Turkey has delivered 50 used Kirpi armoured vehicles to the Ukrainian military, Defense News website reported on Monday, citing government and industry sources.
The delivery of the Turkish-made mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles follows a government agreement, rather than a deal between Ukraine and the vehicle’s producer, BMC, a government official told the site.
The delivery arrives months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began Feb. 24. Nearly 9,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed in the war with Russia, according to the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, general Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The Turkish Ministry of National Defence delivered “an initial batch of 50 Kirpis to Ukraine,” the government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, adding, “There will be further deliveries.”
A BMC official told Defense News that the deal does not involve the company and that “the Ankara government delivered a batch of Kirpis it had in its military inventory.”
The 4×4 heavy armoured troop carrier is equipped with a mine-explosion-resistant seat and has the capacity to accommodate up to 13 servicemen, including the driver, machine gunner, and a commander.
The carrier has five embrasures for shooting small arms, 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm machine guns can be placed on it. Other features include an emergency hatch to allow the crew to leave the armoured vehicle in the event of an accident.
Turkey signed contracts with BMC for the purchase of 614 units of the Kirpi1 model and 529 units of the Kirpi 2. More than 1,500 Kirpi have been sold to 200 foreign buyers.