Uganda is the previously undisclosed customer for Hizir armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Turkey’s Katmerciler, which shipped the vehicles last year.
Around a dozen of the vehicles were seen driving through the streets of Uganda this month. When Katmerciler announced the export of the vehicles to ‘an African customer’ last year it released a photo showing 15 Hizirs being loaded onto a ship.
Katmerciler at the time said the order, placed in 2019, was worth $20 million. The vehicles were expected to arrive at their final destination at the end of 2020.
Making a statement after the first batch of Hizir vehicles were loaded for shipping, Katmerciler Deputy Chief Executive Furkan Katmerci said, “Hizir was our first armoured combat vehicle export. We want to repeat the export success we have achieved by civilian equipment for many years in the field of defence. We opened another door with Hizir. We will continue this success with our Hizir and other qualified vehicles that we have developed for different needs.”
The Hizir vehicle recently entered service with Turkey’s military. It can carry nine personnel, including driver and commander. The vehicle has a gross weight of 16 tons and has a V-hull for landmine and improvised explosive device protection. It is powered by a Cummins six-cylinder diesel developing 400 hp, giving a top speed of 110 km/h and range of 700 kilometres.
The Hizir can be built in a number of configurations, including combat, command and control, CBRN, weapon carrier, ambulance, reconnaissance and border security. It can be fitted with an Aselsan SARP turret with machineguns or an automatic grenade launcher.
Katmerciler was established in 1985 and has developed 30 vehicles, ranging from fire trucks to armoured vehicles and riot control vehicles. Its defence and security portfolio includes the Khan 4×4 armoured personnel carrier with seating for eight, the Nefer 4×4 armoured command and patrol vehicle, Toma riot control vehicle, a 4×4 armoured ambulance built on a Ford F550 chassis, Ates armoured border security vehicle, and Kirac criminal investigation vehicle. It also offers an armoured bakhoe loader, remote controlled armoured tracked excavator, armoured fuel tanker, armoured water tanker, armoured tipper, armoured trailer, armoured remote controlled bulldozer, remote controlled firefighter, armoured telescopic forklift and a riot control shield.
In June 2019 Katmerciler received an order for water cannon vehicles worth $2.2 million from an African customer.
Uganda has ordered relatively little military equipment in the last five years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfers Database, over the last five years Uganda has received 45 Mamba/Nyoka APCs, and 31 Bastion, 10 RG-33 and 15 Cougar APCs for use in Somalia.
On the aviation side, Uganda has taken delivery of a single DA 42 light aircraft, two L-39Z trainers, one Mi-24P attack helicopter, two Cessna Caravans and five Bell UH-1 Huey transport helicopters.