Nigerian vehicle manufacturer Innoson has signed an agreement to produce armoured vehicles for the Nigerian Army, with 100 to be supplied immediately.
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company said on 3 January that it had partnered with the Nigerian Army to conceptualize, design, modify and produce armoured fighting vehicles and other military hardware.
The agreement came after a meeting on 2 January between the management of Innoson Vehicles led by the Chairman, Dr Innocent Chukwuma, and the leadership of the Nigerian Army led by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai at Army Headquarters in Abuja.
Buratai said the Nigerian Army had asked Innoson to supply three vehicles last year, prompting it to acquire 70 more, which were deployed in the northeast for Operation Lafiya Dole to neutralise Boko Haram terrorists.
Now, Innoson is to immediately supply 100 vehicles; identify requirements for the production of armoured fighting vehicles at the Nigerian Army Central Workshop in Kaduna and enhance the capacity of Nigerian Army personnel to actively participate in the implementation of these joint ventures.
Innoson this month handed over three newly built vehicles for Nigerian Army trials – these vehicles were the IVM G80 Bigger Jeep, IVM G40 Smaller Jeep and IVM Granite Pickup.
Innoson Vehicles in 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Air Force “for the development and promotion of joint activities to sustain the maintenance of the Nigerian Air Force Air Assets and other associated Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) to enable the Nigerian Air Force to continuously carry out its constitutional obligations to the Nation.”
Innoson previously delivered an unspecified number of G12 4×4 utility vehicles to the Nigerian Army, which were handed over in November 2016, but does not currently produce any armoured vehicles.
The Nigerian military has acquired armoured vehicles from other domestic manufacturers – for instance it has ordered Ara (Thunder) armoured personnel carriers from Proforce, with production done by Profoce in conjunction with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON). Deliveries were expected from 2017. Proforce was established in 2008 and describes itself as the only private armoured vehicle manufacture in Nigeria specialising in armoured vehicles and personal protection.
One of Proforce’s main products is the Pf-1 armoured personnel carrier (APC), which has been upgraded to the Pf-2 with bigger wheels and other improvements. The company recently delivered six Pf-2s to the River State police.
The Nigerian Army’s Corps of Engineers has also built the Igirigi armoured personnel carrier for the military, which hopes to induct hundreds into service.
South Africa’s DCD Protected Mobility partnered with Nigeria’s Mekahog on the Ikri APC, which was developed from DCD’s Springbuck for the Nigerian Federal Police.
Nigeria produces a growing range of domestic military hardware, from unmanned aerial vehicles to small arms. In early 2017 it unveiled a wide range of locally-made weapons and equipment which included vehicle gun turrets, an Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV), a Combat Fighting Motorcycle (CFM), an Automated Sniper Rifle (ASR) and firing pins for the Soviet-made D30 howitzer.