ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish government has delivered 50 used mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles to the Ukrainian military, government and industry sources tell Defense News.
The delivery of the Kirpi vehicles was the result of a government agreement, rather than an agreement between Ukraine and BMC, which manufactures the Kirpi, according to a government official. Ukraine is currently fighting a Russian invasion, which began on February 24.
“As part of the deal, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense delivered a first batch of 50 kirpis to Ukraine,” the government source told Defense News on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to the media. “There will be other deliveries.”
A BMC official confirmed to Defense News the delivery and structure of the contract.
“This agreement does not implicate our company in any way,” the BMC official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity. “The Ankara government delivered a batch of Kirpis that it had in its military inventory.”
The Kirpi 1 is a heavy armored personnel carrier. Its design work started in 2008, with the first prototype available in 2009. The Turkish government signed a contract with BMC to purchase 614 Kirpi 1 vehicles, and the ground forces have already used the vehicle type in the field . More than 1,500 Kirpi vehicles have been sold, including more than 200 to foreign customers.
In 2018, BMC presented the Kirpi 2 and won another Turkish contract for 529 units.
The Kirpi is equipped with seat shock absorbers, a GPS system, a reversing camera and an automatic fire extinguishing system. It has five small arms embrasures and four bulletproof windows on each side of the cockpit.
The vehicle can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun and is also available with remote-controlled weapon stations.