Turkish army received the first batch of Kaplan medium-sized tanks

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ANKARA, (BM) – Turkish army received the first batch of Kaplan medium-sized tanks of domestic production, reports janes.com portal March 25, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The first six Kaplan tanks were delivered to the Turkish army by FNSS.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense states that the new tank will be classified as a “caterpillar anti-tank vehicle.”

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The tank was created as part of the Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) program by the Turkish FNSS corporation in conjunction with the Indonesian company PT Pindad for supply to the Indonesian armed forces.

Kaplan design and features

The layout of the Kaplan MT tank resembles a standard main battle tank (MBT) with the driver at the centre of forward hull, turret in the middle and crew, as well as power-pack at the rear of the hull.

The interior has been designed with major emphasis on crew ergonomics and various tactical and battlefield conditions such as driving, firing and loading / off-loading of ammunition. The driver’s position offers an enhanced field of view and convenient access to control panel and driving instruments.

Crew enter / exit the vehicle through single-piece hatch covers mounted on the roof of the hull. The gunner and commander are provided with sighting systems for observation during the day / night, while the commander’s position is installed with a panoramic sight.

The KAPLAN MT is also equipped with a battlefield management system (BMS), a wireless crew intercom system, a navigation system and an automatic fire extinguishing system.

Armament aboard the medium-weight tank

The tank is fitted with CMI Cockerill 3105 turret mounting a Cockerill 105mm high-pressure gun. The lightweight gun features an advanced autoloader to deliver rapid fire-power.

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The 105mm gun can fire NATO-standard 105mm ammunition and can engage targets at a maximum distance of 10km. The secondary weapon system includes a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the left side of the main gun.

Self-protection features of KAPLAN MT

The MMWT provides STANAG 4569 Level 4 ballistic protection against 14.5mm armoured projectiles and 155mm shell splinters. It can withstand the explosion of 10kg TNT under the track and bottom of the hull.

The tank can be hinged with add-on armour to increase the protection to STANAG 4569 Level 5 to sustain damage from 25mm armour piercing discarding sabot-tracer (APDS-T) rounds.

The KAPLAN MT is also fitted with smoke grenade dischargers, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection system and a laser warning system for increased survivability against hostile threats.

Engine and mobility

The vehicle is powered by a new-generation diesel engine coupled to a fully automatic electronic controlled transmission. It offers a power-to-weight ratio of 20hp/t, based on the configuration of protection system. The fuel is supplied from two separate fuel tanks.

The power-pack is equipped with a cooling pack integrating an intelligent software-controlled hydraulic fan for improved torque and fuel economy. The auxiliary power unit aboard the tank will enable the operation of turret without the need for power from the engine. The advanced battery monitoring system further enables optimum power management.

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The anti-shock suspension system of KAPLAN MT features torsion bars with double pinned tracks offering high mobility on both urban environments and cross country conditions. Each side of the track includes six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the forward drive sprocket, idler and track-return rollers. The vehicle can operate in extreme temperatures ranging between -32°C and 55°C.

The tank has a maximum road speed of 70km/h and a minimum operating range of 450km. It can negotiate a gradient and side slopes of 60% and 30% respectively. It can climb a vertical obstacle of 0.9m and can cross a trench of 2m.

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Editorial team

Land systemsTanksTurkish defence news