The Gambia has signed an agreement with the Turkish parastatal Katmerciler in order to respond to the country’s intention to increase the number of its peacekeepers in Africa.
The Turkish company’s officials declined to say when exactly the contract was sealed as they would not also comment on the detailed terms of the contract.
Turkish procurement sources put the price of the contract to at least an amount close to $600000.00 for each armored unit, which potentially raises the command of The Gambia to “millions of U.S dollars”.
The Katmerciler armored vehicle manufacturer is a pillar of Turkish President Erdogan’s military and diplomatic offensive in East, and now also, West Africa.
The features of the Katmerciler armored combat vehicle are close to the ones to which 50 members of the Gambia Armed Forces recently trained by the Senegalese Army got familiarized with.
Tested in the Netherlands and certified by NATO, the Hizir can be used in various configurations, such as combat; command and control; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; weapon carrier; ambulance; border security; and reconnaissance.
Depending on the operational requirements, a remote weapon platform can be equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun, a 40mm automatic grenade launcher, or a 7.62mm machine gun. The turret has advanced capabilities and options such as a fire-on-the-move capability, day and night imaging, automatic target tracking, laser range finder for accurate ballistics, last-round warning, and manual backup.
The vehicle, which can carry up to nine personnel, is also equipped with a smoke grenade launcher on the top of the vehicle. It is designed on a V-hull monocoque chassis to increase vehicle and crew survivability by deflecting an upward directed blast — such as from a landmine or improvised explosive device — away from the vehicle.