The Nigerian Army through Defence Industrial Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has unveiled the new indigenous tactical Mine Resistance and Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle named Ezugwu MRAP in honour of Major General Victor Ezugwu doggedness and marksmanship cum ruthless onslaught against terrorists and insurgents in Nigeria’s northeast region. As seen in video shared by our resource person, the Nigerian Army Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai briefing the honorable minister of Science and Technology Engr, Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu at the ceremony stated that “Gen Ezugwu fought gallantly in the North East and he did it professionally.” Watch video here
DICON was established by an Act of Parliament in 1964, is mandated with the responsibility to produce weapons and other equipment for the country’s Armed Forces and reduce reliance on reluctant foreign suppliers. DICON, prior to the appointment of Maj Gen Ezugwu as Director General, was described as one of the Nigeria’s moribund facilities and as such a challenge to the ongoing fight against insurgency and terrorism. This contributed to operational inefficiency as Nigeria could only depend on imported military hardwares and munitions which are not easy to come by. Ezugwu’s predecessor Gen Ogunkale in his valedictory speech disclosed that when he took over the mantle of leadership in DICON, the level of efficiency of most of the machines at the Ordnance Factory were rated below 10 percent which implied dim hope for resumption of production activities.
In his remark while taken over the mantle of leadership as DG DICON, General Ezugwu stated that, “My tour of duty in DICON will be focusing majorly on local contents. I believe Nigeria has vast human and material resources which if well harnessed we can push our foreign partners or suppliers out of business in the country’s huge market.” In working the talk he commenced research and innovative measures for the production of what is known today as Ezugwu MRAP in collaboration with Command Engineering Depot (CED), Nigeria to replace obsolete combat vehicles in the Nigerian Army’s inventory.
It was gathered that Ezugwu MRAP is reinforced to withstand small arms fire ranging from 7.62 mm to 12.7 mm from a distance of 10 metres. Using innovative and revolutionary flat-bottom technology, it can resist Improvised explosive and mine blast up to 12 kg under the vehicle.
Ezugwu MRAP features a double enclosed turret which can traverse 360 degree to neutralize any enemy on-sight. Both turrets can mount all type of munition in the Nigerian Army armory.
Mr Fredrick a member of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre who was on ground during the commissioning ceremony, as seen on his social media handle stated that Ezugwu MRAP is equipped with 360’ telescopic long range PTZ camera for enhanced situational awareness which makes it more sophisticated that other MRAPs unveils by the Nigerian Defence . For exceptional maneuverability, Ezugwu MRAP comes with an independent suspension system, a 4×4 wheel drive and a 615 WD turbo Diesel engine, mounted in the front of the armored hull.
It is believed that, Ezugwu MRAP was designed from the ground up on the Tatra 4×4 chassis which was also used on the DICON-Proforce Ara MRAP series.
The commandant of CED on behalf of the DG DICON express gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai for his will power which was seen in the speedy release of funds which made the military expedition a huge successes. The Chief of Army Staff in his effort to totally surmount the contemporary security challenges in the North Eastern Nigeria gave directive for immediate induction of the MRAP to the war front and also for DICON to further produce and induct additional 130 pieces to the front-line.