The Nigerian Army appears to have set up a production line for its indigenously developed light off-road vehicle.
Nigerian Army Vehicles Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) was formally commissioned by Chief of the Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai recently .
The army released a statement saying the NAVMC is located in Rigachikun in Kaduna state and includes a production line for what it identified as the NAC-V vehicle, an assembly plant for the B vehicle, an engine overhaul shop, and a paint shop.
It released photographs showing 10 off-road buggies that were the same as the Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV) that was unveiled during the first Nigerian Army Research and Innovation Summit held in Abuja in February 2017. The IPV was displayed armed with 12.7 mm DsHK and 7.62 mm FN MAG machine guns and reportedly weighs 650 kg.
It was stated at that time that the Nigerian Army had invested extensive research into developing the IPV to meet its requirements and that several had already been used in counter-insurgency operations in the northeast of the country.
In its coverage of the NAVMC's inauguration, the News Agency of Nigeria cited Major General Victor Ezugwu, the company's director, as saying it had produced 50 light combat vehicles in the last two months: an apparent reference to the IPV/NAC-V.
Photographs released by the Nigerian Army also indicated that the facility is modifying Toyota pickups by fitting machine gun mounts and benches for passengers. The News Agency of Nigeria reported that 35 Toyota Buffalo vehicles were inaugurated by Lt Gen Buratai.
Lt Gen Buratai also commissioned vehicles that had been refurbished by the NAVMC. The Nigerian Army identified these only as A and B types but released a video showing Otokar Cobra light armoured vehicles, a BTR recovery vehicle, and an MT-LB tracked carrier being tested.