Turkey’s Katmerciler has confirmed the $91.4 million sale of 118 Hizir armoured personnel carriers to Kenya.
On 28 July the company said the contract, signed with the Kenyan Ministry of Defence, will see the vehicles delivered between 2022 and 2023. It is the company’s single largest export deal.
Furkan Katmerci, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Katmerciler, said the Kenyan sale came after two years of effort. Earlier in the year, he said “We believe our exports will continue to rise as more of our vehicles are used in Africa and their visibility increases.”
In January, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesperson, Colonel Zipporah Kioko, told Kenyan publication The Star that the Department was finalising the deal for the vehicles at a cost of around Sh7.7 billion ($69 million).
Kenya has been seeking the procurement of new armoured personnel carriers since at least 2020, apparently attracting bidders OTT, The Armoured Group and International Armoured Group. The Star reported that three firms had applied for the tender but only Katmerciler met the user specifications.
According to Capital News, the acquisition was approved on 12 January during a procurement board meeting at the Department of Defence after the board reportedly approved the single sourcing of the vehicles.
The new vehicles are set to be used to replace those lost in combat and “to mitigate shortcomings in force protection, firepower and mobility in a changing security environment.” Kenya has lost a number of APCs in Somalia to al Shabaab militants. It mainly operates Puma M26, Bastion, and WZ-551 APCs.
Kenya’s order comes after Uganda received Hizir vehicles last year. At least 15 vehicles were exported to the country in 2020 in the type’s first export sale.
The Hizir 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.