Uğur Ergan - Hürriyet / Ankara, Aug 21 () - The Turkish government and army have agreed on upgrading its armoured vehicles in the aftermath of a landmine blast which caused the death of soldiers inside a lightly armoured vehicle in Turkey’s southeast.
The decision to upgrade its fleet of armoured vehicles came in yesterday’s security meeting headed by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, where the defense industry was on the agenda.
Gen. Hulusi Akar attended the meeting as General Chief of Staff for the first time.
The number of Kirpi vehicles, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, will be increased. The armoured Kobra, which is less resistant to mines, is more often used by the army during the transportation of personnel in regions where terror activities are on the rise.
On Aug. 19, eight soldiers were killed inside a Kobra-type armoured vehicle in the Pervari district of southeastern Siirt province when a remote controlled landmine was detonated by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.
The Turkish army owns more than 600 Kirpi vehicles.
Kirpi vehicles can accommodate up to 13 personnel and can move over any ground condition at a maximum speed of 105 kilometers per hour. New jammers are also going to be bought.
The purchase of more MRAP vehicles, used by the U.S. army to withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes, was also discussed. These vehicles were widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. soldiers.