BMC Kirpi has 6×6 configuration variants, but it is popularly known in 4×4 configuration. The vehicle is driven from all its available wheels, making it suitable for carrying out its duties on all terrain.

According to media reports on November 18, 2019, some extremist Kurds attacked a Russian GAZ Tigr and a Turkish BMC Kirpi vehicle in northern Syria. The incident occurred during a joint patrol between Russia and Turkey, according to an agreement reached between the two countries on the safe zone. Russian and Turkish forces once again showed incredible restraint, they did not use force to respond to extremist Kurds. The attack damaged the Russian Army’s Tigr armored vehicle while Turkey’s BMC Kirpi remained unharmed. This shows how well the Turkish Army is prepared! Turkish BMC Kirpi armored vehicles are designed for anti-riot missions as well as being able to prevent attacks with improvised explosive devices. Its main goal is to transport personnel from one place to another while protecting them from any threats. However, it can receive various operational roles by being equipped with the necessary equipment.

The BMC Kirpi is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle developed by the Turkish Army based on the experience they have gained from fighting along the border with Syria and Iraq, where the Kurds’ protests and anti-sabotage activities take place regularly. Designed and manufactured by BMC, the project was launched in 2008. The contract was awarded in 2009, and deliveries commenced in 2014. The Turkish army has ordered a total of 468 vehicles, another 200 were ordered by Turkish law enforcement forces. So far, Kirpi’s export customers include Qatar, Tunisia and Turkmenistan.

BMC Kirpi has 6×6 configuration variants, but it is popularly known in 4×4 configuration. The vehicle is driven from all its available wheels, making it suitable for carrying out its duties on all terrain.

BMC Kirpi is designed with monocoque V-shaped body, which deflect mine blasts, the Kirpi can withstand explosions equivalent to 8 kg of TNT. The vehicle is supplemented with armor, providing excellent resistance to mine and ballistic attacks according to NATO standard Stanag 4569, it can resist 7.62mm armor-piercing bullets and artillery shell splinters. It can also be equipped with armor for protection against RPG rounds if necessary. Automatic fire extinguishing systems are also standard equipment.

To operate Kirpi, a crew of 3 is required, including a driver, gunner and commander. Serving as a battlefield taxi, the passenger compartment can accommodate from 6 to 10 soldiers, depending on the configuration. The crew seats and passengers have absorption systems to protect occupants from the blast impact. Troops access through the side door or the rear door. It also provides roof hatches for use in emergencies and battlefield observations. Passenger compartments also have firing ports, soldiers can use their personal weapons to increase firepower for the vehicle. On the roof of the vehicle is arranged a shield for the gunner. For self-defense, the vehicle can be equipped with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. It is manually operated and can be rotated 360 degrees. A remote-controlled weapon station is also an option available upon request.

The heart of Kirpi is the 8.9-liter Cummins ISL9E3 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 375 horsepower. Other engine options are available depending on customer requirements. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 105 km/h on flat roads and a range of up to 1,000 km at 60 km/h. The Kirpi’s transmission system is fully automatic, the driver can freely choose the four-wheel drive mode or two-wheel drive depending on the terrain.

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The overall weight of Kirpi is 16 tons, length 6 meters, width 2.5 meters and height 2.8 meters. In Northern Syria, the BMC Kirpi vehicles were virtually unscathed by the destruction of the Kurds, all the doors were protected by wire mesh. The vehicle’s high chassis also prevents extremists from climbing to destroy weapons or radio breakers on the roof.

The good preparation of the Turkish Army in the recent incident also makes the Russian Military Police feel admired, although in terms of technical features, the BMC Kirpi is no better than the Tigr, even somewhat inferior. This point also shows that the Turkish Army has been extremely focused on preventing threats from improvised explosive devices and remote control mines. These tactics were commonly used by the Syrian Democratic Forces and Kurdish fighters in ambushes along the Syrian and Iraqi borders. It was these attacks that helped the Turkish Army perfect its defenses on armored vehicles, as well as apply them to the BMC Kirpi vehicles operating in Syria.


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