In an ongoing effort to bolster operational effectiveness and safeguard its personnel, the Nigerian Army Headquarters Department of Army Training (DAT) embarked on a two-week training program. The primary focus of this training is to equip military personnel with essential knowledge and practical skills related to the recently acquired NA TARES Mines Protective Vehicles (MPV). The training commenced on Monday, September 25, 2023, with an official opening ceremony held at the Headquarters Guards Brigade Auditorium in Abuja.
Brigadier-General Diya, a key figure in this endeavor, emphasized the critical role that these vehicles will play in countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have posed a significant challenge in the fight against terrorism, particularly in the North East region.
He underscored the importance of these MPVs in protecting troops and minimizing casualties. Brig.-Gen. Diya highlighted that the primary goal of the training is to ensure that soldiers who will operate and employ these vehicles in counterterrorism efforts have firsthand experience and familiarity with their capabilities.
One of the trainers, Mr. Cedric Valentine from Altum Solutions, shed light on the significance of the mine-protected vehicles. These vehicles are purposefully designed to shield military personnel, troops, and drivers from potential threats in the field. He emphasized that the training encompasses both theoretical and practical aspects to familiarize personnel with these advanced MPVs, which are a significant addition to the Nigerian Army’s resources.
Mr. Valentine explained that the training seeks to maximize the potential of these vehicles, ensuring the safety of troops inside them. These vehicles, although different from their predecessors, offer enhanced features such as greater speed and power, underscoring their importance in safeguarding troops in the field.
The TARES Mines Protective Vehicles (MPV) is a flagship armored vehicle produced by ERAF, a company specializing in the design, development, production, support, and enhancement of military and specialized commercialized vehicles in Saudi Arabia. These vehicles have been customized to provide substantial protection against IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Furthermore, they are highly adaptable, with full customization available to meet specific customer requirements.
Key features of the TARES MPV include a 360-Degree Situational Awareness system that provides a comprehensive view of the surrounding environment, a Blast Attenuation Seats designed to minimize the impact of explosions on occupants, and Flat Bottom Blast Resistant Technology that provides additional protection against blasts from below.
Powered by a Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel or 4 Stroke Diesel engine, the Tares MPV is available in different configurations, including tactical, lightweight scout, police and security, and ambulance versions. It can also serve as a command and control vehicle or a mobile mortar platform.
Optional attachments such as mine rollers or IED arms can be fitted for mine clearance operations.
The acquisition of the TARES Mines Protective Vehicles (MPV) marks a significant stride in enhancing the Nigerian Army’s capabilities to counter terrorism effectively and protect its personnel. These advanced MPVs, with their state-of-the-art features, are poised to play a pivotal role in bolstering security operations across the country, particularly in areas where IEDs pose a considerable threat.
As the training program progresses and military personnel become well-versed in the operation of these vehicles, the Nigerian Army is poised to further strengthen its commitment to national security and peacekeeping efforts. The combination of advanced technology and well-trained personnel will undoubtedly contribute to a safer and more secure environment in regions facing security challenges.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army recently acquired a plethora of armoured vehicles from a number of diverse suppliers. Nigerian Army is now operating several Isotrex Phantom-2 armoured vehicles acquired two to three years ago.
The UAE-built ISOTREX`s Phantom 2 is a new version of the 4×4 B6 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), featuring a 5 door configuration, with 360° gun turret and with two or three escape hatches. The vehicle features 8 Gun Ports (3 Left, 3 Right & 2 Rear), Run Flat Tire Devices, Ballistic steel-case fuel tank protection, Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), FLIR Driver Aid System, Navigation System, and Automatic Fire Suppression System.
Likewise, Nigeria has taken delivery of the several batches 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.
Also, Chinese Poly Technologies has supplied CS/VP3 Bigfoot Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Nigerian Army after the type’s superior performance in the war against terrorists. In 2015, Poly Technologies delivered 120 CS/VP3 Bigfoot MRAP (Mine- Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle) to Nigeria.