On July 8, the Turkish-backed Hamza Division released a video showcasing a locally-made Mine-Resistant Ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, dubbed Al-Fahd.
Abdullah Halawa, General Commander of the Hamza Division, told Enab Baladi that the vehicle was designed as a part of a “futuristic plan” that suits “the current stage of the revolution’s life.”
“The armored vehicle has four-wheel drive (4×4) mechanism. It can reach a top speed of 80km/h in flatlands and 30km/h in the rough terrain,” Halawa told the pro-opposition outlet.
Al-Fahd general design mimic that of the Turkish-made BMC Kirpi. However, it was likely built on the basis of a civilian vehicle.
The thickness of the vehicle’s main armor is 15mm only, while the net armor is located too close to the vehicle’s body. This could make it completely ineffective. The vehicle does have a low axis and small diameter tires. These features will for sure limit its mobility in rough terrain, especially with the additional weight from the armors.
Al-Fahd is equipped with a DIY remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) built around a M2 Browning heavy machine gun. The station is controlled through a commercial monitor and what appears to be a gaming controller.
In the Hamza Division’s video, the MRAP vehicle can be seen surviving a supposed mine explosion. However, a close look reveals that the very small explosion occurred in front of the vehicle and not directly under its body, or one of its tires, as it would usually happen.
The Hamza Division is infamous for its involvement in criminal activities in the Turkish-occupied areas in northern Syria. The Al-Fahd vehicle was likely a mere propaganda stunt by the group to raise its declining popularity.