Turkish-made Kirpi armored personnel carriers help the Ukrainian armed forces liberate the south of Ukraine from the Russian invaders. Today we will talk about them in more detail.
The events of recent days have given us a lot of good news from the South of our country. Our valiant Armed Forces are successfully conducting a counteroffensive, liberating the cities and villages of the Mykolayiv and Kherson regions captured by the occupiers.
In the conditions of combat offensives, they are greatly helped by Turkish mine-resistant armored vehicles with protection against ambushes and ballistic threats Kirpi BMC 350 MRAP.
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Kirpi (Turkish for “hedgehog”) is a 4×4 armored personnel carrier of the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) category, developed and manufactured by the Turkish company BMC. The vehicle was first revealed in 2010 during the Eurosatory defense expo in Paris, France. Kirpi is now in service with the Turkish army and the countries of Africa and the Middle East, and since August of 2022, it has been in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Turkish BMC has won a contract for the production of about 470 mine-protected 4×4 vehicles based on the Hatehof Ltd NAVIGATOR 16 Tonnes Israeli armored vehicle for the Turkish ground forces. This vehicle has successfully passed serious tests according to NATO standards. Thanks to its high ballistic protection, tactical capabilities, and capacity, the BMC KIRPI (4×4) MRAP has already taken a worthy place in the market of anti-mine armored vehicles.
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Kirpi armored vehicles are produced not only for the Turkish armed forces, but also for the export market, and the first customer was Tunisia, which ordered 40 vehicles in 2014. In December 2016, it was announced that the MRAP would also be produced for Pakistan. In June 2016, Tunisia received 35 Kirpi mine-resistant armored personnel carriers. Kirpi was also demonstrated by Turkmenistan at a military parade in the Ashgabat capital in October 2016, which means that Turkey sold several armored vehicles to this Central Asian country.
In March 2018, during the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference DIMDEX 2018 in Doha, the Turkish BMC announced that 85 wheeled armored vehicles were purchased by Qatar, including 50 MRAP 4×4. And in August 2022, it was announced that Turkey will supply Ukraine with Kirpi vehicles as well. Now, these armored vehicles are already protecting our valiant soldiers on the battlefield, proving their high quality and durability.
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Kirpi is a heavy truck equipped with armored protection. The engine is located in the front of the vehicle, and the crew is located inside. The landing compartment extends from the center to the aft part of the hull. The armored car is equipped with anti-mine explosion-proof seats and can accommodate up to 13 personnel, including the driver, gunner, and commander. A place for a machine gunner is provided on the roof of the MRAP.
The length of the armored vehicle platform is 7.35 m, its height is 3.2 m, and its width is 2.64 m. The standard 4×4 version has an equipped weight of 18,085 kg, a full weight of 19,710 kg, and a heavy lifting capacity of 1,625 kg.
The Kirpi has a monocoque armored cockpit, four bulletproof windows, embrasures for small arms fire, and shock-absorbing seats. The car is also equipped with armored windshields and an emergency hatch for crew evacuation in case of need.
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The APC is available in several modifications: Kirpi 4×4, Kirpi II (4×4), Kirpi 6×6, and Kirpi 4X4 Ambulance (for mobile hospital).
Kirpi and Kirpi II are equipped with special equipment, such as an automatic fire extinguishing system, a tracking system to determine the location of a shot or other weapon, as well as a system of chemical, biological and radiological protection.
A robotic arm is integrated into the customized version to detect and safely remove explosive materials. The Kirpi II 4×4 is also equipped with a tachograph, radio, driver information system, vision systems, as well as a positioning and navigation system.
The Kirpi 6×6 variant has a length of 7.92 m and can accommodate 15 people. The armored personnel carrier has a specially designed V-shaped bottom and a heavy lifting capacity of 3,500 kg.
The ambulance version retains the general technical specs of the MRAP family, but at the same time has a customized interior designed for the needs of medical assistance.
All modifications of the armored vehicle are equipped with a self-recovery winch, smoke grenade launchers, and means of setting obstacles and can also be equipped with protection against rocket launchers.
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The Kirpi MRAP can be armed with a 7.62 or 12.7 mm machine gun. It can also integrate a remote control weapon system.
The Kirpi’s V-shaped body is made of steel armor and can protect against mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), armor-piercing shells, artillery shell fragments, and other ballistic threats up to STANAG 4569 level 3. In addition, the lower part is protected against grenades and mines up to STANAG 4569 level 3b.
It should be noted, that first of all, the Kirpi armored vehicle is MRAP (Mine Protected Armored vehicle), that is, a mine-resistant vehicle with ambush protection. The Kirpi has a V-shaped bottom that increases the survivability of the vehicle and crew by deflecting an upward blast from a land mine or improvised explosive device.
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The BMC Kirpi platform is equipped with a Cummins ISL9E3 375 Euro-3 diesel engine, which provides a maximum power of 375 hp. (275 kW). The six-cylinder engine is mated to an Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmission with six forward gears and one reverse gear. The car also has two 12V batteries and a 155A alternator.
The mine-resistant vehicle is equipped with Run-Flat 14.00-R20 tires with a central tire inflation system for better performance on various surfaces. Brakes include a spring-loaded air-operated parking brake, a fully dry air service braking system, and an optional anti-lock braking system (ABS). Kirpi II 4×4 received disc brakes and an additional anti-lock braking system.
The car has a ground clearance of 400 mm and can reach a maximum speed of 105 km/h. The maximum range is 800 km.
The armored personnel carrier has an entry angle and an exit angle of 35° and 47°, respectively. It can cushion the inclination of the body up to 60% for the crew and overcome the lateral inclination of 30% due to high-quality cushioning. The fording depth is 1.2 m.
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The standard equipment of the “Hedgehog” MRAP includes an air conditioning system, an NNB protection system, and anti-mine seats with five-point seat belts. A self-recovery winch can be installed in the front of the hull. The spare wheel is installed on the left side of the aft part of the hull.
Kirpi is equipped with the latest technology of shock-absorbing seats, a GPS system, a rear-view camera, and an automatic fire extinguishing system.
Fighters enter and exit the vehicle via a large hydraulically operated ramp at the rear of the hull. The Kirpi has five firing ports and four bulletproof windows on both sides of the landing compartment.
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Turkish-made Kirpi armored vehicles have proven themselves very well on the battlefield with the Russian invaders. They saved the lives of our defenders more than once, so we would like to thank our Turkish partners for this modern mine-resistant armored personnel carrier.
We believe in our defenders. The invaders have nowhere to escape from retribution. Death to enemies! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine!