BMC Kirpi II (4x4) has a maximum range of 750km. Image courtesy of BMC.
The Kirpi 6x6 vehicle is an extended version of the 4x4 model. Image courtesy of BMC.
Kirpi (4X4) Ambulance has a customised interior. Image courtesy of BMC.

BMC Kirpi is a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP) manufactured by Turkish commercial and military vehicle manufacturer BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret.

Based on the Navigator mine-protected carrier designed by Israeli firm Hatehof (now Carmor Integrated Vehicle Solutions), Kirpi was first unveiled to the public at the Eurosatory defence and security exhibition held in Paris, France, in 2010.

The Kirpi (Hedgehog) was developed and designed to meet the requirements of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC).

BMC Kirpi design and features

Kirpi MRAP resembles a heavy truck equipped with armour protection. The front section of the vehicle houses the engine, while the middle portion accommodates crew. A troop compartment extends from the centre to the rear section of the hull. Equipped with mine blast-resistant seats, the vehicle has the capability to accommodate up to 13 personnel, including a driver, gunner, and commander.

The platform measures 7.35m long, 3.2m high and 2.64m wide. The standard 4×4 version has a curb weight of 18,085kg, a gross weight of 19,710kg, and a payload capacity of 1,625kg.

Kirpi MRAP features a uni-body armoured cabin, four bullet-proof windows, and shock-mitigation seats. Other features include armoured windshields and an emergency hatch to enable the occupants to exit the platform in the event of a mishap.

Variants of BMC Kirpi

The Kirpi is available in several variants of Kirpi 4×4, Kirpi II (4×4), Kirpi 6×6, and Kirpi 4X4 Ambulance.

Kirpi and Kirpi II 4×4 are fitted with specialised equipment, such as an automatic fire extinguisher system, a tracking system to identify the location of gunfire or other weapon fire, and a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection system.

A robotic arm is integrated into the customised version to enable the detection and safe removal of explosive materials. Mission systems aboard the Kirpi II 4×4 include tachograph, radio, driver information system, vision systems, and position and navigation system.

The Kirpi 6×6 variant measures 7.92m long and can accommodate 15 personnel. The vehicle features a custom-designed V-shaped underbody and offers a payload capacity of 3,500kg.

The ambulance version retains the general technical features incorporated in other variants of the family, while integrating a customised interior to perform ambulance duties.

The vehicles are equipped with a self-recovery winch, smoke grenade launchers, and a jammer. The Kirpi family can offer protection against rocket-propelled grenades.

BMC Kirpi armament and self-protection

BMC Kirpi MRAP can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. A remote-controlled weapons system can be integrated into the vehicle.

Kirpi’s V-shaped hull is made of steel armour and can deflect mine blasts away from the vehicle. The vehicle offers protection from armour-piercing rounds, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other ballistic threats up to STANAG 4569 Level 3.

Engine and mobility of Turkish MRAP

The BMC Kirpi platform is powered by a Cummins ISL9E3 375 Euro-3 diesel engine that delivers a maximum power of 375ps (275kW). The six-cylinder engine is mated to a fully automatic Allison 3000 series transmission system with six forward and one reverse gear. The vehicle also has two 12V batteries and a 155 amp alternator.

“The vehicle has a ground clearance of 400mm and can attain a maximum speed of 105km/h.”

The MRAP vehicle has 14.00-R20 run-flat tires equipped with a central tire inflation system for improved performance on different surfaces. The brakes include an air-operated spring parking brake, a fully air dry type service brake system, and an optional anti-lock braking system (ABS). The Kirpi II 4×4 features disc brakes and ABS.

The vehicle has a ground clearance of 400mm and can attain a maximum speed of 105km/h. The maximum range of the vehicle is 800km.

The 4×4 wheeled vehicle has an angle of approach of 35° and an angle of departure of 47°. It can scale grades of up to 60% and negotiate a side slope of 30%. The fording depth of the vehicle is 1.2m.

BMC Kirpi orders and deliveries

BMC was awarded a contract by the TLFC to produce and deliver 468 Kirpi vehicles in 2009. BMC delivered 293 vehicles until the contract was terminated by the Turkish Government in May 2013.

Tunisia became the first export customer of the platform when the country ordered 100 armoured vehicles in 2014.

In March 2018, BMC received a contract to provide 50 Kirpi MRAPs to Qatar.

The Turkish Government signed a contract with BMC for 529 armoured vehicles in August 2017. The contract included an unspecified quantity of Kirpi mine-resistant vehicles.

BMC Kirpi MRAP vehicles are also in service with the Turkmenistan Army.