Busy days for Turkey’s vehicle manufacturers

Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for defence Industries (SSM), has decided to move forwards with a programme to locally produce 27 armoured amphibious assault vehicles.

The ACV-15 armoured vehicle by FNSS (Photo credit: FNSS)

FNSS, the Turkish armoured vehicles producer (owned 51% by Nurol Holding of Turkey and 49% by BAE Systems) tasked with designing, developing and manufacturing the vehicles, held a “successful” review meeting of the programme in the middle of last month after signing the contract on 7 March with SSM for the production of an initial batch of 27 armoured amphibious assault vehicles.

Of these, 23 will be personnel carriers, two will be command vehicles and two will be rescue vehicles. They will initially be deployed on the TCG Anadolu, Turkey’s first amphibious assault ship (Landing Platform Dock), currently under production at local shipyard Sedef which is partnered by the Spanish naval systems group Navantia.

The amphibious assault vessel will carry 1,200 troops and personnel, eight utility helicopters and three unmanned aerial vehicles; it also will transport 150 vehicles, including battle tanks.

Meanwhile, BMC, a leading Turkish armoured vehicles maker, signed a contract on 8 August with the Turkish government to manufacture 529 tactical wheeled armoured vehicles, according to SSM.

The programme aims to meet the Turkish Armed Forces’ requirements in areas where it intensively fights terror,” SSM said in a statement. In other words, the vehicles are most likely to be deployed in the southeastern provinces where the Turkish military has been fighting the Kurds on and off since 1984.

A procurement source familiar with the contract and quoted by our colleagues at Defense News said the deal was worth “over 300 million euros.” The weekly adds that “BMC is partly owned by businessman Ethem Sancak, a close friend of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Sancak also sits in the central executive commit of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party.” A Qatari investment fund holds a 50% stake in the company.

SSM said that the contract also involves procurement from BMC of an unspecified number of the Yeni Kirpi, an advanced version of the Kirpi, BMC’s mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle.