HOW DOES THE NIGERIAN ARMY’S NEW CS/VP3 BIGFOOT MRAP FARE WHEN COMPARED TO THE EXCELLENT CASSPIR AND GILA MRAP TYPES?

GENTLEMEN, looks like we landed a REAL monster here in the BIGFOOT MRAP. It is up there with the best in that category A.

COMPARE

GILA MRAP

Weighs in at 13.6 tonnes

Carries 2+9 men

* 12 units definitely fielded by the Nigerian Army

ANTI-AMBUSH BALLISTIC PROTECTION

* provides NATO STANAG Level 1 ballistic protection,meaning it is proof against fire from small arms firing 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. Add-on armour can raise this to Level 3.

MINE RESISTIVITY

* designed to survive a blast in excess of 14kg of TNT (i.e two 7kg blasts) under any of its wheels and is repairable in the field at low cost following blast damage.

CS/VP3 BIGFOOT MRAP

weighs in at 15 tons

carries 2+10 men

ANTI AMBUSH BALLISTIC PROTECTION

* provides NATO STANAG Level 1 ballistic protection,meaning it is proof against fire from small arms firing 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. Add-on armour can raise this

MINE RESISTIVITY

* designed to survive a blast in excess of 16kg of TNT (i.e two 8kg blasts) under any of its wheels and is repairable in the field at low cost following blast damage.

CASSPIR MRAP

weighs in at 12.5 tons

carries 2+12 men

* 5 units reportedly in use by the Nigerian Army

ANTI AMBUSH BALLISTIC PROTECTION

* provides NATO STANAG Level 1 ballistic protection,meaning it is proof against fire from small arms firing 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. Add-on armour can raise this

MINE RESISTIVITY

* designed to survive a blast in excess of 21kg of TNT (i.e three 7kg blasts)under any of its wheels and is repairable in the field at low cost following blast damage.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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24 Responses to HOW DOES THE NIGERIAN ARMY’S NEW CS/VP3 BIGFOOT MRAP FARE WHEN COMPARED TO THE EXCELLENT CASSPIR AND GILA MRAP TYPES?

  1. startrek says:

    The BigFoot was a very conscious decision for the entire DEFSEC community.

    Congrats Nigeria

  2. tim says:

    Let’s just pray,they buy it in high numbers, maybe 500 in one swoop…..and no 10 or 20’s hopefully!!!

    • igbi says:

      I don’t know if you guys can remember but some weeks (perhaps a month or two) a Nigerian official (I think it was the defense minister or the presidential spokesman or someone else) thanked China for helping us in the local mass production of APCs.

  3. startrek says:

    can’t say the precise nos
    just about the tenth dozen

    • beegeagle says:

      You are suggesting that about 120 units have been acquired. Useable haul but it does not go far enough. Bearing in mind the fact that these were acquired before the special US$1 billion Procurement Bourse was announced, let us double that number right away.

      As stated above, we can work out China EXIM Bank-financed JVs with Poly Technologies and NORINCO for the local production of BigFoot MRAPs and WZ 551 (Type 92) IFVs. Let’s do it, people.

      Mek we nuh look anybody face abeg. Oyibo don too use us do yeye.

  4. beegeagle says:

    NEVER…say wetin hapun.

    The only sensible thing to do now after the failed gradualist approach to procurement which has left our nation open to international ridicule is to reach for a direct shipment from China of a MINIMUM of fully built-up 250 units while Poly Technologies Incorporated, partners to our own DICON, establish an assembly line in-country for a further 350 units…technology transfer and with full maintenance facilities for same emplaced at Kaduna, Maiduguri and Benin.

    This number should be able to cover the requirement for a full equipped COIN division – 7 Division, and with a minimum of four units going to each Signals Regt, eight units for each armoured battalion/Arty Regt/Engineers Regt and eight units for each mechanised/motorised battalion.

    Fielded intelligently alongside Cobra APCs and BATT armoured carriers, those should be able to ensure that every unit puts in a credible effort while waiting for requirements to be met optimally.

    As for 7 Div, each infantry battalion should get a minimum of 24 units, which should be complemented by six Panhard VBLs and twelve Otokar Cobra APCs. With the Landcruiser utility 4WD truck (not Hilux or Ford Ranger please), that would GREATLY boost the fighting capabilities of the troops in line with the nature of threats which they have to deal with.
    Fortunes should improve all round as we take delivery of IGIRIGI APCs and PROFORCE APVs to augment our protected carriage capabilities even further. Do nothing is not an option.

    As for the much-touted JV for the production of WZ 551 IFVs between DICON and NORINCO of China, I suggest that we go for an initial direct shipment of 100 units to be deployed in batches of eight units by all infantry battalions under 7 Division.

    If we are able to work out a deal for US$500,000 per unit at local production costs, we should aim to produce a further 144 units in-country and spread six units each to all mechanised/motorised battalions.

    These should be PRIORITY 1 ACQUISITIONS under the US$1 billion boon given to the Armed Forces while the JVs should be financed by China EXIM Bank. Let’s go for it, Nigeria.

    Good morning, gentlemen.

  5. peccavi says:

    Casspir still wins hands down, more so its tried tested/ proven technology.
    However the Bigfoot looks like a cheap (hopefully) and cheerful stop gap. With the amount of JVs with Poly Technologies I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts being assembled in Nigeria, which would hopefully be a bit of a boost to the auto and defence industry

  6. beegeagle says:

    And the BigFoot has its edge over the proven GILA which has been exported to 7 African countries since Nigeria became the first export customer in 2007.

    Just a slight edge methinks because the Casppir takes a harder beating in the long-term by riding three standard 7kg TNT blasts. Don’t forget that is the reason why the Casspir is the no. 1 demining vehicle used internationally.

    In real battle situations, where the vehicle is unlikely to take more than one blast per wheel, a BigFoot MRAP which can take an even higher-impact 8kg TNT blast on each wheel has to be defined for what it is – a VERY solid MRAP.

    Notice that the ballistic protection for all three outstanding vehicles is the same.

    However, one wonders why a BigFoot MRAP which looks outwardly smaller in its silhouette, weighs a heavier 15 tons – more than the GILA and the Casspir. Could it be that the armour protection quoted is actually understated? Or is it about sturdier wheels and hubs?

  7. Eeben says:

    This is indeed good news for the NA. Well done!!
    However, please do not fall into the trap of believing an MRAP is an IFV.
    Doctrine will determine success.
    Rgds,
    Eeben

    • gbash10 says:

      I concur with your statement Sir@ Gen. Eeben,the NA needs a new fighting doctrine!

      • Eeben says:

        Thank you, gbash10.
        Having had the great fortune of working with several African armies re doctrine development, I fear that some doctrines currently in use are merely hangovers from colonial and cold war times – thus making them totally irrelevant to our AOs and OEs.
        Fortunately, some armies have accepted our assessment of their doctrines and have adapted to compensate for our complex and diverse OEs and AOs.
        Rgds,
        Eeben.

  8. beegeagle says:

    Like I do, does anyone think that the design of our BigFoot MRAP was informed by the BTR-152? Take a look at the front end and the crew compartment.

    Compare

  9. russellinfinity says:

    I am satisfied with the big foot mrap and I prefare it to the Caspir and the Gila. Here are my reasons:

    IT IS MADE IN CHINA. Yes I just said that. This means that Nigeria is likely to get technology transfer, training and any additional kit at a reasonable and affordable cost free from any intrigues and political wrangling from the west.
    With due respect to the South Africans, the caspir and Gila Mraps are battle proven and both have a good track record.

    The fact that it is made in China also means that all options are on the table including local assembly or even joint manufacture of the big foot mrap. One thing I love about these guys is that when it comes to business they are willing to play ball with no strings what so ever attached.

    The only challenge that can come in the way of this great opportunity is from the Nigerian end. This can happen in form of lootocrats cashing in on the deal, our unambitious officers not exploring all options and the short sightedness of those who control the funds to be tight fisted in financing the deal or any joint venture.

    The NA should request for a joint assembly of the big foot mrap in house. This will ensure the much vaunted technology transfer takes place. Addons like remote weapon systems (50 cal. Incorporated with infrared image intensifiers) should be included. All big foot mraps going to the army should be fully air conditioned and GPS navigation fitted. The cost of these extras should not be prohibitive in any way. Every grunt in the NA deserves the best. It is a sin against God, man and uncommon sense not to provide these gallant men and women with the requsite tools for their job and expect them to deliver. ..and yet they do deliver!

    Let us do the right thing for once in our generation. Good morning generals.

    • Eeben says:

      russelinfinity, your points are well taken.
      However, the manufacturers of the Casspir offered to build the system in Nigeria. That offer was turned down as was the offer to build the M-26/36 Puma in Nigeria.
      Whereas I am thrilled to know that the NA will now be able to move in MRAPs, I can only hope they will be deployed as motorised infantry vehicles as they were intended and not as mechanised infantry vehicles which they are not.
      Regardless, this is a move in the right direction but i need to caution that any piece of equipment is only as good as the user. Doctrine adaptions are essential.
      Rgds,
      Eeben.

      • russellinfinity says:

        Eben, I never knew that such an offer was on table! It would be interesting to know why it fell through. Your point on using the vehicle for its intended purpose is well noted.

        Since Mraps are not IFVs and are only armed for self defence, what do you think should constitute a proper armament for the big foot mrap in its primary role?

      • Eeben says:

        Why those offers were wiped off the table we were never informed, russelinfinity. At that time, we were suggesting your government should begin preparations for an onslaught from BH but someone else advised your government that we were simply scaremongering.
        Many will disagree with me but an MRAP is merely what its name implies: Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected. As such, it is a motorised infantry vehicle aimed at moving infantrymen from Point A to Point B, whereafter they debus and continue with dismounted operations. (We used to refer to them simply as MPVs – Mine Protected Vehicles).
        That said, the enemy have learnt that vehicles have made us lazy and we want to drive everywhere. But, we also need our vehicles to escort more vulnerable vehicles ie logistics, field ambulances, etc. – especially when long distance transport or trooping is essential, such as in your AO.
        Personally, we like to mount a 12,7 or 14, 5mm as its main armament along with an AGL such as the AGS-17 or the 40mm AGL. If entering an ambush zone, and depending on your immediate action drills, the infantry rapidly dismount and the vehicles provide covering and suppressing fire in the contact/ambush zone.
        In the late 70s/early 80s I wrote the contact drill for enemy ambushes, At that time, we were using Buffels mounted with 7,62 Brownings as the main armament and the drill was intended to protect the combat engineers mine-sweeping teams from enemy ambushes. As the Browning was positioned where the barrel could be severely depressed, the drill was for the Buffels to race into the enemy ambush position with the Brownings delivering sustained and surpressive fire. The infantry then dismounted on top of the enemy ambush position and took over the fight.
        With modern MRAPs, barrel depression is not what it was with the Buffel.
        Of course, on a follow-up operation, the tactics are different. .

  10. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Eeben well said, the MRAP concept is that of an amour truck, I hope we don’t start using it as an amour car

  11. ifiok umoeka says:

    By the way, design plays a major role in protection just as the material used does! Thus, the shape of the vehicle ground up, the positioning of the sits (handing from the roof as against fastened to the floor, indepeNdent suspension etc). However, I’m still concerned that the bigfoot is not yet prepared for what it will readily face and these are RPGs and .50+… I HOPE WE DON’T GIVE BH NEW PROPS FOR THEIR NEXT VIDEO. Sure they will be cheap, but by the time we upgrade them, will it still be competitive? Was checking out the Serbian Lazar 1, heard it cheap too($500/600k) and Pakistan have been trying out the bigger, heavier Lazar 2 with a potential build under license deal!

  12. beegeagle says:

    True, design plays a role in these matters. That is why the exaggerated monocoque v-hull and high wheel arches of the Otokar Cobra APC makes it have that MRAP feel to it, given a modest blast. You might also not notice the v-hull in the Puma M26 and Springbuck VI unless you look at it from the back. But those are surely v-hulls.

    The V-hulls in the GILA, Casspir and BigFoot MRAPs are obscured by their large tyres but they are so very v-hulled. You only need to look at them from behind. The Casspir is mainstay for the Police CTU. I have also seen at least one police-owned GILA in Anambra State, possibly given as a gift by the ANSG.

    Well, I have a bit of an eye opener to show how qualitative this new machine delivered to the NA really is. Until tomorrow then…

  13. ifiok umoeka says:

    Bomb blast @ Jos Terminus market

  14. Augustine says:

    Fellow warriors, I give it to the Big Foot CS/VP3 MRAP over Gila or Casspir and Mamba MRAPs. My own opinion. A few reasons.

    =Price, we need large numbers for a war zone the size of Britain…North East Nigeria. Two Big Foots for the same price of a Casspir, looks like a buy-one-get-one free sales bonanza !

    =Two roof turrets each rotating 360 degrees, excellent for ambush counter-fire, and get-away firing in all directions, as well as all round firing from all sides gun ports when out-numbered or surrounded by enemy.

    =Nigeria Vs Boko has less need of IED protection, Boko has very few land mines ever used. Ambush protection and fighting out-numbered is Nigeria’s need for now.

    My only worry is the un-named engine we don’t know, how durable? How reliable?

    Well, the ‘hottest’ South African MRAP in my opinion is the high speed Mamba Mk 5 Magirus

    Then South Africa has an IFV-APC-ACV-MRAP combination, versatile to switch roles….the awesome Mbombe.

    However good, Nigeria may not be able to afford $1.5m to $3m expensive vehicles in large numbers, maybe that is why we have only 47 units of a $1.5m or so BTR-3U IFV.

    DICON should get technology transfer from China’s Poly and produce locally, at least 1,000 units of CS/VP3 MRAP and change the direction of this war on Boko from ding-dong stalemate to the Sri Lanka type of victory over TAMIL Tigers, when the right weapons were purchased by the Sri Lankan government for it’s army, navy, and air force.

    Wake up Nigeria, senate please veto the use of our $40 Billion foreign cash reserve for a $4 Billion arms urgent purchase, $2 Billion to Nigerian army, $1 Billion to Nigerian air force and $1 Billion to Nigerian navy…because we don’t know where and when the next great threat to our lives will arise from, land, air or sea !

    My 2 kobo.

  15. peccavi says:

    Oga Eeben, what if the enemy was in an elevated position?

    • Eeben says:

      Oga peccavi, as you know terrain dictates tactics. Our AO was fairly flat and any tactical terrain was secured en-route. Also, given the vegetation , both the enemy and us were forced to make contact very close-in.
      Rgds,
      Eeben

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