Turkish firm FNSS Defense Systems’ weapon carrier vehicles have proven effective on the battlefield as they have been used by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), leading to additional procurement orders from the company and paving the way for its products’ exports abroad.
A renewed contract has already been signed with the company at the 15th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF 2021) for the supply of additional vehicles to the TSK. The vehicles were developed within the scope of the Weapon Carrier Vehicles (WCV) project carried out under the roof of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB).
The WCV project aimed to design, develop and produce tracked and wheeled vehicles equipped with an Anti-Tank Remote Controlled Turret (ARCT) and a 7.62 mm co-axial. The WCV contract was signed with FNSS in 2016, and per schedule, the design and development activities were completed in 2018.
The WCV project aims for the delivery of 260 amphibious tracked and wheeled vehicles, while the TSK has already received nearly 200 tracked Kaplan vehicles and wheeled Pars 4x4s within 20 months. The latest batch of Kaplan vehicles was the first one to use the OMTAS turrets developed by the country’s leading defense company Roketsan.
The project's first phase is scheduled to end in February 2022 and deliveries of additional vehicles are scheduled to begin in 2023.
FNSS General Manager Nail Kurt told Anadolu Agency (AA) that although the project seems to include two types of vehicles, it actually comprises four different products.
Stating that they have developed two gun turrets and two vehicles, Kurt noted that there are two types of turrets because they were designed to launch both the missiles that currently existed in the inventory and the OMTAS missiles.
Commenting on the project in general, Kurt said that the first three years of the project were for the design, prototyping and qualification tests and that a total of 45,000 kilometers (27,961 miles) were covered during the qualification tests.
Emphasizing that there are important domestic gains in the project, Kurt noted that several components such as gun turrets, fire control systems, ceramic armors, the powertrain, suspension system and complex gearboxes were all designed and produced locally.
"Beyond all that has been done, the important thing is that these systems are being put immediately into use,” he said, which brings user satisfaction. These vehicles, he said, are directly sent to the field from the factory and that they don’t have “the luxury” to make mistakes.
The FNSS has teams that are ready 24/7 to solve any problems that may arise in terms of after-sales support, Kurt added.
Emphasizing that in the defense industry "you cannot sell products outside without selling products inside," Kurt stated that as FNSS, they have reached an export volume of more than $1 billion (TL 8.49 billion) in Malaysia and Oman with Pars 8x8 and Pars 6x6 vehicles, without starting any projects in Turkey.
“Of course, the use of the product by an army with a very high reputation, such as the TSK, has a great marketing effect,” he said, noting that there was a particular demand for Pars 4x4 vehicles during the fair.