The comparison article were made by Defense Express. Their assessments, opinions and comments on the topic do not reflect the position of BulgarianMilitary.com
KYIV, ($1=27.09 Ukrainian Hryvnia) – BMC’s Altuğ 8×8 is the latest Turkish armored personnel carrier, which was first demonstrated publicly only a few months ago. It is positioned as the top solution of the Turkish defense industry in the field of wheeled armored vehicles, absorbing the most technological developments.
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Defense Express, during the SAHA exhibition in Istanbul, had the opportunity to see Altuğ in detail and compare it in absentia with the latest Ukrainian serial armored vehicle – BTR-4 and its more powerful version BTR-4MV1, which, unfortunately, has not interested the Ukrainian military.
The first thing that catches your eye is the dimensions of the Turkish Altuğ, whose height on board is 2.65 meters, and with a combat module of almost 4 meters.
For comparison, the height of the BTR-4 is 2.8 meters, which is primarily due to the desire to make the car less visible on the battlefield.
And, at first glance, it seems that inside the much larger Altuğ has much more space. But in reality, this is not the case, the car, which is designed for 3 crew members and 9 fighters, does not differ much in internal volume.
And the main reason for this height of the case – in providing mine protection thanks to the V-shaped bottom. At a time when the BTR-4 only after additional measures, the flat bottom was reinforced with another armor plate with spaced armor.
At the same time, in Altuğ, the use of a V-shaped bottom has resulted in all hydropneumatic suspension components being outside the armored hull and a ground clearance of 40 cm.
In general, Altuğ has good passability, including overcoming trenches over 2 meters wide. And all the wheels of the armored personnel carrier are rotary, which makes the car quite maneuverable.
But the Turkish armored personnel carrier, unlike the Ukrainian, does not float. The maximum depth of the ford for it is only 120 cm, however, given the geography of Turkey, this figure is not a global negative factor.
The approach to arming the machine also needs attention. At the SAHA exhibition, Altuğ was demonstrated with a combat module for 12.7×99 mm and 7.62×51 mm machine guns. This is the so-called version of the APC (armored personnel carrier), which in NATO countries is an armored personnel carrier, in the sense of a combat vehicle, whose main task is to safely deliver fighters to the battlefield.
At the same time, there is a version with a combat module for a 35-mm automatic gun. This module from Aselsan is a modified version of the module from the promising crawler BMP Korhan. The more armed version of the Altuğ was designated the IFV [infantry fighting vehicle] – an armored infantry vehicle.
Another interesting feature of Turkish design is the maximum use of ceramic armor. The machine in all projections is additionally protected by panels, which in case of damage can be easily replaced in the field.
But this is not the only means by which Turkish developers have protected their cars as much as possible. Attention was paid to reducing the visibility of Altuğ in the thermal range. In particular, the heat from the engine is dissipated in the wheel arches, and the exhaust gases are directed downwards.
A huge bet was made on the use of modern protection systems. These include laser radiation sensors, an acoustic shot detector, an active protection complex, and an REB complex for suppressing radio-controlled landmines. The machine is also integrated into the digital military control system type C4I.
Unfortunately, we did not see any ceramic armor or similar level of additional protection systems on any Ukrainian armored personnel carrier or infantry fighting vehicle. Although some developments in these areas in Ukraine already exist and may well compete in effectiveness with Western models.
Interestingly, the weight of the Turkish armored vehicle remains a mystery. And although BMC does not disclose the weight of Altuğ, it is most likely about 30 tons. And this is much more than the BTR-4, even in the MV1 version, which weighs about 23 tons.
The maximum speeds of Ukrainian and Turkish armored personnel carriers are the same – up to 110 km / h. But if the 450-horsepower German Deutz is installed in the BTR-4, then the American 711-horsepower Caterpillar is installed in the Turkish armored personnel carrier. Interestingly, Ukrainian and Turkish developers focused on one transmission supplier – Allison. In any case, the maximum speeds of cars are the same – up to 110 km / h.
In general, what conclusions can be drawn after such a correspondence comparison of Altuğ with BTR-4? The naked eye can see the difference when providing high mine protection crosses the size requirements. And the weight of 30 tons, the rejection of amphibians, and the widespread use of the latest technologies allow ensuring the reliable safety of the crew from enemy fire.
It should be emphasized that the “recipes” for which Altuğ was created are not Turkish know-how, but follow modern Western trends in the development of armored vehicles. The same solutions can be seen in models such as the latest versions of the Finnish Patria or the German Boxer.
Of course, these “recipes” are not a panacea. However, they fully reflect the vector in which the world moves in the creation of such machines and in seeing their place on the battlefield.
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