Zirhli Amfibi Hücum Araci (ZAHA)
Turkish FNSS Savunma has won a contract to build 23 amphibious armored assault vehicles, 2 amphibious assault command vehicles and 2 amphibious assault rescue vehicles for the Turkish armed forces. FNSS will develop a new Zirhli Amfibi Hücum Araci (ZAHA) amphibious assault vehicle for use on new TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship, According to Undersecretariat for Defence Industries of Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence. The new ZAHA amphibious assault vehicle will be used to land the surface assault elements of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent mechanized operations ashore.
The new Turkish ZAHA amphibious assault vehicle most likely to be developed on Kaplan chassis. The Kaplan has a low silhouette, and with its twin 6 road wheeled tracks, has the ability operate in hot/cold weather conditions at high speed not only on asphalt and stabilized highways, but also in soft soil, muddy and rough terrains.
On March 7, 2017 the Armored Amphibious Assault Vehicle (ZAHA/AAAV), also named the Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) Program contract was signed between the SSB and FNSS. Under the contract the ZAHA will be developed and produced by FNSS based on an indigenous development model. FNSS will deliver a total of 27 vehicles, including 23 in personnel carrier, 2 in command and control vehicle and 2 in recovery vehicle configuration. The technical characteristics of the ZAHAs were determined by taking into consideration the operational concept and mission requirements defined by the Turkish Naval Forces Command.
FNSS revealed the first complete prototype of its Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) at the IDEF ‘19 Fair held in Istanbul. According to FNSS CEO and General manager Nail KURT, MAV has entered the Critical Design Phase and the entire project is scheduled to be complete by 2021. According to FNSS, the MAV is built from 5000 series military grade aluminum armor, which is alloyed with magnesium. Alloys in the 5000 series are resistant to corrosion and relatively easy to weld, making them well suited for the construction of amphibious vehicles. The aluminum is used to form the structure of the hull as well as provide elements of the vehicle’s blast protection. The bottom of the hull is reinforced with support, and the thickness has been adjusted to maximize stiffness and energy absorption.
The MAV/ZAHA will be able to carry 21 fully equipped infantries as well as 3 crews, they will have ballistic and mine protection at a certain level and will be able to move rapidly in water and on land. They will have the capabilities of firing at targets with their unmanned turret with 12.7mm Machine Gun (MG) and 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) and perform operations at various sea levels.
Powered by a diesel engine, coupled with fully automatic transmission, the 8,3m long and 3,3m wide the MAV/ZAHA can swim at 7km/h with 2 water jets. With a combat weight of 30 tons the ZAHA will have a 21 troops capacity in addition to a three-man crew (driver, commander and gunner). To be integrated with a remotely operated turret armed with a 12,7mm machine gun and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher, the MAV/ZAHA can operate at sea state 4 conditions. The MAV/ZAHA will be able to negotiate up to 40% side slopes and a 60% gradient and is capable of crossing natural or man-made obstacles up to 90cm high, and trenches 2m wide.
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