Turkish Arm Sales to Africa

By defenceWeb

An undisclosed African country has ordered $110 million worth of Arma 8×8 and Cobra II 4×4 vehicles from Turkey’s Otokar, which will begin deliveries next year.

The company said late last month that the contract marks the first order for Arma vehicles from Africa – it has previously sold a large number of Cobra vehicles on the continent.

The contract includes spares and training. Deliveries will begin next year and conclude by the end of 2022.

Otokar General Manager Serdar Görgüç, said, “With this order, our Arma 8×8 vehicle will be an African passenger for the first time; it will serve in the African continent. It also makes us proud that this new order came from a country to which we have been exporting before. Our vehicles, which our user has included in his inventory…became a reference for this new order; they preferred Otokar to meet their 4×4 and 8×8 tactical wheeled armoured vehicle needs.”

Otokar began development of the Arma in 2007 as a company-funded venture, and unveiled the vehicle in 2010. The company describes it as a modular multi-wheeled armoured vehicle with good tactical mobility, high mine and ballistic protection and a variety of medium- and large-calibre weapons integration options, up to and including a 105 mm main gun. A double walled V-shaped hull provides protection against landmines.

The Arma 8×8 is available in various configurations such as armoured personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, fire support vehicle, mortar carrier, short and medium range air defence, mobile gun carrier, command and control vehicle with optional amphibious capability.

Gross vehicle weight is up to 27 000 kg. Up to 14 people, including driver and commander, can be carried. Engine options range in power from 450 to 700 hp.

The 4×4 Cobra vehicle features a common platform that can be adapted for a variety of roles, and the vehicle can be used as a weapons carrier, reconnaissance vehicle, armoured personnel carrier, ambulance, NBC reconnaissance vehicle etc. The Cobra can transport between four and nine people, including the driver, depending on configuration.

The monocoque V-shaped steel hull provides protection against small arms fire (including 5.56 and 7.62 mm rounds), mines, IEDs and shrapnel. The Cobra is powered by a V8 turbo diesel engine, driving all four wheels, which feature independent suspension and a central tyre inflation system. Top speed of the 6 200 kg Cobra is around 115 km/h. Various turrets and weapons systems are available, including the Rafael overhead weapon station (OWS) with Rafael Spike anti-tank missiles, 40 mm grenade launcher and Nexter 20 mm M621 cannon.

The Cobra has been accumulating a steady stream of orders from Africa. Customers on the continent include Burkina Faso, Ghana, Algeria, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tunisia. Chad may also be operating the type.

This article was published by defenceWeb on November 2, 2020.