The Dailysabah reported that Turkish automotive company BMC will export a total of 46 defense vehicles to Tunisia. BMC will export 41 Kirpi (Hedgehog) mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles and five Kirpi 4×4 ambulances to Tunisia. This will be the first sale of the Kirpi 4×4 ambulance outside Turkey. BMC Kirpi is a heavy armored troop carrier and its primary objective is to transfer personnel from one place to another while protecting them against all kind of threats. Shipments of the vehicles will be made in batches in the coming months. With this deal, the number of vehicles that BMC has recently put into use in Tunisia will reach 92.
BMC Kirpi (Turkish for “Hedgehog”) is a Turkish made Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle manufactured by BMC. Kirpi provides significant protection against mine and ballistic threats. Based on the Israeli Hatehof Navigator. It combines standard and add-on armor providing protection against ballistic threats while its V-shape underbody and monocoque allows it to protect the personnel inside from land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). BMC Kirpi can receive different operational roles by being equipped with required mission equipment.
Kirpi design process started in 2008, first prototype of Kirpi is produced in 2009. BMC has been awarded a tender by 614 units of MRAP vehicles by SSB â€“ Presidency of Defence Industry in 2009. During the preliminary and critical design phases of this 614 Kirpi project, this prototype is further developed ant thus becoming Kirpi 1. Turkish Land Forces have used Kirpi 1 intensively on its operations, and since Kirpi’s are started to be operated, Turkish Land Forces’ casualties started to reduce significantly. After this initial success of Kirpi, its total sales number increased up to more than 1500, with more than 200 for export customers.
BMC Kirpi has monocoque V-shaped body. Recovery and/or towing points are fitted front and rear, a NATO standard pintle being fitted at the rear. A front-mounted hydraulically operated self-recovery winch is standard. V-shape monocoque body with composed add-on armor offers great resistant against mine and ballistic attacks in terms of NATO Stanag 4569. Protection levels are classified. In second generation of Kirpi, the Kirpi-2 has composite add-on armor and further increased mine protection. Cabin can carry 13 personnel, driver, commander and gunner facing front, rest of 10 personnel is facing each other, 5 unit on one side, other 5 on another side, seating on the edge of side walls.