By Goksel Yildirim
A medium-weight military tank jointly developed by Turkey-based defense company and its Indonesian partner is ready for mass production, Anadolu Agency has learnt.
Turkey's FNSS Savunma Sistemleri (FNSS) General Director Nail Kurt said in an interview on Wednesday that the KAPLAN MT tank successfully passed the required qualification tests in Indonesia.
"The tank was successful in tests conducted to gauge its durability and shots, which stretched over nearly three months," Kurt said.
Kurt noted that the 30- to 35-ton tank was built on a project model agreed upon by Indonesia's PT Pindad, to meet the country's need for medium-weight tanks.
"There was a plan to turn it into a production project, we are now in that phase. A five-year budget is coming after 2019. The total need is between 200-400 units, we are talking about very serious quantities."
Kurt said they expect to sign an export contract by 2019, adding that the two countries will equally contribute to the manufacturing process.
He said a "small order" of 20-25 tanks could be taken even in 2018.
Kurt pointed out that the medium-weight class tank has important advantages such as easy deployment and low operation costs, adding that they were currently negotiating with "three or four countries".
KAPLAN MT medium-weight tank
The KAPLAN MT tank's prototype was first exhibited at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair held last May.
A CMI Cockerill 3105 tower -- equipped to fire high-pressured 105mm shells -- provides the tank’s firepower.
Diesel-engine powered, the tank has a full automatic transmission and is able to carry three crew members -- a driver, shooter and commander.
With a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.4 miles per hour) the vehicle's range is 450 kilometers (280 miles).
Ballistic guards protect the tank's body and the vehicle has add-on armor. In addition, the tank's belly is guarded against mines.
It also has a secondary weapon in the shape of a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.