Turkey-based BMC makes the Kirpi mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle. (Turkish government)
ANKARA — A fund administered by the Turkish government has put the troubled armored vehicles maker BMC up for sale.
BMC was seized in May due to financial obligations its parent company, Cukurova Holding, failed to fulfill. The group’s debts amounted to $455 million.
In July, Defense News reported that BMC would be put up for sale.
The Saving Deposit Insurance Fund said on Tuesday it set an estimated price of $434 million for the firm that will be sold through a closed envelope auction.
BMC is the maker of the Kirpi, the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. The Kirpi is the country’s first locally designed and developed MRAP.
Last year, the Turkish Armed Forces terminated a contract with BMC for the acquisition of 468 Kirpis. Under a 2009 contract with the Turkish government, BMC produced and delivered an initial 293 Kirpis but failed to comply with the original delivery schedule.
Procurement officials say that in addition to the 175 Kirpis for the Army, the police force could order 20 more. Follow-on orders from the Army and the police are also likely, they say.
The Kirpi can accommodate 13 personnel and can move over any terrain at a maximum speed of 105 kilometers per hour.
In 2011, BMC was in talks to sell scores of Kirpis to Iraq and Afghanistan. Industry sources said they see significant demand for the Kirpi in countries exposed to mine and ballistic attack threats.
Industry sources predict substantial foreign demand for the Kirpi, including in some Asian and African countries. BMC was planning to launch a special production line for a right-hand drive version of the Kirpi, which would help in the marketing to some Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.■