Turkey continues to make inroads in Africa, with Turkish defense and automotive firm Katmerciler winning a new contract to provide 118 armoured vehicles to Kenya.
Kenya will get the Hızır 4×4 Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicles, which Katmerciler deputy chairman Furkan Katmerci said have been hailed all over Africa.
“Our expansion in the African market continues,” Katmerci said.
He said Kenya will be the third country in the world to acquire Katmerciler’s armoured vehicles, adding that the firm aims to complete the delivery over two years.
In December 2020, Turkey and Tunisia signed a $150 million deal for the sale of various Turkish-made defense equipment, including BMC’s Kirpi MRAP vehicles and Nurol’s Ejder Yalcin four-wheel drive armoured combat vehicles.
With a high level of ballistic and mine protection, the Hızır 4×4 is designed and optimized for high performance under extreme operational conditions in rural and urban areas for nine personnel, read a description posted on the firm’s website.
“We believe our exports will continue to rise as more of our vehicles are used in Africa and their visibility increases,” Katmerci said.
Katmerciler exported 989 vehicles and related equipment around the world last year, according to company data.
Kenya had in January this year ordered the 118 four-wheel drive personnel carriers from Katmerciler.
Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson Col. Zipporah Kioko had at the time said the Ministry of Defence was finalizing the deal for the mine-resistant, ambush-protected Hizir vehicles through Turkey’s Export Credit Agency.
“The Hizirs will provide the Kenyan troops protective mobility wherever they are deployed,” a Defence News quoted Katmerciler official as saying.
Kenya’s military will primarily deploy the vehicles for counterterrorism operations against Al-Shabab terror group.
In the past 20 years, Turkey has substantially expanded its economic and defense relationship with Kenya as part of a broader effort to build its presence on the continent.
Turkey also Kenyan police officers to support Kenya’s counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts.