FNSS held a launch event and a signing ceremony in the fair, in addition, the company had quite a busy agenda in IDEF 2021. Following are the vehicles the company revealed to the public for the first time:
- PARS IV 8×8 New Generation Wheeled Armoured Vehicle
- Heavyweight Unmanned Ground Vehicle (H-UGV) from the Shadow Rider family of vehicles
The other vehicles in the company’s booth were PARS 4×4 Anti-Tank Vehicle (ATV), KAPLAN ATV, Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV), PARS III 6×6 and PARS 6×6 SCOUT models. KAPLAN MT Medium Weight Tank was also present in mass production configuration.
FNSS presented its innovations on remote controlled turret (RCT) systems as well, with the 35-mm version of its TEBER RCT family, TEBER-35 being revealed to the public for the first time. Another never-seen piece of hardware is the RCT version of SABER-25, a one-man controlled turret with a 25 mm main gun. SANCAK RCT was also present, a platform capable of carrying a variety of weapons from 7.62 mm machine guns to 40 mm grenade launchers. In the company’s booth, TEBER-35 was mounted on PARS IV 8×8, SABER-25 RCT on PARS III 6×6, and SANCAK on PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops. FNSS also announced the RCT system mounted on MAV is named CAKA.
Vehicle Numbers in STA Project Increasing
K. Nail Kurt, General Manager and CEO of FNSS, informed the visitors about the products the company presented for the first time in the launch meeting held on the second day of the fair. He underlined that the company regards domestic production as very crucial, and the company continues efforts in domesticising critical systems such as power units, powertrains, armour, and autocannons, with some of them being domesticised with the efforts of FNSS’ stakeholders.
The company also signed a contract with Presidency of Defence Industries on the third day of the fair to supply additional units for the ATV project. With this contract the number of vehicles to be procured in the project has increased. The added vehicles will be delivered under the decision taken by Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) dated 2 December 2020. The first phase of the project, comprising of 260 vehicles, is expected to be completed in February 2022, with the added deliveries starting sometime in 2023. No details were shared with the public regarding the number of added vehicles.
PARS IV 8×8 In the Limelight
FNSS started design of PARS IV 8×8 in 2019, for New Generation Vehicles Project executed by Presidency of Defence Industries for the needs of Turkish Land Forces Command. After 2 years of design process, FNSS completed the production of the first prototype of the vehicle, fully functional and ready for action. The qualification process of the vehicle is expected to start soon.
PARS IV 8×8 was developed staying faithful to the vehicle family’s roots, including a small turning radius thanks to all-wheel steering system and 180-degrees of visibility for the driver and the commander with its large periscopes in front of the vehicle.
Plenty of new features added to the vehicle, along with an increase in protection and firepower, as today’s battlefields simply demand more from the platforms. Mr. Kurt mentioned in the launch meeting that the vehicle boasts the highest ballistic, mine and IED protection in its class, and ballistic protection could be increased if required. PARS IV 8×8 is also designed to have a 35 mm main turret installed if required and vehicle was presented with TEBER-35 RCT mounted in the fair. The vehicle weighs a little over 35 tons fully equipped with additional capabilities, and a 700 hp power unit to make sure the mobility of the vehicle does not suffer under the heaviest loads.
A Brand-New Vehicle for Special Forces: PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops
PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops draws interest for its high protection it offers to users, as the vehicle is developed for special situations with high risks of IEDs and unknown threats. Turkish Special Forces Command played a direct role in the design process, with its specific requirements being the raison d’etre of this particular vehicle.
FNSS proved PARS IV 6×6’s high protection levels with IED and mine tests have been completed by using the prototype. The vehicle comes with RPG protection nets and 360-degree smoke grenade launchers in addition to all the standard protection features of PARS family.
PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops carries two RCTs, one in forward and one aft. SANCAK RCT, developed specially for this vehicle, has 2-axis stabilisation and laser rangefinders, and is equipped with a universal weapon mount which enables it to carry a 7.62 mm or a .50 Cal machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.
Situational awareness is provided by the two turrets and periscopes in front of the vehicle, along with cameras installed on various mounts on the vehicle, providing a 360-degree view. PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops is also equipped with various payloads for special missions.
The vehicle has a turning circle of 7-metre radius, and a length of 7 metres and is designed for narrow alleyways in urban environments.
Shadow Rider Concept Reborn
FNSS presented the new generation of Shadow Rider concept, first presented in IDEF 2019. The previous version was an M113 APC with integrated remote capabilities; however, this year’s version is presented as a combat vehicle, armed and ready for the battlefield. The vehicle is again built around the reliable M113 platform, combining improvements, Autonomy Kit, and 360-degree situational awareness systems from FNSS and a different version of SABER-25 RCT, also from FNSS. The new vehicle was named Heavyweight Unmanned Ground Vehicle (H-UGV). Autonomy Kit was designed with an open architecture to adapt the latest developments in hardware and software.
Day and night optical systems and LIDARs are included in the vehicle’s situational awareness suite. H-UGV can execute missions such as patrol and pursuit with its FNSS Autonomy Kit all by itself. The vehicle is also capable to be operated by a remote-control operator, and if this link is broken, it also can return to base by itself. The vehicle can optionally be operated with an onboard crew if needed.
FNSS also presented Autonomy Software Development Simulator in the fair, alongside H-UGV. The company aims to improve the capabilities of its Autonomy Kit using this simulator system.