Katmerciler’s Hızır combat vehicle seen on July 28, 2021. (Courtesy of Katmerciler)

Turkish land vehicles manufacturer Katmerciler, which already has strong business relations in Africa, is exporting its 4×4 Tactical Wheeled Armoured Combat Vehicle Hızır to Gambia, according to a Turkish defence site on Monday.

DefenseTurk said in a report based on open-source information and images, that the company, which previously exported to Kenya, Uganda and an undisclosed country, is now selling its Hızır vehicles to Gambia.

Last year in August, it was reported that Gambia signed an agreement with Katmerciler for the purchase of the vehicle in question, but there has yet been no official announcement on the issue.

The DefenseTurk report said recent images also circulating on social media reveal that camouflaged Hızır vehicles are being delivered to the African country.

Furkan Katmerci, deputy chairperson of the Executive Board of Katmerciler, previously said that the company’s “export move toward friendly countries from different parts of the world, particularly Africa, continues.”

In March 2021, the Gambian delegation headed by Gambian Defence Minister Sheikh Omar Faye visited Turkey where he was welcomed by Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

During the meetings views were exchanged on bilateral and regional security, defence matters and cooperation opportunities in the defence industry.

An updated Military Cooperation and Training Agreement between the two countries was also signed by Akar and Faye following the talks.

The fully indigenous Hızır is a 400-horsepower vehicle, which provides high protection against mines and handmade explosives. It was produced for conflict conditions with high manoeuvrability and ballistic fortification.

It was designed to perform well under conditions of intense conflict in rural and urban areas, providing high-level protection.

After the talks, the updated Military Cooperation and Training Agreement between the two countries was signed by the Minister of National Defense Akar and the Gambian Defense Minister Faye.

Having been developed to meet NATO standards and successfully passing all performance and explosion tests, the vehicle was approved by an independent international testing organization.

Katmerciler in July 2021 signed a contract with the Kenyan Defense Ministry to provide the African country with armoured vehicle products including the Hızır.

The contract, worth $91.4 million, was dubbed the company’s largest single export deal.

(DS)