Nigerian Army receives DongFeng Mengshi armoured vehicles

Nigeria has taken delivery of the first batch of Chinese Dongfeng Mengshi (Warrior) CSK131 4×4 armoured vehicles. The Dongfeng Mengshi CSK131 4×4 armoured vehicles arrived in Nigeria on Sunday 7, November.

The Dongfeng CSK131 is Chinese light protected vehicle developed by Dongfeng company as a private venture.

Photographs showing at least 30 vehicles painted in factory green in Nigeria’s seaport surfaced on social media.

Chinese Dongfeng Menshi CSK131 armoured vehicle in Nigeria.

The model designated “CSK131” is recognizable for its monocoque hull, the distinctive slope of its hood, and the Dongfeng logo on its polygonal grille.

This recent acquisition follows a pattern of procuring certain hardware from China. Over the past few years, the Nigerian government has turned to Chinese defense companies for land-based systems and armed unmanned aerial vehicles. 

State-owned Dongfeng in March this year announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply 100 Warrior 4×4 vehicles to an African customer. Although the Chinese company declined to mention the African client but noted that the order was signed on 15 August 2020 between DongFeng and Poly Technologies and that the deal is the largest purchase contract signed by both companies.

In the contract, Poly Technology will purchase more than 100 DongFeng Warriors and spare parts for the unnamed African customer, likely Nigeria.×4-vehicle-to-african-customer

The Mengshi CSK131 can accommodate a driver and 5 passengers, and it has a payload capacity of 2,000 kg and can carry various cargo, as well as tow light trailers and artillery pieces.

All-round monocoque hull protection is against 7.62×39 mm ball rounds from a 100 m range.

Two large doors are available on each side of the vehicle. For the rear door, the upper part opens upwards while the lower part folds down to form a step. Inside the vehicle, the soldier compartment is equipped with mine blast-resistant seats.

Dongfeng Menshi CSK131 seen in Nigeria.

The Dongfeng CSK131 can mount various weapons on top of the roof turret like a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, a 35 mm automatic grenade launcher or remotely-controlled weapon station.

The vehicle is powered by an ISDe 200-41 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 200 hp. It is a license-produced Cummins engine. Vehicle has a full-time all-wheel drive and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system.

It improved mobility over difficult terrains, such as sand, mud, and snow, and it is equipped with a self-recovery winch.

The vehicle would improve the mobility of Nigerian troops through challenging terrain, and will most likely replace the soft skin vehicles currently being used by the military particularly in the frontline.

The Dongfeng CSK131 4×4 truck can be tailored for different roles including battlefield ambulance, command vehicle or platform for heavy weapons: heavy machine guns, rocket launchers and missiles.

To sustain the counter-insurgency efforts, Nigeria has recently acquired several new Chinese-made hardware. Most recently, the Nigerian Army on Thursday, Oct. 29, inducted 60 recently procured Norinco Type 89 tracked armoured personnel carriers (APC) at the Army School of Infantry in Jaji, Kaduna State.

Norinco has its own line of 4×4’s and MRAPs that are in competition with the Mengshi.

Both armoured fighting vehicles will join several recent acquisitions from China, which includes NORINCO ST1 105 mm Fire Support Vehicle, VT-4 Main Battle Tank, SH-5 105mm self-propelled Artillery System, and  SH-2 122mm self-propelled artillery system. These hardware arrived in April last year. The plethora of hardware from Norinco cost an estimated $152 million in a deal signed in 2019.

The Nigerian Army already operates 120 NORINCO CS/VP3 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) delivered in 2015.

This new acquisition highlights Nigeria’s growing reliance on Chinese-made armament, mainly due to its cost-effectiveness.

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