The Turkish defense industry is rolling up its sleeves and focusing on unmanned land platforms in a bid to achieve the same success it has had in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The industry, which exports UAVs to more than 20 countries, carries out versatile studies to develop unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in different classes.
Accordingly, FNSS, one of the leading armored land vehicle manufacturers, signed a statement of intent with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for the mass production of heavy-class unmanned land vehicles.
FNSS General Manager Nail Kurt told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the company has various plans concentrated on developing UGVs but the primary focus is on the project being carried out with the SSB.
Explaining that the duties and subsystems of the five vehicles were defined within the scope of the contract, Kurt stated that once the proposals are finalized they will be submitted to the presidency.
Kurt also noted that the unmanned land vehicle they previously developed had no autonomous features, since “considering the time, it was not possible to equip autonomous features at the time.”
A certain level of autonomous features and weapon integration is required in line with the requests of the SSB and the Land Forces Command, he explained.
Now that a study involving different configurations has been carried out, the newly signed contract will serve as conceptual proof of these studies, he said.
Kurt said that necessary changes will be implemented once the vehicles begin to be used in the field since user interaction and feedback are very important in this process.
He emphasized that FNSS does not follow the mentality that “we’ve finished making it, now use it” as the company is very much open to developing its products in line with the users’ requests.
The country is at the beginning of the road in terms of UGVs, Kurt said, noting: “Turkey and the world are still at the very beginning in terms of UGVs and their autonomous features.”
Stating that they foresee 2023 for delivery, Kurt said negotiations are ongoing and that some simple models, one or two vehicles, could be delivered in advance while more complex vehicles can be delivered later.