The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) received its first new batch of mine-resistant vehicles on Monday after a three-year delay due to major financial problems at the manufacturer.
The Kirpi (hedgehog), Turkey’s domestically produced mine resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle, is being manufactured by Turkish carmaker BMC, a subsidiary of Çukurova Holding. In 2009, the TSK signed a deal to purchase 468 Kirpi vehicles from BMC. However, only 278 have been delivered. BMC hasn’t manufactured a single new Kirpi since 2011, citing financial difficulties; the firm confirmed in September 2012 that it was unable to pay the salaries of its 2,500 employees. Making things worse for BMC, Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) seized the firm from the indebted Çukurova Holding in early May 2013.
In November, the TMSF said it had resumed manufacturing the vehicles, and Turkish media outlets reported on Sunday that 25 Kirpis were scheduled to be delivered to the TSK on Monday. This is the first delivery since 2011.