Twenty-seven of the Armored Amphibious Assault Vehicles (ZAHA) developed by the Turkish defense industry company FNSS, which are described as the best in their class in the world, entered the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) with a ceremony held on Friday.
The delivery of the ZAHA vehicles and the signing program of the upgraded armored personnel carrier (GZPT) modernization project took place at the FNSS Defense Systems facility in the Gölbaşı district of the capital Ankara.
The head of the Defense Industries Presidency (SSB), Ismail Demir, said that there are very effective companies in armored vehicles in Turkey that produce compatible products.
Demir noted that the increasing complexity of the ground operations environment makes the development and improvement of armored vehicles inevitable, stating: “ZAHA can be described as the best vehicle of its kind in the world. Our vehicle is equipped with the latest modern advances. So it probably wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s the best.”
Noting that a total of 27 ZAHAs are planned to be procured, including 23 amphibious assault personnel vehicles, two amphibious assault command vehicles and two amphibious assault rescue vehicles, Demir said that not only war vehicles will be procured conventional vehicles, but will also continue studies on new generation technology and vehicle development under the vision of the “Century of Turkey” led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Nail Kurt, general director of the FNSS, also gave information about the projects that they carried out in the last nine years under the direction of the SSB.
The PARS 6×6 special operations vehicle 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 protection against mines, ballistics, IED (improvised explosive device) protection and mission in its class.»
Reiterating that the Armored Combat Vehicle Modernization Project was started under prime contractor Turkish defense company Aselsan in 2019 for the development of new generation vehicles and modernization of existing inventory to increase the deterrent power of the TSK, Kurt said. : «Our deliveries in this project continue according to the objectives of the calendar.»
The GZPT modernization project aims to pave the way for the GZPTs, delivered to TSK in the early 2000s by the FNSS and which have served in numerous operations, to serve with increased performance for at least 20 years.
The recently delivered ZAHAs exhibit capabilities, including the ability to climb steep grades of up to 60%, traverse 40%, and navigate 2-meter trenches. These advanced armored vehicles possess a number of features, such as self-correcting functionality when operating in the water, and conveniences such as air conditioning, automatic fire suppression systems, mine and ballistic protection, and smoke screen generation. In addition, the ZAHAs are equipped with two water jets and daytime and thermal cameras, which enhances their surveillance capabilities.