The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has unveiled a new indigenous tactical Mine Resistance and Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Named Ezugwu MRAP in honour of Major General Victor Ezugwu for his stellar combat performance against insurgents in Nigeria's northeast region.
DICON which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1964, is tasked with the responsibility to produce weapons and other equipment for the country’s Armed Forces and reduce reliance on reluctant foreign suppliers.
Ezugwu tactical MRAP was manufactured by DICON in collaboration with Command Engineering Depot (CED), Nigeria to replace obsolete combat vehicles in the Nigerian Army's inventory.
According to a response to our Request for Information, the Ezugwu MRAP is reinforced to withstand small arms fire ranging from 7.62 mm to 12.7 mm from a distance of 10 metres.
Using innovative and revolutionary flat-bottom technology, it can resist Improvised explosive and mine blast up to 12 kg under the vehicle.
Ezugwu MRAP features a double enclosed turret which can traverse 360 degrees. Both turrets can mount all type of munition in the Nigerian Army inventory.
Also, a prominent feature is the driver's hull penetrating vision block mounted at the right hand side, similar to the South African made Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Fredrick Ikerionwu, a member of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, revealed that a 360’ telescopic long range PTZ camera for enhanced situational awareness is fitted.
For exceptional maneuverability, Ezugwu MRAP comes with an independent suspension system, a 4x4 wheel drive and a 615 WD turbo Diesel engine, mounted in the front of the armored hull.
It is believed that, Ezugwu MRAP was designed from the ground up on the Tatra 4x4 chassis which was also used on the DICON-Proforce Ara MRAP series.
The protracted war to defeat the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists exposes the flaw in lacking a viable indigenous defence industrial complex.
The lack of a credible Nigerian made weapons production capacity has severely limits the Nigerian military's campaign against the Jihadi group Boko Haram.
However, Nigeria has began gaining grounds in weapons development. For instance, Maj Gen VO Ezugwu through the Military Skills and Acquisition Training Programme package in consultation and guidance of the Mechanical Engineering Department ABU Zaria and National Automative Council Abuja also designed and built the TYB ROVER, a light infantry patrol vehicle.