those accompanying him.

Out of a total of 468 vehicles that will be produced 70 of the mine resistant armored vehicle KIRPI was delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. The remaining vehicles are planned to be delivered by the end of this year.


THE “WALKING FORTRESS” KIRPI OPENS UP TO THE WORLD!

As a 350 hp engine and full transmission driven vehicle, the KIRPI can be driven as a 4x4 or 4x2 depending on road conditions. Able to comfortably carry 13 personnel, the vehicle can reach a 105 km speed and without any preparation can pass through 120 cm of water. The KIRPI is able to climb 60% steep slopes as well as pass through 30% side slopes. The vehicle can operate between -32 and +55 C temperatures and because the base of the engine is protected as well if a vehicle is exposed to any mine threat it has the capability to continue its mission after a short period of repairs.

Having passed NATO standard mine and ballistic tests, in the event the vehicle blows a tire, the “run-flat” system allows the KIRPI to move up to 40 km and the Central Tire Inflatable System (CTIS), which provides the vehicle the ability to move on different land and road conditions, can be activated with a single button.

Able to be used as an armored combat vehicle against a tank, this “walking fortress,” if requested, can also be placed with anti-tank weapons, machine guns and rocket launchers on the vehicle’s tower. With its special suspension system that cushions pressure instantly in the event of a mine explosion, the vehicle also features firing ports on both sides thus enabling the vehicle’s personnel to fire without leaving the vehicle. In order for personnel to quickly evacuate the vehicle and enter into combat, the mine resistant and ambush protected KIRPI also has a feature that allows evacuation from five different exits which is also another distinction of the vehicle. In the event of a fire or a flame inside the vehicle or the engine a fire extinguishing system that will put out the fire in 250 milliseconds is also available. Another feature is the very special paint on the vehicle which protects personnel and the vehicle in the event of a nuclear exposition.

With its multi-purpose features that can be used for different objectives such as a command and control vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, anti-tank weapon system, machine gun weapon system, missile launcher system, ambulance, mine disposal vehicle, rescue and maintenance vehicle, the KIRPI can travel 800 km on a full tank of gas without refuel.

Already making a difference with its existing features, according to the information provided by company officials, the KIRPI is seeing an intense demand from overseas. In the light of these requests, it appears that we will be hearing the name KIRPI a lot more in the years ahead.
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