Taking advantage of the high geostrategic significance for the NATO bloc in the Middle East theater, Turkey continues to receive solid military-technical support from the Western countries even when the inhuman and overt terrorist acts of its authorities and military against neighboring states with which it had previously had partnership relations should cause the maximum criticism of the world community. And this privilege, as well as NATO membership, is used by the Turkish elite to realize their economic benefits, “stained with blood and grief” by the Syrian soldiers and their families, as well as ordinary people throughout Europe.
In one of our past articles, we analyzed the positive effect of the deployment of the Triumph C-400 air defense systems near the Hmeimim airbase and near the western borders of Armenia. This completely stopped the capabilities of the deployed operational tactical missile systems "Yildirim" and complexes with medium-range radar weapons in the main operational areas of Turkey (north-eastern and southern IT). The high hopes of the Turkish army and the manufacturing company TUBITAK are pinned on these missile systems. But, like every power claiming regional superiority, Turkey was not limited to ballistic missiles alone; modernization work is going in all directions of military technology. The most important defense programs are carried out for a very long time, everything is worked out carefully, the most eminent West European manufacturers are selected for the development and procurement of each structural element.
One of these programs can be considered an actively developing project of the 5-generation TF-X stealth fighter, which does not lag behind the similar South Korean KF-X program, as well as the Swedish project of the light multi-function fighter FS2020 (Gripen Stealth Fighter). With the latter, the Turkish outline design is most similar. The first prototype TF-X can take off in 2023; all thanks to the support of the European technological base previously used in the Typhoon fighter. For example, the British company Rolls-Royce offers the Turkish Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) EJ-200 turbofan engine, which is characterized by a high thrust ratio among most modern jet engines, as well as compactness for the smallest radar visibility. TAI makes very stringent requirements for the choice of power plant, wanting to get a minimum ESR TF-X, since it is the Middle East and the Mediterranean that is already saturated with the most modern types of air defense systems, as well as the best examples of Russian tactical aviation.
The images show the three well-known concepts of the Turkish design of the 5 generation fighter TF-X. On the basis of the upper one, one can speak of a small ESR of the project’s airplanes: the small midsection of the C100 and C200 samples indicates low radar visibility at any angles of exposure to the enemy’s radar, which is even less than that of the F-35A. Along with the twin-engine version of the TF-X, the TAI also considers modifications of the single-engine fighter (with PGO, as well as a standard influx), apparently due to technological support from Saab, which specializes in single-engine machines.
It is known that the TF-X project belongs to a light class of fighters with a minimum area of mid, as evidenced by the draft designs of the Turkish fighter. The compact airframe and narrow fuselage of the car are provided in both single-engine and twin-engine versions. TRDDF EJ-200 differs: increased bypass ratio (0,4), high ratio of maximum thrust to afterburner (0,7), high thrust-to-weight ratio (9,54). Therefore, the installation of the EJ-200 on the TF-X will allow the aircraft to have a high thrust-to-weight ratio and acceleration qualities even at the maximum engine operating mode, not to mention the afterburner mode. The aircraft will be able to fly at supersonic cruising speeds up to 1,4 - 1,5M (approximate figures). Judging by the technical images, any of the machine versions will have nodules at the wing roots, and the ratio of the wing span of a large area to the length will be minimal, i.e. the Turkish fighter will be maneuverable enough for melee machine, significantly surpassing the American F-35A, and possibly the F-16C Block 52 +. The EJ-200 has a small compressor diameter (740 mm), which will also play a role in reducing the radar signature of the airframe. The last criterion of the Turkish Air Force give the greatest value.
The Turkish defense industry has no experience and technology for the production of modern turbojet engines, so the power plants will be purchased in Western Europe for at least a couple of decades. But the on-board radar with AFAR will be developed by the Turkish company ASELSAN, which for years already 40 has specialized in the development of avionics for various types of military equipment.
The arrival of the TF-X fighters in the Turkish Air Force fleet will increase the strike and defensive capabilities of tactical aviation several times, given that their action will be supported by the X-NUMX multipurpose F-116A and coordinated by the Boeing 35AEW Peace Eagle. A large number of stealth fighters in the Turkish Air Force will create many additional threats to the Greek Air Force and Air Defense, which are subject to regular violations of their own airspace over the Aegean Sea, as well as to the Russian Armed Forces. This threat is particularly relevant in the probable Caucasian theater, where high mountain ranges create many “blind spots” for viewing by means of early warning systems not only ground, but also air-based (A-4, A-737) in case TF-X and F- 50A will operate at extremely low altitudes, "repeating" the terrain.
Strengthening the Turkish Air Force with promising aircraft is not the only threat to the Russian Armed Forces and our allies. The main combat project is advancing rapidly. tank "Altay", as well as the improvement of the already existing MBT MBT in service with Turkey.
Recently it was reported that the mass production of the advanced Turkish tank "Altay" starts in 2017 year. All experienced combat vehicles have already passed running and fire tests in recent years. The first batch should make 250 tanks, which can enter into service with the Turkish Army and the troops of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, which will undoubtedly change the balance of power throughout Central Asia. But most of all it will affect the Middle East.
The Turkish Army is armed with more than 3000 tanks, of which approximately 500 units (16%) can be safely attributed to more or less modern technology. These are the “Leopard 2A4” (339 tanks) and the M60-T Mk II “Sabra” (170 tanks), which are equipped with modern computerized FCS and powerful 120-mm guns of the NATO standard. M60-T Mk II MBT is the Israeli version of the deep modernization of the American M60A3. The additional modular armor of the turret, developed on the basis of armor modules for the turret of the Mercava Mk IV tank, brings the armor resistance of the frontal projection of the Sabra tank to about 450 - 500 mm (from BOPS), i.e. to indicators T-72B MBT, not equipped with modules DZ. The specialists of Israel Military Industry and the upper frontal part strengthened it by equipping it with DZ modules. An important innovation in the booking of "Sabra" is the maximum possible protection of the mask of the gun, which has traditionally been a weak point of many MBT. The new 120-mm MG253 smoothbore gun has significantly increased the firing potential of the Sabra, including the effective range and penetration capability of the cores used by OBPS. MG253 is adapted to the use of the most common BOPS of NATO countries (American M829A1-A3 and German DM53), which are distinguished by the penetrability of an armor plate equivalent to 700 — 850 mm of homogeneous steel envelope. And therefore it is possible to speak with confidence about the real threat from Sabra tanks for Syrian T-72B, Iranian MBT Zulfikar and many other machines.
The fire control system “Knight” (“Abir”) is fully computerized and is based on optical-electronic and IR sights of the Israeli companies “Elbit Systems” and “El-Op Industries Ltd”. SUA "Knight", in fact, is a modernized Israeli SUA "Baz", developed in the middle of 90-x for the tank "Mercava Mk.3", and therefore the "Sabra" can be considered a very formidable opponent for any modern tank. But there is this car and a serious drawback. Like most Western and Israeli tanks, the M60-T Mk II has an enormous mass (59 tons), and the diesel MTU 881 Ka-501 produces no more than 1000 hp, due to which the specific power of the 17 hp / ton barely allows you to surpass the rate of the first versions of the medium tank T-62. Therefore, the main tactic of action OBT "Sabra" in the theater of operations - firing from ambush when using only the power weapons and perfect avionics, while frontal confrontation with modern tanks and anti-tank systems like Kornet, Metis, etc. will end for the hulking M60-T Mk II defeat.
But the Turkish army has tanks and tanks for direct frontal opposition, which will not act, citing the advantages of the terrain and the tactical situation. Such models are the experienced main battle tanks Leopard-2NG and the pre-production vehicles of the new generation Altay.
"Leopard-2NG" ("Next Generation") - deeply modernized "Leopard 2A4". The development of the draft of this version of "Leopard-2" belongs to the Turkish company "Aselsan"; known tank and called MBT "Revolution", as he was presented at the exhibition "Eurosatory 2010". It embodies the most advanced ideas of the company, which can only be rivaled by such modernization as the little-known German tank project for urban battles “Jaguar. A4 ”or Russian T-90MS“ Tagil ”.
A little-known project of a German tank for fighting in urban environments “Jaguar. A4. These "sketches" migrated to us from the German Internet, and, apparently, are the brainchild of network surveys of armored vehicles from Germany. But it is worth noting that the tank has a very real layout and very advanced elements of armor. The gun (L-44) is equipped with a device for metering the bend of the bore (UUI), and the geometry of the tower practically repeats the shape of the tower of the Israeli MBT Merkava Mk.4. PKE hulls have a modular design and large size; allow you to protect the power plant and the driver from damage from RPG and large-caliber guns BMP. Today, the tasks of the “urban tank” can be performed by any modernized “Leopard-2A5”, which received the PSO “Peacemaker” update package.
It was decided to develop the Next Generation program on the basis of the outdated Turkish Leopard 2A4, since it is these tanks that have the most serious modernization potential compared to the M60-T Mk II and М60А3, which have reached a technical improvement limit. Additional modules of composite armor protection, including ceramics and other materials, have already been installed on a small part of Leopards. The size of the modular elements is impressive, and covers not only the frontal projection of the tank, but also the sides of the turret and hull, which dramatically increases the allowable safe maneuvering angles in the active theater of operations. This moment increases the survivability of the tank in conditions when the width of the front line occupied by enemy fire weapons prevails considerably. Modular blocks on the frontal armor plates of the tower dramatically increase the resistance from the enemy's BOPS and CS to 580 and 1100 mm (for “Leopard 2А4”) to approximately 850 and 1350 mm (for “Leopard-2NG”). The mobility of the tank is excellent, achieved by the standard for the Leopards 1500-powerful turbocharged MTU MB-837 Ka501 diesel engine, which creates the specific power of the 23 hp / t (for the 65-ton engine, the figure is excellent). The high accuracy and tactical information of the crew achieved by a high-quality EMES-15 gunner's range finder with a thermal imaging channel and a panoramic day-sight of the commander PERI-R17А1 tank, and within a radius of several tens to hundreds of meters), it will be even better after the introduction of devices with infrared matrices of the latest generation.
All Turkish “Leopard-339” 2 can receive the “NG” update package, which should, in the near future, make the CSTO's borders on the Armenian-Turkish border significantly strengthened: who knows what might happen to the practically uncontrollable Turkish leadership tomorrow? , especially with the go-ahead of Washington.
The progress of the Altay MBT project looks more threatening. Otokar made every effort so that in 2017, the mass production of the first batch of the advanced tank began. The sharp point here is that the Turks were able to master the production of XK NUMX-mm guns MK-120 (L120), which is similar to the German Rh-55 / L-120. This gun is capable of providing the core of the M55A829 pierced piercing piercing projectile with an initial speed of up to 2 m / s (for L-1750 guns it is about 44 m / s), and this will increase both armor penetration and shooting accuracy. In fact, our closest enemy will be able to massively produce tanks of the level "Leopard-1660А2 / 6".
Of course, after the start of entering “Armata” into the northeast of Russia, the Turkish “Altay” is unlikely to be a very formidable opponent for us, but this fact is impossible to write off, since there are plenty of important strategic directions for our army, in addition to the south-western IT. "Armat" and "Tagilov" is not so much. The next unpredictable aggravation of the situation, connected with the new unfounded accusations of our troops from Turkey, makes it more serious to look at the defenses of our army in Syria and the Southern Military District.