Correction: A previous version of this story included an erroneous image caption. The vehicle pictured was not the Kirpi.
ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish government has delivered 50 used mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to the Ukrainian military, government and industry sources told Defense News.
The delivery of the Kirpi vehicles was the result of a government agreement, rather than a deal between Ukraine and BMC, which makes the Kirpi, according to a Turkish government official. Ukraine is currently fighting off a Russian invasion, which began Feb. 24.
“Under the deal, the Turkish Ministry of National Defence delivered an initial batch of 50 Kirpis to Ukraine,” the government source told Defense News on the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to the media. “There will be further deliveries.”
A BMC official confirmed to Defense News the delivery and the structure of the contract.
“This deal does not involve our company in any way,” the BMC official said, also requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. “The Ankara government delivered a batch of Kirpis it had in its military inventory.”
The Kirpi 1 is a heavy armored troop carrier. Its design work took off in 2008, with the first prototype available in 2009. The Turkish government signed a contract with BMC for the procurement of 614 Kirpi 1 vehicles, and the Land Forces have already used the vehicle type in the field. More than 1,500 Kirpi vehicles have been sold, with more than 200 to foreign customers.
In 2018, BMC introduced the Kirpi 2 and won another Turkish contract for 529 units.
The Kirpi is equipped with seat dampers, a GPS system, a rearview camera and an automatic fire-extinguishing system. It has five small arms embrasures and four bulletproof windows on each side of the passenger compartment.
The vehicle can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun, and is also available with remote controlled weapon stations.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.