The Nigerian Army is now operating Tares armoured vehicles after having just taken delivery of the new type from Saudi Arabia’s ERAF Industrial Company.
In August, photos circulated online of around 15 Tares vehicles being delivered on the back of trucks from Onne Port in Rivers State. Official confirmation of the acquisition came on 25 September when the Nigerian Army announced it had begun a two-week long training programme for its personnel on the newly acquired mine-protected vehicles.
The training course was declared open by Brigadier General Olushola Diya, Director of Training at the Department of Army Training (DAT). He said the new vehicles will aid Nigerian Army operations against insurgents and protect troops from explosions, ambushes and surprise attacks.
Diya said the planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been a major problem in the fight against terrorism in the northeast of the country, and troops will be much better protected in the new vehicles.
Training is being carried out by Altum Solutions, which offers aircrew, mine clearance/explosive ordnance disposal, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training as well as advisory services and operational support, including logistics, and procurement of vehicles (armoured and all-terrain).
The Tares 4×4 is powered by a 6.7 litre V8 diesel engine developing 330 hp and giving a top speed of 120 km/h and range of 600 km. It has mine protection up to NATO STANAG Level II. The Nigerian Army vehicles are fitted with roof-mounted turrets.
ERAF was established in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and specialises in land, naval and power systems, including armoured vehicles and remote weapon stations.