Proforce Limited, a Defence Company from Nigeria which pioneers the development and design of armoured vehicles (Tactical vehicles, SUVs and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) have inducted its new Ara 2 (Thunder) Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
Uniquely named ‘Thunder’ due to its perceived aggressive role in a complicated battlefield. First unveiled in August 2017, the Nigerian-made MRAP was even featured in AAD 2016 in a record-breaking development.
This decision to start this project came at a time when the Nigerian military is neck-deep in its war against fanatic Islamic terrorist sect known notoriously as Boko Haram or more informally as ISIS IN WEST AFRICA PROVINCE (ISWAP).
In the IED filled northeastern part of Nigeria where the bitter conflict has been raging for more than seven years, the Nigerian military was forced to adapt to the new modus operandi of the terrorists such as the switch from the usage of soft-skinned Toyota pick-up truck to more sturdy and robust foreign-made MRAPS. This necessitates the development of a locally made variant to ease logistics and to standardize the MRAP fleet.
Proforce Nigeria rose to the challenge in a few short years came up with the Ara (Thunder) which the Nigerian Army quickly ordered some and began a series of near real-time combat simulations and trials to put the new come through its pace.
During the Nigerian Army Day celebration held in Monguno Borno State on the 6th of July 2018, the Nigerian Army inducted ten Ara Proforce Ara Mine Resistance and Protection (MRAP) into service, this version is significantly different from the newly designed Ara 2.
The Improved Ara or Ara 2 is a heavily modified derivative of the original Ara (Thunder), Proforce Limited launched the PF Ara 2 MRAP in 2019. Eight of which were delivered to the Nigerian Army in 2018 out of an order of 30. Proforce Nigeria disclosed that the Ara II offers significant enhancements, most notably a fully monocoque hull.
In April 2019, Proforce Nigeria also delivered five improved Proforce Ara 2 MRAPs vehicles to the Nigerian Army. The five improved Ara (Ara II) are now operating in northeast Nigeria, supporting the fight against the Islamic terror group Boko Haram.
Furthermore, on July 29, Proforce officially inducted the Ara 2 into service, with the Nigerian Army Chief of Staff present during the ceremony. In accordance with the Nigerian Army's requirement, the new Ara 2s is fitted with an indigenous 'snake' turret which can house heavy machine guns including a 12.7mm, .50 cal, 14.5mm, and a 23mm cannon.
Proforce Ara 2 deployed to the frontlines
Recently, photographs which surface on social media shows multiple Proforce Ara 2 MRAPs numbering about four units being transported to the northeastern frontlines by the Nigerian Army. The Ara 2s could be seen with a new desert camouflage scheme secured on flatbed trucks.
Proforce Ara 2 first export order
The Chadian government has signed a contract with Proforce for the sale of twenty improved Ara (Ara 2) mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles.
N’Djamena’s decision to procure the Proforce Ara 2 comes after a major incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) from Libya which was halted by French airstrikes alongside Chadian ground troops.
According to Proforce, the Ara can come with a range of reactive armor blocks or passive armor like slat, applique armor to defeat IEDs, shaped charge warheads and elastic formed penetrators.
It’s unique capability which Proforce claims to give it an edge of contemporary MRAP includes its cutting-edge mobility systems which offer outstanding maneuverability in various terrains even difficult ones.