Turkish army delivers 27 modernized armored amphibious assault vehicles
Some 27 of the Turkish defense industry company FNSS-developed Armored Amphibious Assault Vehicles (ZAHA), which are described as the best in their class in the world, entered the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) with a ceremony on Friday.
The ZAHA Vehicles Delivery and Enhanced Armored Personnel Carrier (GZPT) Modernization Project Signature Program was carried out at FNSS Defense Systems’ facilities in the capital Ankara’s Gölbaşı district.
Speaking at the event, the head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), Ismail Demir, said there are very effective companies in armored vehicles in Türkiye that produce compatible products.
Demir pointed out that the increasing complexity of the ground operations environment makes the development and improvement of armored vehicles inevitable, and said, “ZAHA can be described as the best vehicle in its class in the world. Our vehicle is equipped with the latest modern developments. Therefore, it would probably not be wrong to say that it is the best.”
Informing that a total of 27 ZAHAs, including 23 amphibious assault personnel vehicles, two amphibious assault command vehicles and two amphibious assault rescue vehicles, are planned to be procured, Demir said that not only conventional warfare vehicles but also new generation technology and vehicle development studies will continue under the “Century of Türkiye” vision led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Nail Kurt, general manager of the FNSS, also gave information about the projects they carried out in the last nine years under the leadership of the SSB.
Stating that the ZAHA Project was signed in 2017, Kurt said, “ZAHA is the most up-to-date amphibious assault vehicle in the world. Our Presidency and naval forces have qualified it, and the first batch deliveries have begun.”
Noting that the 6×6 PARS Special Operations Vehicles agreement they signed with the SSB in 2018 and developed for the Special Forces Command is another example of their work, Kurt said: “These vehicles are unique in the world in terms of mine protection, ballistics, IED (improvised explosive devices) protection and mission in their class.”
“The Special Purpose Tactical Wheeled Vehicles agreement that we signed with our Presidency in May 2019 are in 6×6 and 8×8 configurations and will be delivered to our land forces and our gendarmerie, albeit in a small amount. The development of these vehicles is still ongoing, and they are aimed to be delivered next year. They will also be the vehicles with the highest domesticity rate among the vehicles built so far,” he said.
Reiterating that the Armored Combat Vehicle Modernization Project was initiated under the main contractor of Turkish defense company Aselsan in 2019 for the development of new generation vehicles and the modernization of the existing inventory to increase the deterrent power of the TSK, Kurt said, “Our deliveries in this project continue by the calendar targets.”
The GZPT Modernization Project aims to pave the way for the GZPTs, delivered to the TSK in the early 2000s by FNSS and served in many operations, to serve with higher performance for at least 20 years.
After the signing ceremony, ZAHAs’ capabilities were exhibited at the FNSS test site.
SSB’s Demir also entered the test pool with a vehicle.
The recently delivered ZAHAs exhibit capabilities, including the ability to scale steep slopes up to 60%, traverse 40%, and navigate across 2-meter ditches. These advanced armored vehicles possess a range of features, such as self-correction functionality when operating in water and amenities like air conditioning, automatic fire suppression systems, ballistic and mine protection, and smoke screen generation. Additionally, ZAHAs are equipped with two water jets and thermal and daytime cameras, enhancing their surveillance capabilities.