Ukraine’s AutoKraZ has signed an agreement with Nigeria’s Proforce Limited to jointly assemble military and civilian KrAZ trucks in Nigeria under the brand KrAZ-Proforce.
The agreement was announced on 17 December, with AutoKrAZ saying the vehicles “will be produced to the highest international standards of quality and customer’s needs for both civil and military markets. We believe there are many synergies between our companies that can be leveraged to build powerful industrial capability that Nigeria requires.”
The trucks will be rolled out over the next 12 months, with the vehicles specifically geared for the Nigerian and African markets. “This joint venture will impact the economy of Nigeria by creating new jobs, at the same time contributing to the technological development of the country,” AutoKrAZ said.
Nigeria has in the past received trucks from AutoKrAZ. In 2008 the Nigerian Police acquired 100 4×4 KrAZ-5233 vehicles and from 2015 at least 40 KrAZ-6322 6×6 trucks were delivered to the Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement. Nigerian Army technicians underwent training in the Ukraine in late 2014 prior to the trucks arriving.
The KrAZ-6322 has been manufactured at the KrAZ plant since 1994 and is in service with Egypt, among other nations. It can carry up to 10 000 kg of payload. It can tow 10 000 kg in rough terrain or 30 000 kg on hard roads or aircraft on concrete airfields weighing 75 000 kg. Maximum speed is 80 km/h and range is around 1 500 km.
AutoKrAZ recently supplied Shrke-M mine-resistant armoured vehicles, based on the KrAZ-5233 chassis, to Burkina Faso.
Proforce, established in 2008, builds armoured personnel carriers, mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles (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.
Proforce operates a 40 000 square metre facility in Ogun State and a 25 000 square metre facility in River State. While it is geared towards meeting Nigerian security needs, the company has also supplied the Rwandan government with APCs and done business with the United Nations.
Proforce is delivering Ara (Thunder) 4×4 armoured personnel carriers to the Nigerian Army, which has deployed them to the country’s northeast to fight Boko Haram insurgents. In mid-2019 Proforce secured an order from Chad for 20 improved Ara 2 armoured personnel carriers.
One of Proforce’s most prominent products is the PF1 armoured personnel carrier, which has been upgraded to the PF2 with enhanced protection to B7 level and all-terrain tyres which improve ground clearance. Proforce has achieved exports of its APCs to Rwanda, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. These vehicles have been deployed with United Nations’ missions.