The vehicles were handed over to the Somali National Army in mid-August, the Turkish embassy announced and received by General Odowaa Yusuf Rage, head of the Somali National Armed Forces. The vehicles will be used by Somalia’s elite Gorgor Commandos in the fight against al-Shabaab. Turkey donated 12 BMC Kirpi APCs to Somalia in August 2020, along with 12 Mitsubishi Triton pickup trucks, fitted with pintle mounts for machineguns.
At Eurosatory 2010, the Turkish defense company BMC unveiled a new 4×4 MRAP armored personnel carrier called Kirpi. The company won a contract to produce some 470 Kirpis for the Turkish Land Forces Command, based on the 16-ton Israeli Hatehof Navigator protected vehicle. This vehicle successfully passed severe tests in accordance with NATO standards. The Kirpi MRAP is also produced for the export market; its first customer was Tunisia, which ordered 40 vehicles in 2014.. Ten soldiers and three crew can be carried. A V-shaped hull provides protection against landmines, while the armored hull provides ballistic protection to STANAG 4569 Level 3. According to BMC, the Kirpi can reach a top speed of 100 km/h, has a range of 800 km and is powered by a Cummins diesel engine delivering 375 horsepower. The gross weight is 19 tonnes.
Turkey has been a major source of aid to Somalia following a famine in 2011 as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa to counter Gulf rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
5-ton BMC 5 245-16 P 4×4 truck is are capable of reaching 100 km/h thanks to its 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The vehicle can climb slopes of up to 60%, and move on side-slopes of up to 30%. Standing out with a high level of maneuverability, BMC 5 Tons Tactical Wheeled Vehicles have been used successfully for years by numerous armies on top of the Turkish one.
BMC Aktan 5-ton 245-16 P truck. (Picture source: BMC Defence)