Since 2016 the Turkish armed forces have undergone a drastic shift in its mission and role. Fully committed to NATO in the past, it’s now acting far beyond the alliance’s purview as it shapes events in the Caucasus, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and beyond.
This pursuit of an aggressive foreign policy is happening alongside a piecemeal modernization that involves world-class equipment. In the first half of 2019 the country’s leading armored vehicle manufacturer announced it won orders to supply the army with its PARS 6×6 and 8×8 APCs. According to FNSS it will supply an initial batch of 100 PARS APCs for the army and the Gendarmerie or national police force.
The army’s mechanized units are still reliant on some 3,000 M113A2 APCs supplied by the US and assembled by FNSS. The number of infantry fighting vehicles or IFVs are much smaller and these are the ACV-15, whose age and characteristics are just as outdated.
The shortcomings of ACV-15’s and M113’s are apparent when up against the portable anti-armor and anti-material weaponry fielded by insurgents battling the Turkish armed forces. In recent years the army switched to a fleet of MRAPs manufactured by BMC that earned their combat records against Kurdish rebels and open warfare in Syria and Libya.
The PARS 6×6 Scout is now the army’s choice to fulfill three roles in the near future: command and control; reconnaissance in hazardous or toxic environments (CBRNe); mobile electronic warfare and signals intelligence. For a single vehicle to be chosen for such diverse roles proves the sterling qualities of the PARS 6×6. Fully amphibious and heavily armored, the PARS 6×6 has a different layout compared to other wheeled APCs. The entire crew are seated in the cab with the engine compartment located behind them.
This is comparable to the French-made VAB or the German-made Fuchs. The PARS 6×6, however, is better protected with its monocoque hull encased in add-on panels giving it ballistic protection as high as STANAG IV.