IDEF 19: FNSS, the Anatolian Leopard starring

4 May 2019

By Paolo Valpolini

On Day 3 of IDEF at the FNSS the formal signature of the PARS Special Purpose Tactical Wheeled Armoured Vehicles (SPTWAV, ÖMTTZA in Turkish, for Özel Maksatlı Taktik Tekerlekli Zırhlı Araç) contract took place between SSB and company heads. The prototype of the 6×6 Command and Control version was visible on the stand, fitted with the Sabre-25 one-man turret. In fact the contract signature happened one month earlier, the contract coming into effect in early June.

The 100 vehicles on order will be equally split between 8×8 and 6×6, and will be all equipped with a local engine and driveline; the 30-tonnes four-axles vehicles will be equipped with a Tümosan TMSN X 7.5 6-cylinder 2-stage turbocharged Common Rail diesel engine providing 530 hp at 2,400 rpm fitted to an Allison transmission produced under license by HST Ötomotiv, the 25-tonnes three axles vehicle being powered by a TMSN X 7.4 providing 460 hp at 2,400 rpm.

Although most of the vehicles are aimed at the Turkish Land Forces, five 8×8 vehicles fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station, the final choice has not yet been made, and capable to host up to 12 people will be delivered to the Jandarma, the service branch of the Armed Forces responsible for public order in areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of police forces, usually in rural areas.

The remaining vehicles will be produced in four different variants, the remaining 45 8×8 being in the Sensor version, fitted with a mast-mounted electro-optic suite. This version will be equipped with a RCWS and will host up to nine people, including the crew.

All PARS 6×6 will go to the Turkish Land Forces. The only version fitted with the Sabre turret will be the command and control that will host six people, 30 vehicles of that type being planned. Five vehicles will be fitted in the CBRN reconnaissance version, that will be fitted with an RCWS and will host five or six soldiers. Fifteen vehicles in the radar version will be produced, which will be fitted with the mast-mounted sensor and with the RCWS, the crew being of five soldiers. While the vehicle on show was fitted with two propellers at the rear, these will not appear in the serial production vehicles as the Turkish Land Forces decided to cancel the amphibious capability for all the vehicles part of this contract. FNSS plans to complete the qualification of all the variants in the next 18 months, the contract requiring the delivery of all the 100 vehicles within 36 months from the coming into effect of the document, which means that the last vehicles should be delivered by June 2022.

While the Special Purpose Command and Control vehicle was exhibited in real, another interesting evolution of the PARS 6×6 was visible in model. Known as Komando, it will include further technical improvements and will further evolve in many components to allow greater freedom on the export market, avoiding ITAR (the US imposed International Traffic in Arms Regulations) as well as BAFA (for Bundesamt für Wirtschaft Und Ausfuhrkontrolle, the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control) limitations. The Komando will have a different powerpack compared to the C2 prototype exhibited, no details were provided however, as well as a different driveline. The latter change also allowed for some redesign in the bottom area, that will be beneficial in terms of mine protection. Suspensions remain the same hydropneumatic ones adopted on the PARS III a steering, which is available on the first and third axles. Height controllable suspensions are offered as optional, with transport, on-road, off-road and cross-country positions, and with side-slope and font/rear pitch adaptation.

According to FNSS not only mine protection was increased but also ballistic protection thanks to new ballistic solutions, the model not featuring a cage armour that is however available to increase protection against RPGs. EDR On-Line understood that FNSS already bagged an order for a limited number of vehicles, for the national client, the configuration being more or less that shown on the model. This featured two remotely controlled weapon stations, one front-right and one rear-left capable to host up to a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, an acoustic detector and a full jamming suite with an array of antennas, all to be provided by Aselsan, as well as a 360° day/night situational awareness system. On the right side an emergency hatch was visible, while access to the vehicle is usually done via the rear left-hinged door. The PARS 6×6 Komando carries a crew of eight, two in the front driving cabin, four on the rights side looking inwards, and two on the left side in tandem, looking forward. The assembly of the first Komando should start in late 2019 at the company premises, first deliveries to the TLF being planned for late 2020.

Photos by Paolo Valpolini