From rifles to tanks, The Turkish defense industry is rapidly moving forward towards the goal declared by the government - to reduce dependence on foreign weapons to 20% or less.
Earlier this year, the Turkish Ground Forces Command (TLFC) at the official ceremony at a small rifle factory weapons the state corporation Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) received the first batch of 500 MRT-76 assault rifles. This 7,62mm rifle was developed in collaboration with the private company KaleKalip as part of a national infantry rifle project to replace the long-standing 7,62mm Heckler & Koch G3 assault rifles produced at MKEK's plant in licenses.
In 2015, after successful testing of prototypes and pre-production models, the Turkish Defense Industry Authority (SSM) issued MKEK contracts for the manufacture of 20000 rifles and KaleKalip for the manufacture of 15014 rifles. Ultimately, about 500000 MRT-76 rifles can be purchased to equip the Turkish army, fleet, air force and paramilitary gendarmerie numbering 152000 people.
The MRI-76 assault rifle was developed as part of a national infantry rifle project
This indicates the progress that Turkey has made in the development of its own defense industry, especially in the land weapons sector. During the ceremony, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that Turkey’s dependence on the purchase of foreign defense technologies declined from 80% 15 years ago to 40% today. "Our goal is to reduce this figure to 20% and below."
As early as February 2017, SSM issued a contract to Sarsilmaz for the manufacture of 10000 rifles, thus Turkey received three separate production lines for the production of the MRI-76. The SSM statement states that "the MRI-76 will also be sold to friendly countries that need light weapons."
Several NATO countries produce small arms, but Turkey’s unique distinction is that it is the only member of the alliance that has built the main battle tank (MBT) from scratch over the past 20. This project exemplifies the significant progress that the local defense industry has achieved in the field of armored vehicles.
The Turkish armed forces are armed with almost 2500 tanks - the largest fleet of European members of NATO. But most of these outdated models are armed with 105-mm cannons, for example, the American tanks of the M48 and M60 series and the German Leopard 1. The most modern MBTs in the country are 325 Leopard 2A4 tanks armed with an 120-mm cannon, and 170 MXXUMX tanks upgraded to the M60T standard, which include the installation of an 60-mm smooth-bore MG120 gun manufactured by Israel Military Industries. Turkey, however, decided to build its own tank.
In March, 2007, the SSM, chose Otokar as the lead contractor for the Altay national tank project, placing it in charge of design, development, integration, prototype testing and qualification. The management chose Hyundai Rotem, a South Korean company, to provide technical assistance and assistance, since it has extensive experience in creating a K2 tank for its army.
The local partners of the lead contractor are Aselsan, which developed the Altay tank fire control system (FCS), the information control system and the remotely-controlled weapon module (DUMV) installed on the turret; MKEK, manufacturing under the German license 120-mm smoothbore gun L55; and Roketsan, which has developed and will produce a modular booking package. Aselsan is also developing the Akkor Active Protection System, which must be installed on the Altay tank in accordance with the contract issued at the end of 2015.
Otokar manufactured fire test and running test installations in November 2012, the first Altay Prototype Vehicle 1 prototype (PV1) at the end of 2013, and the second prototype PV2 in the middle of 2014, as well as hulls and towers for ballistic and anti-explosion tests. During the acceptance and qualification tests from the middle of 2015 to February 2017, these vehicles hit more than 23000 km on various types of terrain in different climatic conditions and shot more than 2500 shells of various types.
The Turkish Defense Industry Authority is expected to issue a serial production contract for the first batch of Altay tanks to Otokar at the end of this year.
TLFC has a stated need for more than 1000 Altay tanks, which will be manufactured in several batches. Otokar was the only company that applied for the production of the first batch and presented the best and final offer in 2016. SSM announced in its strategic plan for 2017-2021 years that it plans to sign a contract for the production of the first batch of 250 Altay tanks by the end of this year, which is likely to lead to the deployment of the first 15 tanks in the 2020 year and 20 tanks in the army in 2021 year.
Peripetias with one of the components of the project demonstrate why the Turkish government is so keen to reduce its dependence on foreign defense technologies. All prototypes of the Altay tank are equipped with a power unit MTU Euro PowerPack with a power 1500 hp, consisting of an MT 883 Ka 501 engine and an Renk HSWL 295TM automatic transmission. From the very beginning it was planned to install this power unit on 250 tanks of the first batch, and on tanks of subsequent batches the power unit of local development.
In 2015, SSM signed a contract worth 190 million euros with a local company, Tumosan, to design a Turkish engine for an Altay tank with technical assistance from a foreign company. At the same time, it was clear that Ankara will own the intellectual property rights to the engine that will be born in this project.
Only the Austrian AVL List agreed to conditions for the transfer of such technologies, but in November 2016, the country's parliament imposed an embargo in response to massive human rights violations sanctioned by the Turkish government after an attempted coup in July 2016. In January, Tumosan canceled its contract with the AVL List, and the following month, the Turkish SSM office canceled its contract with Tumosan.
From the very beginning of the project, Turkey has been promoting Altay to the export market, including possible agreements on local production. Otokar confirmed that it submitted an application in August 2013 for Oman’s demand for 77 tanks, and also named Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan as potential customers.
In June 2016, the SSM signed a contract with FNSS on the 76 Pars 4x4 armored vehicles and 184 tracked mobile anti-tank missile systems (ATRA) Kaplan. The agreement provides that FNSS will complete the design, development and qualification tests of the prototypes in 2018, followed by the mass production of 260 machines, all of which will be delivered to 2020.
At the IDEF 2015 defense exhibition, FNSS expanded its Pars (Leopard) armored vehicle family, which already had options in the 6xXNNXX and 6x8 configuration, showing the 8X4 version designed to meet the requirements for ATGW transporter. In the car Pars 4x4 two-or five-door configuration accommodates up to five crew members. It can be equipped with turret installations, protected turrets or DUMV, armed with weapons of caliber up to 4 mm or ATGM complexes for various combat missions.
At the IDEF exhibition, FNSS also showed the Kaplan platform (Battle Ax) in 2015 BMP configuration with the new Teber-20 turret, which is armed with an Orbital ATK MK30 dual-powered X-gun and is available both in the crew and without the flight gear. configurations. When installing Teber-30 unmanned turret in the aft compartment, there is a place to accommodate 40 paratroopers, and when installing a twin turret, their number decreases to 44. The reinforced suspension of the Kaplan machine allows it to withstand heavy loads, including turrets armed with an 30-mm cannon.
For the ATGM project, all Pars 4x4 and 104 Kaplan vehicles will be equipped with an unmanned turret armed with four Roketsan OMTAS missiles with an 7,62-mm machine gun as an auxiliary weapon. Roketsan developed an OMTAS rocket with a range of 4 km along with a UMTAS helicopter with a range of 8 km to meet the needs of the ground forces. OMTAS infrared-guided missile can operate in several modes: target acquisition before launch, target acquisition after launch, homing, and operator guidance. The remaining 80 Kaplan machines will be equipped with Cornet-E launchers, which are already in service with the Turkish army.
Choosing the Korean company Hyundai Rotem as a technology partner for the Altay tank, the SSM Directorate hopes to repeat the success of another major project being implemented jointly with the South Korean partner. In 2001, Turkey signed a contract with Samsung Techwin (currently Hanwha) for the development and local production of the Turkish 155-mm / 52 modification for the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, which was developed in 1989-1998 for the Republic of Korea army.
The howitzer T-155 Firtina (Thunder) is manufactured at the Army Center for Maintenance and Repair using components supplied by Turkish enterprises, including 155-mm / 52 cal artillery manufactured by MCEC and computerized OLS from Aselsan, and, if necessary, also by foreign companies.
Production at local facilities began in 2002 and continued with the capacity of the 24 system per year to meet the army's need for X-NUMX Firtina howitzers; According to some estimates, at the start of the 300, about 2017 systems were manufactured.
In agreement with Samsung Techwin, MKEC is promoting ACS Firtina to foreign markets. Azerbaijan signed a contract with the Turkish government to supply the Firtina 36 howitzers, but it was suspended because the German government’s observance of the arms embargo imposed by the OSCE on Armenia and Azerbaijan does not allow MTU to supply its 881 KA diesel engine MTU-500.
To supply the Firtina howitzer, the Turkish army developed a HARV (Howitzer Ammunition Resupply Vehicle) ammunition hauling vehicle, in order to reduce the cost of using the components of the decommissioned M48 tanks. The production of HARV, capable of carrying 96 shells and 96 charges, began in the middle of the 2015 year; It is expected that up to 80 of such machines will be manufactured.
Production of the most powerful artillery system of the Turkish ground forces continues - 155-mm self-propelled howitzer Firtina
At IDEF 2017, MKEK presented a self-propelled version of the towed 155-mm / 52 Kal Panter howitzer developed in 90-ies to replace the 155-mm American guns M114, whose age exceeded the 60-year milestone. Panter has the traditional design of a carriage with sliding beds with auxiliary propulsion system with power 160 hp. in front of the carriage and hydraulic rammer.
The gun can fire high-explosive fragmentation shells M107 at a distance of 18 km and RP-shells with a bottom gas generator at a distance above 40 km. Reportedly, since the first cannon was commissioned in 2002, more than 250 units have been manufactured. Panter was sold to Pakistan, where it is manufactured under license from the local company Heavy Industries Taxila.
MKEK, in collaboration with Aselsan, developed the Panter 2 prototype by installing the upper part of the howitzer on the chassis of an off-road 6x6 truck. The 20 toner unit Panter 2 will carry 20 rounds in ammunition, the maximum speed will be 80 km / h and the maximum cruising range 600 km.
Since the number of Firtina howitzers is less than one-third of the 1076 self-propelled howitzers in the Turkish Armed Forces, it is likely that the army will purchase additional Firtina systems and possibly an ACS Panter 2.
Turkey is the only NATO country that in recent years has created a new 105-mm towed howitzer. The MKEK company, working in conjunction with Aselsan, developed Vogan to meet the needs of the army in an airborne lightweight towed howitzer and to replace approximately 75 towed M101А1 guns that are still in service. The tests and qualifications of Vogon ended in August last year, and the mass production of 106 systems was supposed to begin this year.
MKEK has developed two different prototypes, one for the Turkish requirements, and the second for the export market, both of which were shown at the IDEF 2017 exhibition. The howitzer consists of a barrel caliber 105 mm long 30 caliber, a vertically falling type shutter, a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism and a three-chamber muzzle brake. The Turkish army version has arcuate beds, such as the light gun 105-mm guns from BAE Systems, while the export version has a more common carriage with sliding beds, like the M101 and Nexter LG1 howitzers.
The Vogan 105-mm howitzer is equipped with an Aselsan OMS. When firing a high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a bottom notch, the gun was able to reach the maximum range of 17 km, which is 50% more than the American MHNUMX howitzer. A trained calculation can achieve a rate of six shots per minute.
SSM in March 2017 signed a contract with FNSS to develop the ZAHA airborne combat vehicle to equip the Marine Corps brigade. Turkish power projection capabilities will increase significantly after the assault ship of the local construction, which is based on the Spanish all-purpose amphibious assault ship Juan Carlos I., planned for the 2021 for the year, FNSS will supply 27 ZAHA vehicles, including 23 armored personnel carriers, two staff vehicles and two evacuation vehicles . In the development and production of ZAHA, FNSS will be able to use the experience of BAE Systems (owns 49% shares of this Turkish company) in the production of Assault Amphibious Vehicle airborne assault vehicles for the United States Marine Corps.
The mass of the ZAHA armored vehicle will be 30 tons, the crew will be three people, the 21 paratrooper will be able to accommodate it. It will be equipped with an unmanned turret with an 12,7-mm machine gun and an 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. The ZAHA armored vehicle (figure below), unloaded from the landing craft a few kilometers from the coast, will be able to cover this distance even when the sea is rough to 1,5 meters.
The superintendent of heaven
Cannon and missile systems of local development will significantly increase the capabilities of the Turkish army air defense in the next decade. At the moment, near-airspace cover is provided by the PMADS (Pedestal Mounted Air Defense System) anti-aircraft complex with Stinger rockets "ground-to-air", created in the middle of 90's by Aselsan.
In order to fulfill the Turkish requirements, two options were developed: Atilgan with PMADS launcher with 8 missiles and 12,7 mm HMG machine gun mounted on the chassis of the M113А2 armored personnel carrier, and Zipkin with the PMADS launcher with 4 missiles installed on the Async model that was used by the asyn-15-year-17; . Starting in 130, the Turkish Air Force bought 4 Atilgan and 4 Zipkin complexes; the second complex was exported to Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.
After the SSM Office recently issued a contract to the main contractor Aselsan for an unbridgeable number of systems, mass production of the Korkut self-propelled self-propelled gun with a paired 35-mm artillery unit began.
The FNSS subcontractor specially developed the chassis for this installation - the floating armored vehicle Combat Vehicle 30 (ACV 30). With a total mass of 30 tons, this is the widest and longest vehicle in the ACV family, including the ACV 15 model, of which 2249 units were manufactured in several versions for the Turkish army, as well as for Malaysia, the Philippines and the UAE, and the ACV 19 model, which was sold to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
For the Korkut project, MKEK supplies the 35-mm KDC gun, manufactured under license from the German Rheinmetall Air Defense, which is installed in a crewless tower. The gun ammunition includes an air-blasting projectile, developed in collaboration with Aselsan. In the Korkut corps there is a gunner, commander and driver. A typical Korkut battery will consist of three anti-aircraft installations and a control vehicle also based on the ACV 30 chassis, equipped with a three-coordinate search radar for tracking and capturing targets at a maximum range of 70 km. The first four Korkut systems are scheduled to be deployed to troops in 2019.
Aselsan Korkut ZSU with twin 35-mm artillery mount is based on the ACV 30 floating machine from FNSS; currently being manufactured for ground forces
Aselsan is also the lead contractor for the development and production of two other components of the future air defense system: the Hisar-A low-altitude missile complex and the Hisar-O medium-altitude missile system. Hisar missile systems are being developed in collaboration with FNSS and Roketsan.
The Turkish Army plans to acquire Hisar-A launchers in tracked and wheeled configurations. The tracked version (photo below) has a vertical launch launcher for two Roketsan Hisar-A missiles mounted on the sides of the ACV 30 chassis, which also has an airspace viewing radar and an optical-electronic sighting station, allowing work independently of the divisional command post. The crew of the Hisar-A complex consists of a commander, an operator and a driver. The wheeled variant will be a six-cassette launcher on the rear platform of the 6x6.
The Hisar-O complex is a Roketsan Hisar-O launcher with six missiles on a Mercedes-Benz 6x6 chassis. This system is designed to work as part of a battery consisting of three launchers and a control center with an optical-electronic aiming system and a radar.
Hisar-A missile tests began in October 2013 of the year, and in August 2014 began the first ballistic tests of the Hisar-O missile. These two rockets are distinguished by a high level of uniformity, for example, they have the same infrared homing head from Aselsan, a high-explosive fragmentation warhead (developed by Tubitak Sage) and a detonator operating in percussion and remote modes. The area affected is the Hisar-A rocket at an altitude of 5 km and at a distance of 16 km, and the Hisar-O rocket at 10 km and 25 km, respectively.
Aselsan expects to complete the development and factory testing of the Hisar complex by 2018 year. The Turkish government and industry are optimistic that projects on air defense complexes and other systems will increase the capabilities of the Turkish army and the export potential of this country.
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