FNSS from Turkey to contribute to South Korean Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge program

Leading land platform suppliers of Turkey and South Korea are combining their strengths in order to meet the Republic of Korea (RoK) Army's wet gap crossing system requirement. FNSS of Turkey and Hyundai-Rotem of RoK team up to offer the OTTER Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge (AAAB) vehicles for the evaluation of Ministry of National Defense (MND), RoK.

FNSS from Turkey to contribute South Korean Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge program 925 001
FNSS Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge (Picture source FNSS)

A large number of AAAB vehicles, which are state-of-the-art amphibious vehicles indigenously developed and produced by FNSSunder Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB)administration, are already in service with the Turkish Land Forces. AAAB is a bridge and ferry system designed for fast and safe transport through the wet gaps in the battlefield and it is suitable for military use all over the world. Being the only 8x8 vehicle in its class in the market today,the AAABhas unprecedented cross-country mobility and amphibious performance.

Its all-wheel 8x8 drive with a central tire inflation and adjustable ride height control features provides an exceptional off-road driving performance, especially on loose and muddy terrain. All-wheel steering minimizes the vehicle-turning radius. The vertical obstacle and trench crossing capabilities are also superior due to 8x8 drive. The AAAB can achieve up to 60% gradient and 30% side slope.

The AAAB system has two water pump jets that provide advanced water operation capability enables the vehicle to demonstrate 360° maneuvers within high river currents such as pivot turns and side moves. Axles are retractable for water operations to decrease water drag. As its ferry role, a single AAAB system can transport MLC 21 tracked vehicles. Two AAAB systems can be coupled together from pontoon to pontoon and, can easily transport an MLC85 T vehicle. By coupling three systems from ramp to ramp, up to MLC120 W vehicle can be transported over a wet gap. As well as its role as a ferry, 12 each AAAB systems can be combined together from ramp to ramp to construct a 150m long bridge which is capable of carrying MLC85 T & MLC120 W vehicles. Rapid bridge construction time ensures improved operational capability and survivability.

In terms of self-sufficiency, the AAAB can carry four (4) ramps on a single system in addition to a self-recovery winch, which recovers the vehicle or any other system especially in soft terrains such as riverbanks.

The AAAB has additional unique features among its peers. In terms of survivability, the crew cabin that accommodates3 personnel has ballistic armor protection, automatic fire suppression and NBC filtering systems. The vehicle is integrated with distributed vetronics architecture, which includes an onboard diagnostics system (CAN bus structure). Front and rear cameras enhance situational awareness. The vehicle is also equipped with a standard anchoring mechanism (both emergency and land anchoring systems).

The AAAB is a NATO certified vehicle and supports all current NATO requirements such as the river state, deployment and transportation. Rapid assault wet gap crossing at lowest logistic burden and saline operation capabilities are other significant advantages of the system.

According to the business model, Hyundai Rotem shall be the prime contractor and FNSS will act as technology providing partner. Complete production of the AAAB will be performed in RoK with the aim of maximized localization by including various local companies into the supply chain and production of the sub-systems. Being the wheeled armored vehicle supplier of the Korean Army, Hyundai Rotem’s deep experience and large production capabilities are great assets for performing such a significant program. On the other hand, both company expertise in the production of engineering vehicles are considered as their favorable attributes and make it an ideal match for partnership.

A successful program would be another good example of friendly defense cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey.