By Paolo Valpolini
DSEI 2019 showcased the leading edge military vehicle portfolio of FNSS of Turkey. Exhibiting for the first at DSEI, FNSS, a joint venture between the Nurol Group and BAE Systems, displayed its operationally proven PARS III 8×8 Armour Fighting Vehicle (AFV) along with other vehicles in series production and in development. DSEI 2019 aimed at expanding it’s the export horizons of FNSS and increasing exposure to potential customers.
“Our decision to take part in the London exhibition stems from a series of considerations,” Mr. Nail Kurt, FNSS CEO tells EDR On-Line. “The first one is that we aim to expand our markets,” he adds, “which also reflects FNSS growing as a company.”
The company already has a well-established portfolio of export customers, and DSEI is an international showcase, which allows FNSS to expand its contact with potential customers as well as meeting existing ones. The portfolio consists of a number of different systems that are already in active operational service with existing customers; including tracks and wheels, ranging from light tanks to wheeled infantry fighting vehicles. Asia and the Middle East being currently the most important export areas for the Ankara based company.
FNSS is also active and well established in the floating bridges market, the company’s highly capability and state of the art Otter vehicle delivers a rapidly deployable amphibious wet wide gap crossing capability. Otter is the latest development of the original Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge in service with the Turkish Land Forces. “Currently the Otter bridging system is of interest to the UK for the upcoming Project TRITON, and FNSS is definitely focusing on this opportunity,” Mr. Kurt confirms while underlining that Project “TRITON”, aiming at delivering future wide wet gap crossing capability to the British Army and potentially other NATO countries, is in its early stages. “Some two years ago we were approached by Thales regarding project TRITON, we have decided a strategic partnership with Thales is the best fit for FNSS for this opportunity” he explains, making it clear that Thales will remain the prime contractor should the team be selected. Although in the early stages of project TRITON, contact is active, and indeed in next door meeting room at DSEI FNSS and Thales were meeting the British ArmyMoD and representatives of the UK and German MoDs. “British Army candidate requirements are a good match for our current product capabilities, however, we are already developing potential updates and upgrades to the Otter system to meet the changes needs of the modern warfighter, this will happen as the project nears it critical phases, hopefully in the not too distant future” the FNSS CEO states.
DSEI 2019 provided a very successful backdrop for FNSS to meet current and potential customers. “We hosted in our stand the Minister of Defence Affairs of Oman, Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busaidi, who had the chance to see one of the Oman Pars III vehicles on FNSS stand. This is important to FNSS as we further opportunities in Oman in the future” Mr. Kurt says. In 2015 Oman signed a contract for 172 PARS vehicles, 145 8×8 in eight configurations and 27 6×6 in five different configurations. These are being produced on the company’s assembly line in Gölbaşı, near Ankara, while the company is establishing local Oman based support infrastructure which will include Omani companies.