Interview: K. Nail Kurt, General Manager and CEO of FNSS

MSI TDR: We notice that the land platform manufacturers which have made it into Defence News’ list generally have a broader product family than FNSS. In your view, will FNSS have to expand its product family in order to reach higher turnovers?

Nail KURT: There are several points in this assessment that I disagree with. For example, there is a foreign company that was able to exceed our turnover by just selling an 8×8 in its domestic market and Europe. Product families can expand as long as there is a customer or market need. FNSS has a tracked vehicle family ranging from 10 tons to 35 tons, which includes, at the lowest level, its 10-15 ton tracked vehicles, as well as its 30 ton vehicles with air defence systems, and a medium tank we are presently developing for Indonesia.
When you remove the turret of a main battle tank, its body is less than 40 tons. Therefore, we are able design the chassis of main battle tanks. And in the area of wheeled vehicles, we have vehicles for every type of requirements, ranging from the 4×4 to the 8×8. I don’t think that our product range is lacking in any respect. For weapons system – and hence, turrets – the development and qualification costs for higher calibres is very high. Unless there is a project in which the costs are assumed by the customers, these systems are quite difficult to develop. Under these circumstances, we have developed our own 25 mm and 30 mm turrets. The qualification process has been completed for some of them; for others, it is still ongoing. However, the development costs of turrets bearing cannons with calibres of 105 mm and above require somewhere around $50 million in expenses.