The Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) has received the first batch of Zaha Marine Assault Vehicles (MAVs) from FNSS, a leading Turkish defence company. The MAVs are amphibious armoured vehicles designed to operate from the Turkish amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu, which was commissioned earlier this year.
The MAVs are part of a contract signed between FNSS and the Turkish Defence Industry Agency (SSB) in 2017 to meet the TNFC’s requirement for a new generation of amphibious vehicles. FNSS will deliver a total of 27 MAVs in different variants, including 23 personnel carriers, two command-and-control vehicles and two recovery vehicles.
The MAVs are based on the FNSS Pars 6×6 platform, which has been modified to enhance its amphibious capabilities. The MAVs can carry 21 troops (including commander, driver and gunner), who can enter and exit the vehicle via a hydraulic ramp at the rear. The MAVs have a power-to-weight ratio of 20 hp/ton, which enables them to achieve a speed of 70 km/h on land and 7 knots in water. The MAVs also have a self-righting capability if capsized, allowing them to operate in harsh sea conditions.
The MAVs are equipped with a CAKA remote-controlled turret that can be armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The turret has a stabilised day/night sight system, an automatic target tracking system and a ballistic protection shield. The MAVs also feature advanced mission systems, such as air conditioning, CBRN protection, automatic fire suppression, navigation and communication equipment.
The MAVs have higher ballistic and mine protection levels than their predecessors, according to FNSS. The company claims that the MAVs meet the STANAG 4569 standards for protection against kinetic energy projectiles, artillery fragments and anti-tank mines.
The MAVs are expected to enhance the TNFC’s amphibious warfare capabilities, especially in support of the TCG Anadolu, which can carry up to 12 MAVs in its well deck. The TCG Anadolu is a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship that can also operate as a light aircraft carrier with F-35B fighter jets and helicopters.
The delivery of the first MAVs marks a milestone for both FNSS and the TNFC, as they are the first and only vehicles of their kind in the Turkish Armed Forces inventory. FNSS is also the only NATO supplier with an operating production line for this type of vehicles, which gives it an edge in the international market.
FNSS is a joint venture between Nurol Holding of Turkey and BAE Systems of the UK. The company specialises in the design and production of wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, turrets and weapon systems for land forces.