A new Armoured Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) could potentially be the answer for a replacement for Indonesia marine’s aging amphibious assault vehicles. The ZAHA (Zirhli Amfibi Hucum Araclari) is a new Turkish Armoured Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV). It is also called Marine Assault Vehicle, or MAV. It was developed by FNSS to meet the requirement of the Turkish Navy. Turkey is one of only a small number of countries to have the capacity and infrastructure to produce this type of combat vehicle. As part of the project, the FNSS was asked to produce 27 vehicles and to be completed by 2022. A scaled model of the MAV was showcased for the first time at the IndoDefence 2018 exhibition held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November 2018.
The Indonesian Marine Corps is currently an integral part of the Indonesian Navy and is sized at the military corps-level unit as the naval infantry and main amphibious warfare force of Indonesia. Indonesian Marine Corps is heavily influenced by United States Marine Corps (USMC) but signature weapon available to the Marine Cavalry Regiment, though perhaps more associated with the Russian Naval Infantry armored vehicles and doctrine. Indonesian Marine Corps had more than 400 amphibious armored vehicles and has shortlisted the Russian developed BT-3F amphibious tracked vehicle to replace its marines corps’ aging BTR-50PKs and AAV-7. Indonesian contract with Russia for Marine equipment has stuck due to Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). But Indonesian MoD has allocated Rp.3.6 trillion (US$286 million) to buy 79 BT-3F amphibious armored vehicles.
The Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) is the latest technology amphibious vehicle designed by FNSS to meet the amphibious operational requirements. During the beach landing phase of an amphibious operation, these vehicles are launched from landing helicopter docks (LHD) and can rapidly cover the distance between the vessel and shore, allowing marine units to land under armor protection. Once on land, they can operate alongside other armored vehicles. The base platform of the amphibious vehicle can be used for the development of multiple variants including an armored personnel carrier (APC), a command post vehicle, a mine clearance vehicle, and a recovery vehicle.
The Zaha is equipped with a diesel engine to power pack mounted on the forward hull. If required the ZAHA can move on the water by spinning its tracks, though at a significantly reduced speed. This amphibious APC is powered by a diesel engine, developing around 500 hp. The engine compartment is located at the front. The engine is mated to an automatic transmission. Propulsion on the water is provided by 2 waterjets located at the rear. The maximum speed on water is 13 km/h. The engine drives a fully-automatic transmission system. In amphibious mode, the vehicle is propelled by two rear-mounted water jets. A unique hull design and powerful water jets make the MAV highly mobile in the water with a speed of 7 knots, as well as on land, at 70 km/h maximum speed.
Designed to support dual operation based on their mission requirements, armored amphibious assault vehicles need to ensure superior capabilities both at sea and on land. The protection features of the Marine Assault Vehicle are further improved with the application of applique armor plates and cathodic protection. The armor of the ZAHA protects against small arms fire, artillery shell splinters, and an add-on modular armor kit can be fitted for a higher level of protection. This vehicle offers some degree of protection against landmines and improvised explosive devices. It also features a coaxially-mounted smoke grenade launcher and a dedicated system that offers protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons. Other systems installed aboard the vehicle include an air conditioning system, an explosion detection and suppression system, and countermeasure systems.
PT Pindad vice president-director Yayat Ruyat said the construction of the Marine Assault Vehicle was a long-term program to apply the technology in weapons development toward weapon production independence. PT Pindad and Turkish company FNSS Savunma Sistemleri have signed an agreement to support the serial production of the Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT). The governments of Indonesia and Turkey first agreed in May 2015 to jointly develop the MMWT for the Indonesian Army at a reported cost of 30 million US dollars. The MMWT is equipped with a Cockerill CT-CV 105HP (High Pressure) 105 mm rifled gun manufactured by CMI (Cockerill Maintenance & Ingenierie SA Defense), with the barrel mounting a bore evacuator and thermal jacket. The intellectual property of the design was agreed upon to be shared between the two governments. FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.S. is a Turkish joint venture company owned 51% by Nurol Holding of Turkey and 49% by BAE Systems Inc. with facilities located in Gölbasi, Ankara, Turkey.