Turkish military vehicle manufacturer, FNSS has unveiled the first prototype of the Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) being developed for the Turkish Navy’s ZAHA Project.
MAV is being developed as part of the Armoured Amphibious Assault Vehicles (Zırhlı Amfibi Hücum Araçları, ZAHA) Project being conducted by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) to meet a need of Turkish Naval Forces Command. Within the project, FNSS will deliver a total of 27 vehicles, including 23 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), two command and control (C2) vehicles and two armoured recovery vehicles.
The vehicle’s main role is to support the combat capabilities of marine forces in line with the requirements of the 21st century combat environments.
In addition to enabling the safe landing of units during amphibious operations, the armoured amphibious assault vehicles also serve as armoured personnel carriers after reaching the shore. During the amphibious assault phase of an operation, these vehicles are launched from Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and rapidly cover the distance between the vessel and shore, allowing forces to land under protection and with minimum delay. Once on land, these vehicles can continue taking part in operations side-by-side with other armoured vehicles.
As vehicles with a dual role due to their mission requirements, armoured amphibious assault vehicles need to exhibit superior performance both at sea and on land, and only a few countries around the world have such vehicles in their inventories. Among the NATO countries and allies, there is only one company other than FNSS producing vehicles of this class.
Compared to similar examples, MAV is expected to be superior in the following aspects:
- Number of personnel transported by the vehicle,
- Level of ballistic and mine protection, and Performance criteria on land and in water,
- With ZAHA, FNSS takes armoured amphibious assault vehicles into the 21st century, and the project has now reached the Critical Design Review phase. Venturing outside classical approaches within the defence projects, FNSS has completed its evaluation of the vehicle’s design not only on paper, but also on the prototype, for this review. The review will be on executed on the prototype vehicle in the integration hall.
K. Nail Kurt, General Manager and CEO of FNSS, emphasises that MAV is a very special vehicle: “MAV has to make sure that marines reach the shore in the shortest time possible, both to ensure rapid movement and to minimize their exposure to threats while at sea. Once ashore, it should be able to operate effectively as an armoured combat vehicle, while also safeguarding the troops inside with superior ballistic and mine protection. To put it briefly, until the MAV made its appearance, there was no such vehicle on the market. We are developing MAV in response to the requirements of the Turkish Naval Forces, which carried out one of the most important amphibious operations in the last 50 years with great success. We are confident that friendly and allied nations with high amphibious operational requirements, particularly island countries like Indonesia, will also look to take advantage of MAV’s superior characteristics; and we look forward to working with them in the future.”