By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
Following efforts by military authorities to ensure complete clearance of terrorism, the Nigerian Army on Thursday took delivery of four (4) brand new Mine Resistant Armoured Personnel Carriers (MRAPs) at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Asokoro, Abuja.
The 4 MRAPs were commissioned by the Chief of Defence Staff. General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai disclosed that the 4 specialized armoured anti-ambush vehicles which were built by Proforce in collaborators with Nigerian Army are part of 20 such mines resistant vehicles to be supplied by Proforce.
He said already about eight of the MRAPs have been supplied while another five are being expected with a further five expected in future pointing out that they will be deployed to the North East and other volatile areas in the North West.
Lt. General Buratai disclosed that apart from the MRAPs built by Proforce, the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army Vehicles Manufacturing plant, were working on another set of Mine Resistant vehicles to complement the present available vehicles.
The MRAP vehicles are a result of collaboration between the Nigerian Army and Proforce Limited and is in line with the Local Content Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the desire and commitment of the COAS for the Army to be self reliant and the need to develop indigenous production of Defence hardwares.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Army recently established the first ever Army vehicle Manufacturing company in Nigeria and it has already comnenced manufcture/production of various types of combat and bullets proof vehicles, ballistic helmets, protective jackets among other military hardwares.
An official of Proforce while briefing the Chief of Defence Staff on the workability of the MRAPs, stated that the ‘Thunder’ as it is also called, is a 17 ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle designed to provide ultimate protection for high degree threats.
He added the MRAP is integrated with a fully independent suspension system which provides controlled and superior mobility for all road conditions.
It is fitted with a powerful 400 HP Cumins engine with Allison transmission which provides the MRAP, the ability to deal with extremely rough terrain.