Turkish defense company FNSS on Monday announced it would provide Kunduz amphibious armored combat earthmover (AACE) vehicles and logistic support services to the Philippine military. The project’s main goal is to support the Philippine military’s modernization efforts, increasing its combat engineering capabilities. Under a contract signed between FNSS and the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND), the vehicles will be delivered and training and logistics support services completed by the end of March 2023, according to a statement by the defense firm. Philippine Defense Resource confirmed that at least 6 vehicles were eyed by the Philippine Army as it acquires new Combat Engineering Equipment.
Philippine Army personnel are to be trained to use the vehicles as part of the FNSS’s integrated logistics support services. After being manufactured at FNSS facilities in Turkey, the vehicles will be delivered to the Philippines following tests in both countries. The Amphibious Armored Combat Earthmover, which is the first and only combat engineering dozer vehicle with amphibious capabilities in the world, has been deployed by the Turkish Armed Forces in the past and with this sale, will be exported for the first time to another country.
It is capable of performing bulldozing, rough grading, excavating, hauling, and scraping operations. As compared to standard heavy-duty vehicles; AACE has the capability to take in ballast from the soil ground to its ballast canister, when necessary the vehicle is also capable of discharging its ballast canister at the end of the operation. In standard heavy-duty vehicles, the dozer blade is hydraulically operated while the vehicle is stable. In addition, AACE is fitted with modern electronic systems such as day and night cameras, multi-function LCD monitor and air-condition system.
Kunduz AACE has two crew, one operator and one attendant. It is capable of shoveling, smoothing, hauling and excavating. Tests showed that it is resistant to land mines and armour-piercing shot and shell. AACE is equipped with daylight camera system, night vision device, multi-purpose LED display and air conditioner. The tracked vehicle can accompany other military combat vehicles without the need of a carrier thanks to its max. speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). To provide the amphibious capability, together with the mine and ballistic protection requirements; AACE hull structure is made of ballistic aluminum. Two installed pump-jets enable the amphibious bulldozer to conduct a 360 degrees turning movement in rip current waters.