Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

12 Mart 2012 Pazartesi

Armoured Vehicles in Turkey

Monday, March 12, 2012  Savunma ve Havacılık Dergisi

In 2o1o the Turkish defence sector achieved a US$2.73 Billion (TL4.1 Billion) turnover and a US$634 Million (excluding US$219 Million worth of civil aviation exports) exports. All estimates show that the export of defence items from Turkey will grow further in 2o11. In its 2011–2016 Strategic Plan the SSM has a target an increase in the existing defence export figure to US$2 billion by 2016 and Land Platforms sector will undertake important role in achieving this goal.

Realizing 12% (US$327.6 Million) of the turnover and 19% (US$114.1 Million) of the exports in 2o1o, Land Platforms sector is likely one of the strongest sectors of the Turkish Defence Industry. Turkish defence companies are prominent in the manufacture of wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, and are seeking new businesses that will double their current export figures, With the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Central Asia identified as privileged markets for locally produced armoured vehicles.

Since late 198os Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC), Gendarmerie General Command (GGC) and the Security General Directorate (Turkish police) and have been the main customers of the armoured vehicles of the Land Platforms sector. This has enabled the industry to develop a comprehensive range of products ranging from tactical wheeled vehicles (4x4, 6x6 and 6x4), wheeled armoured vehicles (4x4, 6x6 and 8x8), armoured reconnaissance vehicles (tracked and wheeled), armoured internal security vehicles, mine protected vehicles, amphibious assault bridges, riot control vehicles, amphibious armoured combat earthmover and ALTAY MBT as well as modernization and upgrade solutions for APCs, ACVs and MBTs. Locally produced armoured vehicles especially the Otokar’s 4x4 Cobra, and BMC’s KIRPI MRAPs have been playing important role in Turkey’s war against terrorist organization PKK and thanks to their high protection they saved the lives of many soldiers during recent operations by withstanding several roadside and IED bomb attacks. Impressed by Cobra wheeled armoured vehicles performance in the service of TLFC and GGC, in June 2o11 the Security General Directorate (SGD) has also placed an order for undisclosed number of Cobra vehicles to replace its ageing Shortlands and first batches vehicles already delivered and deployed at SGD units in South Eastern Anatolia.

The backbone of the Turkish land platforms sector is formed by private companies such as Otokar, BMC, Nurol Makina and Hema Industries, as well as FNSS (a private company with a foreign partner), which also undertakes the lion’s share in turnover and exports. Military factories operated by the Turkish Land Forces, such as 1st Main Maintenance Centre in Adapazarı and the 2nd Main Maintenance Centre Command in Kayseri, are mainly taking a role in Main Battle Tank Modernisation projects such as the Leopard 2NG, Leopard 1T and M60T programmes, and providing maintenance services for the tracked and wheeled vehicles in the service of the Turkish Land Forces (TLF).

The total value of the defence export contracts secured by leading companies FNSS and Otokar during 2o11 is valued at around US$700 Million, including a US$559 Million contract signed on February 22, 2o11 between FNSS and DEFTECH of Malaysia at the FNSS facilities in Ankara for the design, development, production and logistical support of 257 wheeled armoured combat vehicles, to be based on the PARS 8x8 configuration, for the Malaysian Land Forces. The contract became effective in May following the signing of Acceptance Letter by the Malaysian Government. Otokar, on the other hand, received a US$63.2 Million contract from an undisclosed Gulf country in June 2o11 for the delivery of an undisclosed number of ARMA 6x6 tactical armoured vehicles and a US$54.1 Million contract in July 2o11 for the delivery of undisclosed number of 4x4 Armoured Internal Security Vehicles. Under the contract, represents the first order of the vehicle, deliveries have been started in the fourth quarter of 2o11 and are expected to be completed in 2o12. The company has also secured a new export contract valued at US$9.3 Million from an undisclosed country in early April 2o11 for the delivery of an undisclosed number of 4x4 Armoured Patrol Vehicles (APV).

MKEK, on the other hand has secured a preliminary contract from Azerbaijan valued at over US$200 Million for the delivery of 36 T-155 Fırtına 155mm 52 Caliber Self Propelled Howitzers (SPHs), however since problems experienced in getting end-use document for the power pack the sale has not ben realised so far. According to SSM and MKEK officials the problem has been solved and the alternative company has been found for the power pack. The T-155 Fırtına SPH is powered by German MTU-881 KA 500 1.000hp diesel engine coupled with Allison’s X1100-5 fully automatic transmission. Due to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, German producer MTU has refused to sell diesel engines to Azerbaijan.


Company has developed and produced two vehicles (three each prototype) to meet Turkish Army’s requirements. The 19-tonne BMC 350-16Z KIRPI (Hedgehog), was selected by the SSM in early 2oo9 to meet Turkish Land Forces’ 468 Mine Protected Tactical Wheeled Vehicle requirement. Valued around Euro116 Million contract was signed in April, 2oo9 and deliveries started in February 2o11. With the production rate of between 40 to 60 vehicles per month, by the end of 2o11 around 400 vehicles will be delivered to the TLF. The BMC 350-16 Z is a high mobility, all wheel drive 4x4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle featuring STANAG 4569 Level 4 mine and Level 3 ballistic protection. It has been designed to carry up to 13 fully equipped troops including the three-man crew (driver, commander and gunner). Powered by a 8.9 litre, 350hp turbo diesel engine, Hedgehog can achieve a top speed in excess of 100km/h. Dubbed as KIRPI (Hedgehog) by the TLF, vehicle can negotiate a 30 degree approach and departure angles leading onto 60% inclines and 30% side-slopes and is able to ford 120cm of water. Along with KIRPI MRAP, BMC has also developed 4x4 BMC 250-10Z with Multi Purpose Armoured Vehicle and Weapon Carrier Vehicle (dubbed as VURAN) configurations to meet TLF requirements. BMC 250-10Z is powered by a 6.7 litre Cummins ISBE 245 turbo diesel engine coupled to an Allison automatic transmission and 4x4 or 4x2 driven transfer case. Designed for off-road mobility, BMC 250-10Z can manage slopes up to 6o degrees, a side slope of 3o degrees and capable of fording 80cm (optional 120cm) of water. BMC 250-10Z offers shock observer seats for driver, commander and guard (in front) and 7-9 soldiers at the rear troop compartment.

In 2o11 BMC also continues delivery of 706 BMC 185-09B (4x4, 2.5 tonnes), 282 BMC 235-16P (4x4, 5 tonnes) and 403 BMC 380-26P (6x6, 1o tonnes) tactical wheeled vehicles to Turkish Army under a Euro163 Million contract. Deliveries of the tactical vehicles started in June 2o1o and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2o11. The company has also secured a contract from Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs for the delivery of a total of 750 dual cab 6x6 forest fire fighting vehicles. Deliveries are ongoing.

BMC also selected by the Turkish MoND for the design, production and delivery of undisclosed number of 8x8 tactical vehicles with 42-tonnes transport capability. Dubbed as BMC 525-42 the new vehicle is powered by a 525hp diesel engine and scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces by the end of 2o11. The BMC 525-42 will also be used as a carrier vehicle under the T-LORAMIDS long-range air defence missile system programme of the Turkish Air Force.

FNSS Defence Systems
FNSS Defence Systems, a leading manufacturer and supplier of armoured combat vehicles for the Turkish Armed Forces, is Turkish based joint venture company between Nurol Group of Turkey (51%) and BAE Systems (49%).

The company is currently working on a new 35-tonne, tracked armoured vehicle, with six dual rubber-tyred road wheels, to be used as a carrier platform under the Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) System project of the Turkish Land Forces. In May 2o11, Aselsan, Main Contractor of the SPAAG System programme, awarded a contract to FNSS for the design, development and production of one Command and Control Vehicle and two Weapon System Vehicle prototypes in two years. If the prototype vehicles pass the tests a follow on contract would be signed for the remaining 13 Command and Control Vehicles and 40 Weapon System Vehicles. The new vehicle will also be used as a carrier platform under the T-MALADMIS medium range air defence missile system programme, where Aselsan also acts as Main Contractor.

To meet both TLF and export markets evolving requirements FNSS has developed a new generation of Wheeled Armoured Combat Vehicle family comprising 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 versions with special emphasis on Mobility, Protection, Payload, and Growth Potential. FNSS has named the vehicles as PARS, which means in Turkish Leopard. The PARS 8x8 armoured personnel carrier (APC) has been designed, developed and produced by Turkish engineers at FNSS facilities with technical support of the US based General Purpose Vehicles (GPV) company for specific matters. Company has spent over US$20 Million from its own resources for the development of PARS family of vehicles. The PARS has a modular design and depending on the vehicle configuration can be fitted with various weapon turrets including one or two-person turrets and remote controlled weapon stations. The vehicle can accommodate one- or two-person turrets as well as remotely operated weapon stations and specific mission equipment. The vehicle is operated by a crew of two, and can carry up 12 troops or up to 8 tonnes of payloads. Gross vehicle weight ranges from 16 tonnes for the 4x4 and 27 tonnes for the 8x8 configuration. Powered by 530hp diesel engine PARS 8x8 can reach a top speed of 101km/h and has a range of 1.450km. The PARS family of vehicles can be airlifted inside the C-17 or the A400M transport aircraft already ordered by Turkey.

Under the US$559 Million contract, which represents the largest ever defence system export in a single project achieved to date by a Turkish defence company, in cooperation with DEFTECH of Malaysia FNSS will design develop and produce a total of 257 armoured personnel carriers to be based on PARS 8x8 in 12 different configurations including personnel carrier, anti-tank weapon carrier, command and control and anti-aircraft weapon vehicles. Deliveries will span over 7 years. During first two years the FNSS and DEFTECH engineers will jointly design and produce two different configurations of the vehicle at the FNSS facilities and then they will undergo various qualification tests before their delivery to the Malaysian Army by the end of 2o13.

FNSS delivered first four vehicles under the Amphibious Assault Bridge (AAB) programme of the TLF on September 14, 2o11. Designed and developed totally by FNSS without any technical support from foreign sources under a US$130.8 Million contract awarded by the SSM in January 2oo7, the 12m long, 4m wide and 3.5m high AAB offers better performance in terms of mobility than its French and German competitors thanks to its 8x8 configuration. Using the main automotive components of the PARS 8x8, the AAB can reach 1ookm/h speed on road and can swim at 20km/h. When they are coupled, a pair of AAB vehicles will be able to form a 20m long MLC 70 bridge, capable of supporting 70 tonnes loads such as the main battle tanks. According to schedule remaining 48 AABs should be handed over to the TLF by the end of 2o12. According to FNSS, during the 3,5 year lasted Design and Development Phase of the project 150 engineers have spent almost 300.000 hours of engineering for the AAB design and the production of 52 AABs will be completed with a labour input of 400.000 man-hours.

FNSS, has completed the production of Amphibious Armour Combat Earthmovers (AZMIM) prototype ordered by the SSM in March 2oo9. AZMIM is based on M9 ACE of the BAE Systems, but customized to meet TLF’s specific requirements. Prototype vehicle displayed for the first time to defence media on September 14, 2o11 during AABs delivery ceremony at FNSS facilities in Ankara. If the prototype vehicle will pass the qualification tests then series production of remaining 11 vehicles will be started. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed in 2o13. Powered by a 4oohp diesel engine and with a power/weight ratio of 18hp/tonne, AZMIM could reach a top speed of 4okm/h and would have a range of around 4ookm. Based on a 4-wheeled chassis, AZMIM has an empty weight of around 18 tonnes and combat weight of 25 tonnes. Required to be able to negotiate minimum 6o% gradient AZMIM could provide STANAG Level 3 ballistic protection and STANAG 4569 2A (6kg TNT) mine protection against mines and IEDs to the crew.

Nurol Makina ve Sanayi

Entered armoured vehicle market in 1993, Nurol Makina ve Sanayi begun design and development of Ejder 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicle in 2oo6 as a private venture by using their own financial resources and first prototype was completed in the second half of 2oo7. Georgia Ministry of Internal Affairs became the first customer of the vehicle when it placed an order for 72 Ejder in APC configuration in late 2oo7. Deliveries completed in 2oo9. Company invited by an undisclosed Middle East country to participate summer tests with its Ejder 6x6. Took place in summer 2o11, the tests comprising; comprehensive Mobility Tests, Fire Power Tests and Maintenance/Repair Activities Tests were performed in day and night conditions with the participation of 19 different armoured vehicles from various producers worldwide. According to Nurol Makina, following the completion of these tests successfully Ejder 6x6 has been announced as the preferred bidder. Formal contract expected to cover between 100 to 15o vehicles in different configurations shall be awarded in 2o12.

With an all-welded steel hull offering STANAG 4569 Level I to Level IV (optional) protection and appliqué mine protection kit Ejder 6x6 has a design that fulfils 2 important requirements of today’s battlefield. These are; transferring the crew to the battlefield under high-level armour protection and providing high-level protection to the on-board personnel against IEDs and mines. Powered by a 402hp Cummins turbo diesel engine (installed at front right) coupled to an Allison Model 4500 automatic transmission Ejder 6x6 is a high mobility all terrain vehicle capable of fording 1.9m of water, climbing over 5ocm obstacles, negotiating 4o% side slopes and 7o% gradient. With a gross weight of 18 tonnes (in APC configuration) Ejder could reach 11okm/h speed and 65okm cruising range on road. Ejder 6x6 vehicle can be fitted with 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun turrets or a remote controlled weapon station armed with a variety of weapons up to 25mm cannon as well as a two-person turret with a 90mm gun.

Nurol Makina ve Sanayi’s other worldwide known product is the Crowd Control Vehicle (TOMA), which has proved its excellence since its introduction to local and international markets in 2oo2. Over 15o TOMA Riot Control Vehicles are being used successfully by the Security General Directorate and Gendarmerie General Command of Turkey and by various Police Organizations from abroad including Middle East, African and CIS countries. The TOMA Riot Control Vehicle is a Police and Gendarmerie Vehicle with ballistic protection and water, gas, dye, foam spraying capability. The TOMA production line includes small (2500 and 6000), medium (8000) and large (10000) types in approximately 15 different configurations.


As the leading supplier of 4x4 tactical and armoured vehicles for the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), Otokar has been supplying its vehicles including Otokar APC, Akrep and worldwide known Cobra 4x4 to the TAF and Security General Directorate since late 198os. Otokar has been designing and producing tactical vehicles since 24 years and its military vehicles provide the Turkish Armed Forces with successful service. And in abroad, over 25.000 Otokar military vehicles including both tactical and armoured wheeled vehicles are actively used in more than 20 countries. Company so far produced around 3.000 wheeled armoured vehicles in various configurations and almost half of this figure has been exported. In addition to US$126.6 Million valued defence exports in 2o11, the company also secured TL125.6 Million (around US$94 Million) contracts from domestic users. In April 2o11 Otokar signed a TL56.4 Million contract for the delivery of Armoured Internal Security Vehicles based on Otokar’s 4x4 APC and the upgrade of existing APCs to the Armoured Internal Security Vehicle level. The total number of the vehicles (covering also modernized vehicles) is announced as 400. Deliveries started in the second half of 2o11 and scheduled to be completed (modernization of existing APCs) in 2o12. In June 2o11 Otokar secured a TL69.2 Million contract for the delivery of undisclosed number of Cobra vehicles along with associated spares and support equipment. Deliveries already started and expected to be completed in the first half of 2o12.

The ARMA Multi Wheeled Armoured Combat Vehicle Family, comprises 6x6 and 8x8 versions, provide the best in-class mobility on both land and sea, advanced ballistic protection, modular architecture, extra-large internal volume and reduced maintenance and operational costs. By using the same or interchangeable subsystems and components Otokar achieved 85% commonality in the ARMA 6x6 and 8x8 vehicles. Thanks to the high level of ballistic and mine protection as well as the outstanding design allowing the integration of various types of mission equipment or armament, the ARMA 6x6 and 8x8 vehicles are adaptable platforms able to satisfy the evolving mission requirements encountered in a modern battlefield. Powered by a 8.9 litre, 6-cylinder 450hp water-cooled turbo diesel engine with 7-speed automatic gearbox the ARMA ACV Family of vehicles rides on independent hydro pneumatic suspension, offering respectable off-road mobility and comfort. Front two axles are steerable enabling them to make tight turnings. The Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) with Run Flat Tire is supplied as standard. The ARMA AVC Family of vehicles can be airlifted inside the C-130 or the A400M transport aircraft. The 6.4m long, 2.7m wide and 2.2m high ARMA 6x6 has an 18.500kg combat weight and a payload of 4.500kg, and can carry a driver, commander and 8 dismounts in its fully NBC protected hull. ARMA 8x8 has a 24.000kg combat weight and is able to carry a driver, commander and 10 dismounts in its fully NBC-protected hull. When empty (17 tonnes) and in its standard configuration (with a 12.7mm RCWS turret), the ARMA 8x8 is fully air transportable in a C-130 Hercules or the A400M transport aircraft. As of December 2o11, Otokar received two export contracts for ARMA 6x6 and deliveries will be completed in 2o12. Otokar has completed the production of four ARMA 8x8 prototypes, each equipped with different weapon stations – a 12.7mm Rafael Mini-Samson RCWS, a 20mm Nexter, a 12.7mm HB and a Mızrak-30 RCWS armed with a 30mm Mauser Mk30-2 automatic gun. Otokar also completed the design and production of the NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle version of ARMA 6x6 to meet both TLF and foreign customers’ requirements and the prototype vehicle has underwent tests in an undisclosed friendly country in 2o11.

ALTAY Turkish National Main Battle Tank

Under the US$494 Million valued ALTAY Turkish National Main Battle Tank Programme, Main Contractor Otokar has unveiled a Full Scale Dummy of ALTAY MBT at its stand during IDEF ‘11. The first phase of the programme consists of three stages: Conceptual Design, Detailed Design and Prototyping and Qualification, and covers the design, development, manufacture and testing of four prototype vehicles (Mobility Test Rig, Fire Power Test Rig, Prototype Vehicle 1 [PV 1 for survivability tests], Prototype Vehicle 2 [PV 2 for Tank Fire Control System firing tests]) as well as 1 Full Scale Dummy in about 7 years (78.5 months, 2o15) with the use of existing local capabilities to the maximum extent. If the prototypes pass testing successfully, then a further 250 ALTAY MBTs will be manufactured in the second phase of the programme, the Series Production Phase, which will be based on a separate tender.

According to the schedule, detailed tests are to be launched within 48 months (November 2o12) following effectivity, and the qualification tests, to be carried out under the SSM’s control, should launched after month 68. Works under the Detailed Design Phase are currently ongoing and are scheduled to be completed in 2o12. Under the Detailed Design Phase, Otokar will complete the production of Mobility Test Rig and Fire Power Test Rig vehicles for extensive mobility and firing trials. Mobility Test Rig is expected to be completed in the second half 2o12. The first prototype vehicle (Prototype Vehicle 1) to be used in Qualification and Acceptance Tests will be unveiled in 2o13. Prototype MBTs will be powered by EuroPowerpacks. Otokar plans to complete all of the qualification tests with the prototype tanks by 2015, when the Serial Production Phase contract is expected to be awarded. The ALTAY MBTs to be produced under the Series Production Phase are expected to be equipped with an indigenous power pack (with 1.500–1.800hp diesel engine to be coupled with an automatic transmission).

The 3+ generation ALTAY MBT has a conventional layout with the driver at the front, the turret and fighting compartment in the centre and the diesel power pack at rear. Contrary to K2 Black Panther of the ADD/Rotem, the ALTAY MBT will not have an automatic loader and its running gear will consist of seven dual rubber-tyred road wheels (there are six on K2). It will be operated by a crew of four, consisting of a commander, gunner, loader and driver. The commander is seated on the right side of the turret, with the gunner forward and below his position and the loader on the left side of the turret. The commander’s panoramic periscope mounted in front of the loader’s hatch. The tank’s main weapon will be a 120mm 55-calibre smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor and a muzzle reference system. Ready use 120mm ammunition will be stowed in the turret bustle with blow out panels in the roof. The loader’s hatch will have a ring mount for a 7.62mm machine gun, and Aselsan’s SARP remotely operated stabilized weapon station, armed with .50-calibre (12.7mm) machine gun, will be mounted on the left side of the turret roof (behind the loader’s hatch), for operation by the commander. The ALTAY MBT will be equipped with a Wind Sensor, an Auxiliary Power Unit (behind the turret and under armour protection), Aselsan’s Laser Warning Receivers, a Battlefield Target Identification (IFF) System and an Active Protection System (APS). To be equipped with hydro pneumatic suspension system the ALTAY MBT is expected to weight between 61 to 65 tonnes falling into the Military Loading Class (MLC) of 7o tonnes.

Leopard 2 Next Generation

As the leading defence company for MBT modernization in Turkey, Aselsan has completed the prototype phase of the upgrade programme for the Leopard 2A4 MBTs of the TLF. This prototype configuration, entitled ‘Leopard 2NG’ (Next Generation) is a state-of-the-art upgrade solution, going far beyond any existing MBT, and will meet all the requirements of any Leopard 2 mid-life upgrade. Beginning in the second half of 2011 the prototype MBT has entered the testing and qualification phase with the TLF. The Leopard 2NG prototype is expected to undergo comprehensive tests, including live firings, and if it pass these tests, a follow on contract is expected for the modernization of a number of Leopard 2A4 MBTs in the inventory of the Turkish Army. The Turkish Army procured a total of 298 Leopard 2A4s from German Army surplus during 2oo6 and 2oo9, and a formal contract for the procurement of a further 41+15 (for spare parts) Leopard 2A4s was signed in April, 2o1o. As of September 2o11 KMW has delivered 21 of the 41 Leopard 2A4s to the TLF and all of 15 tanks for spare parts have been directly delivered to Turkey over BWB.

In the Leopard 2NG upgrade configuration Aselsan replaced all of the electronic, electro-optic, electromechanical and electro-hydraulic systems of the MBTs with newly developed state-of-the-art systems, leading to increased performance and reduced total Life Cycle Costs. Leopard 2 NG is equipped with Aslesan’s Next Generation Fire Control System, which is based on two independent periscopes - one for gunner and the other for commander – each can perform all tank fire control functions, and also can take over each other’s fire control functions. A Battlefield Management System (BMS) is also integrated in Leopard 2 NG to support the commander in situational awareness, collaborative planning, fast and precise decision making and to provide operational flexibility. Leopard 2NG is also equipped with SARP RWS, armed with an .50-calibre (12.7mm) machine gun, Laser Warning Receivers (LWR) and add-on armour modules with a combination of several systems providing protection against different threats. Ceramic faced armour modules including composites and light alloys enable the protection system to absorb and minimize the impact effect of attacking today’s projectiles such as KEs, ATGMs and RPGs. With improved protection, the weight of Leopard 2NG is still kept within MLC 70 level by using advanced materials, and the original stopping distance after the weight increase is also retained by transmission brake upgrade. Aselsan is also offering its Leopard 2NG solution to Finland to meet its Leopard 2A4 MBT modernization requirement. Company has been shortlisted in 2o1o under the ongoing tender.


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