Greek Islands Threat: Turkish Marine Assault Vehicle Passes Important Test

Αssociated Press

(Turkish Defense Ministry via AP, Pool)

As first reported in Defence Turkey, in late September, Turkey announced its Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) self-righting test was successfully completed. The MAV is designed to ensure Turkey’s Amphibious Marine Brigade quickly reaches Greek islands. 

In 2017, development of the MAV began by FNSS (a joint venture of Nurol Holding and BAE Systems), as part of the Zırhlı Amfibi Hücum Araçları (ZAHA) project conducted by Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries to meet Turkish Naval Forces Command amphibious armored vehicle requirements. FNSS will deliver 27 vehicles to Turkish Naval Forces Command, including 23 personnel carriers, two recovery vehicles, and two command and control vehicles. Qualification tests start this year and continue until the end of 2021. Ongoing production is slated by year end 2021 or early 2022. 

Equipped with a 600hp diesel engine, Turkey’s MAV features weighs 30 metric tons with two rear-mounted water jets providing 7 knots maximum amphibious speed. Top land speed is 43 mph. Designed to operate with Turkey's Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, its maximum ship-to-shore swim distance is 15 nautical miles. Launched from an LHD, Turkish marine units can land under armor protection with minimum delay and ride an armored combat vehicle after reaching shore. 

Manned by a three-man crew, it carries twenty-one troops and is equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Its thermal sighting system permits both day and night operations. Armored with a military-grade aluminum- magnesium alloy, MAV can maneuver on a 60% vertical and 40% gradient, crossing 6 ½ foot wide trenches and climbing three-foot high obstacles. This 27-foot long by 11-foot wide vehicle features reinforced hull bottom armor, smoke grenade launcher, automatic fire extinguishing system, and a Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear protection system. 

Nicholas Kalis holds a JD and a Master’s in International Affairs