During the events to mark the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL), 2019, held at Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos, the Nigerian Army, on Saturday 6th July, unveiled several Nigerian-made light armoured fighting vehicles and other equipment of warfare produced by the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company in partnership with Proforce Defence.
At the event, the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai said that “We are all aware that the country is facing numerous security challenges and this has necessitated the Nigerian Army’s current involvement in conducting numerous operations across the country. “
But perhaps, the most impressive feature of the celebrations is the demonstration of Nigeria’s local capacity to manufacture various types of armoured vehicles. Nigeria’s premier defence company DiCON, in collaboration with Command Engineering Depot of the Nigerian Army, has manufactured infantry patrol vehicles, tactical patrol vehicles, sophisticated mine clearance systems and other equipment of warfare.
“ Proforce, a local vehicle company has also displayed its Mine resistant anti-ambush protected vehicles, these are designed 100% at Proforce, in collaboration with the Nigerian army.
“ Already some African countries have purchased armoured vehicles from this company. Nigeria, will in another decade, manufacture most of its military hardware.”
Proforce Improved Ara Mk 2 MRAP
The Improved Ara (Ara II) is a heavily modified derivative of the original Ara (Thunder), Proforce Limited launched the PF Ara 2 MRAP in 2019. Eight of which were delivered to the Nigerian Army in 2018 out of an order of 30. Proforce Nigeria disclosed that the Ara II offers significant enhancements, most notably a fully monocoque hull.
The Proforce Ara Mk 2 features a monocoque vehicle built to STANAG level 4569 protection standards with double skin protection of Level 3A and 3B, and an underbelly of 4A and 4B. This protection level ensures an underbelly with a V-shaped hull design that can withstand a 10 kg mine.
The higher ground clearance of 442 mm and the central tyre inflation system enhances the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and can take this vehicle to urban, mountainous and challenging rural terrains, Proforce said.
Development of the improved version began in January 2018 after feedback from the Nigerian military, with the capacity to carry up to 12 personnel plus equipment, the PF Ara 2 can be configured into multiple MRAP variants for a wide range of missions including recovery, command and control, ambulance, field kitchen and reconnaissance.
The Ara 2 has a length of 7.1 metres and a height of 3.3 m, and a gross weight of 15 tons. A 12.7 mm machinegun can be mounted on a 360-degree roof turret which can be open or fully enclosed. Optional equipment includes slat armour, gun ports and grenade launchers as well as reactive armour, according to Proforce Defence.
Meanwhile, NAVMC, officially established at the beginning of this year, is developing several armoured vehicles, including an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) called the NA-IPV 2 and a light armoured tactical vehicle called NAC-V. Both are 4×4 and feature 360 degree enclosed turrets.