The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has unveiled a new locally developed armoured personnel carrier, the Ezugwu.
It is named after Major General Victor Ezugwu, who earned recognition for his efforts to combat Boko Haram extremists. At the end of last year he was appointed as the Managing Director/CEO of DICON.
The new vehicle, described by DICON as an MRAP (mine-protected, ambush resistant armoured vehicle), is manufactured in collaboration with the Nigerian Army Command Engineering Depot (CED). It is armoured against small arms fire and using flat-bottom armour technology, its hull can withstand a 7 kg TNT explosion whilst each wheel can withstand a 12 kg TNT explosion.
Unusually, the vehicle has two weapons turrets which can traverse 360 degrees and a telescopic long range camera for improved situational awareness.
The 4×4 Ezugwu is fitted with an independent suspension system and is powered by a Chinese WD615 turbodiesel engine.
It is believed the Ezugwu was designed on a Tatra 4×4 chassis, according to African Military Blog. The Nigerian Army apparently plans to acquire 130 Ezugwu vehicles.
The vehicle was unveiled in late September by Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai at the Abuja International Trade Fair Complex during a Nigerian Army Day event. Also on show were heavy and light infantry patrol vehicles.
The Nigerian military has been increasing its share of locally produced weapons, with Proforce delivering its domestically manufactured Ara APCs to the Army. In August, another four vehicles were taken into service, bringing the total to about 20. Proforce has also sold Aras to Chad, which finalised a contract for 20 in June this year.
The recently established Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) is developing several armoured vehicles for the Nigerian military. These include an Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV) fitted with a mounted heavy machinegun; a Tactical Patrol Vehicle with seating for eight personnel, and a Light Tactical Vehicle armoured personnel carrier.