Turkey unveiled its advanced next-gen tracked 155mm Firtina SPH
This week, a significant advancement in the Turkish defense industry has been marked by the launch of the innovative next-generation Firtina 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. The reveal occurred at the International Defense Exhibition, IDEF 2023, in Istanbul, specifically at the BMC Defense booth.
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The unveiling of the new generation Firtina, aptly named “Storm” in Turkish, was a momentous event held on January 9th, 2023. The ceremony took place at the BMC Savunma Arifiye campus and saw the first six units handed over to the Turkish Armed Forces. With its history of active deployment in operations such as Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, Peace Spring, and Spring Shield, the Firtina is an integral component of the Turkish armed forces’ artillery units.
For the first time in service since 2000
Originating from a joint venture with South Korea, the Firtina is a Turkish-made 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer that first entered service in the early 2000s. Although it was based on the K9 Thunder, it underwent substantial modifications to meet Turkish specifications.
This latest model of the self-propelled howitzer is the outcome of a collaborative project involving BMC, ASELSAN, MKE, and ASFAT. The ambitious project is expected to deliver a total of 140 new Firtina howitzers to the Turkish Armed Forces.
BMC POWER has made a significant stride towards self-reliance by developing a domestic and national engine for the Firtina. This home-grown engine, scheduled to replace imported engine and transmission systems, is expected to be integrated in 2025.
About new Firtina
The next-gen Firtina howitzer boasts several cutting-edge designs and technological enhancements. Among these are a redesigned turret featuring ammunition conditioning sections, a fully electric and servo-controlled turret power system, and an improved shooting control system. These improvements enable an increased shooting rate and an extended effective range.
The Firtina’s ammunition loading system has also been upgraded from semi-automatic to fully automatic. The updated version further includes a 12.7 mm SARP UKSS produced by ASELSAN and, importantly, offers the ability to fire by direct laying, providing an essential self-protection layer.
Not only has the Firtina’s firepower been substantially upgraded, but its mobility has also been improved. The revamped howitzer can reach a top speed of 65 km/h and navigate through 2.8-meter-wide ditches and 1.5-meter-deep water bodies.
The introduction of this next-gen howitzer represents a significant milestone for Turkey’s defense industry. The Firtina is a testament to the country’s increasing capacity to produce its own advanced defense technology.
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