ANKARA — Turkey’s procurement authorities have decided to go ahead with a draft program for the local production of scores of armored amphibious assault vehicles.
Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) and FNSS, the company that has been tasked to design, develop and manufacture the vehicles, held a “successful” review meeting over the program mid July.
“We know what we want [with this program] and the contractor knows why and what we want. The review meeting was a good step forward,” said one procurement official familiar with the program.
In March SSM and FNSS, a Turkish armored vehicles producer, signed a contract for the production of an initial batch of 27 armored amphibious assault vehicles.
Twenty-three of the planned units will be personnel carriers, two will be command vehicles and two will be rescue vehicles. Their specifications were detailed by the Navy.
The armored amphibious vehicles will initially be deployed on the TCG Anadolu, Turkey’s first amphibious assault ship (Landing Platform Dock), whose production kicked off recently.
Turkish officials say that the Landing Platform Dock LPD program would hopefully be the first step toward producing a “most elite” aircraft carrier. In 2013, Turkey announced that it had selected the local shipyard Sedef for its LPD program. In the LPD contract, Sedef is partnered with Spain’s Navantia, maker of the Juan Carlos I.
The planned amphibious assault vessel will carry a battalion-sized unit of 1,200 troops and personnel, eight utility helicopters and three unmanned aerial vehicles; it also will transport 150 vehicles, including battle tanks.
It may have an aircraft platform for vertical takeoff and landing. A ski jump at the front of the deck can be used to launch fighter aircraft. Industry sources estimate the cost of the contract at over $1 billion.
Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.