Nigeria’s Proforce is delivering improved Ara armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the Nigerian Army, while export customers have requested 20 of the type.
The latest version of the Ara was displayed during the Nigerian Army Day celebrations on 6 July. It features a fully monocoque hull (the previous Ara used a Tatra 2.30 TRK 4×4 truck chassis). Development of the improved version began in January 2018 after feedback from the Nigerian military.
The Nigerian Army took delivery of five improved Ara vehicles at the beginning of March this year, and deployed them to the country’s northeast to fight Boko Haram insurgents. Proforce delivered eight earlier model Aras to the Nigerian Army in 2018.
The latest Ara 2 is built to STANAG level 4569 protection standards with double skin protection of Level 3A and 3B, and an underbelly of 4A and 4B. This protection level ensures an underbelly with a V-shaped hull design that can withstand a 100 kg mine. The higher ground clearance of 442 mm and the central tyre inflation system enhances the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and can take this vehicle to urban, mountainous and challenging rural terrains, Proforce said.
With the capacity to carry up to 12 personnel plus equipment, the 15 ton Ara 2 can be configured into multiple variants including recovery, command and control, ambulance, field kitchen and reconnaissance. A 12.7 mm machinegun can be mounted on a 360 degree roof turret which can be open or fully enclosed.
Proforce, established in 2008, builds armoured personnel carriers, MRAPs, armoured private and commercial passenger vehicles, patrol boats, hard armour plates, and ballistic helmet and vests. The company is diversifying into new areas, including communications and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Meanwhile, the first pictures of the NAC-V armoured vehicle built by the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) have emerged. The 4×4 vehicle is intended to replace soft-skinned vehicles in the Nigerian Army.
NAVMC, officially established at the beginning of this year, is developing several armoured vehicles, including an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) called the NA-IPV 2. Both are 4×4 and feature 360 degree enclosed turrets.
The NAVMC NAC-V 4×4 offers protection from small arms fire up to STAGNAG level 2-3 and can withstand a 6 kg TNT blast. It also features a night vision camera and the option for an indigenous Remotely Operated Weapons System (ROWS).