The Nigerian military has taken delivery of dozens of new armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from China, including CS/VP3 vehicles from Poly Technologies and Mengshi vehicles from DongFeng.
Earlier this week, video emerged on social media of dozens of CS/VP3s driving through Lagos. It is believed they were shipped earlier this year, with unconfirmed reports suggested 100 vehicles were delivered around September.
The Nigerian Army has been operating Poly Technologies’ CS/VP3 since at least 2014, making it the vehicle’s second known export customer after Uganda. Nigeria apparently acquired an initial 120 of the vehicles.
The CS/VP3 has a road speed of around 100 km and a range of some 800 km. It can be fitted with two turrets, on the front and rear above the crew compartment, and fitted with 7.62 or 12.7 mm machineguns. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull and all welded steel armour for protection against landmines and small arms. The vehicle can apparently resist a 16 kg TNT blast under each wheel or 8 kg TNT all round. A total of 12 personnel, including the driver and commander, can be accommodated.
Also earlier this week, dozens of DongFeng Mengshi vehicles were spotted at the port in Lagos. Apparently 100 vehicles were cleared through the port.
In August 2020, DongFeng announced that an undisclosed African country had ordered 100 Mengshi (Warrior) 4×4 armoured vehicles through Poly Technologies – this was most likely Nigeria.
The Mengshi family of 4×4 MRAP/off-road vehicles was initially developed by DongFeng from the license-built Humvee, while later generations of the vehicles are of indigenous design. The version supplied to Nigeria appears to be the largely indigenously developed CSK-131 variant, which accommodates a driver and five passengers or a 2 000 kg payload.
The CSK-131 can mount various weapons on top of the roof and can be fitted with a shielded machine gun position or remotely-controlled weapon station. It has been seen armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, and 35 mm automatic grenade launcher.
The latest deliveries come as Nigeria in October commissioned into service 60 new Type 89 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) from China’s Norinco. The Type 89 is powered by a license-built Deutz 320 hp diesel engine giving a top speed of 65 km/h, and can carry 15 soldiers plus crew. The main armament of the basic APC version was a QJC88 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, protected by a cradle-type shield/open turret. All-around armour provided protection from rounds up to 12.7 mm.
Nigeria has previously acquired other equipment from China, including VT-4 main battle tanks, ST-1 8×8 tank destroyers and SH-5 105 mm self-propelled howitzers. The first batch of hardware was delivered from Norinco in April 2020 and is believed to have been order under a $152 million 2019 contract.