Libya: Turkey delivers BMC Kirpi 4×4 armoured vehicle to GNA

Tripoli - Forces allied with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has received a large shipment of the Turkish-made BMC Kirpi armoured vehicle and arms.

The Government of National Accord published pictures on their official Facebook page, disclosing that they also received ammunition and “quality weapons.” Dozens of the vehicles were observed offloading from a ship, the shipment was through a vessel named "Amazon" that is registered in Moldova.

The GNA is currently fighting to prevent the Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) from taking the Libya capital, Tripoli. GNA spokesman Mohanad Younes had told reporters earlier in May that Turkey and other countries would be delivering military and humanitarian assistance. He also revealed that Turkey wants to achieve “anything that is needed to stop the assault,” including military and civilian help.

Haftar’s forces, the Libyan National Army which claims to be fighting “terrorism” and trying to stabilise Libya are well-equipped as reports from the United Nations reveals that they are being supplied by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt, despite an arms embargo currently in place.

With the arms provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, arms which include aircraft, helicopters as well as a various armoured vehicle, Haftar’s forces were gaining the upper hand in the conflict.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) launched an offensive to control Tripoli in early April. As the fighting drags on, 75,000 people have fled their homes and 126 civilians have been killed, according to the latest U.N. figures.

BMC Kirpi armoured vehicle

The BMC Kirpi (Turkish for "Hedgehog") is a Turkish-made Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) built by BMC, Its armoured hull provides protection against armour-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters.

As an MRAP, The lower hull section is protected against grenades and landmines up to STANAG 4569 Level 3b.  Its chassis is based on a BMC 4x4 truck model 235-16P.

It can be armed with a 7.62 or 12.7 mm machine gun on its small open roof cupola with fold-able protective walls or a remote controlled weapons system. The Kirpi also features a shock absorber seats and interior accessories, a GPS system, rear view camera, and automatic fire suppression system. It has five firing ports and four bulletproof windows on each side of the troop compartment.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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