PROJECT TURKISH DEFENCE CONTRACTOR FNSS MARINE ASSAULT VEHICLE (MAV) ZAHA
In 2012, Birdon through its subsidiary NAMJet, began development of an axial flow high-thrust, low speed pod type waterjet – specifically designed to meet the marine propulsion needs of tracked Armored Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) with displacement type hulls.
The waterjet was designed as a direct replacement for the existing US Military legacy vehicle waterjet to eliminate vehicle modification. The objective was to increase total thrust generation to produce higher vehicle in-water speeds.
Eleven AAVs were retrofitted with the NAMJet 431 PODJet and testing validated a notable 30% increase in top water speed over the legacy vehicles traditional mixed-flow waterjet. Two waterjets are required for every AAV.
Due to the success of the US Military AAV waterjet upgrade FNSS, a Turkish based defence contractor began ordering NAMJet 431 PODJets in 2018, and to date, have ordered 96 waterjets for their new ZAHA model of an MArine Assault Vehicle (MAV). The ZAHA has a gross vehicle weight of 30 metric tons and with the NAMJet high-thrust pod waterjet, achieved a top water speed of 7 knots. The use of the waterjet allows the ZAHA to be launched from the well decks of Landing Platform Dock (LPD) mother ships to quickly transport troops from long distances offshore even in high sea state conditions. The waterjet propulsion system provides superior manoeuvrability through challenging surf zone conditions enabling the vehicle to safely establish beachheads completing difficult amphibious assault missions. Once on land, wet gap crossings, even in extreme river or lake conditions are easily traversed because of the high efficiency of the NAMJet waterjet propulsion system enabling a total battlefield solution.