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Slowly but surely, Turkey is becoming a weapon exporter country. About 100 KAPLAN medium tanks which are co-produced by Turkish defense contractor FNNS and Indonesia’s PT Pindad are likely to be ordered by the Philippines and Bangladesh.
Windu Paramata, the head of the medium tank project at PT Pindad said the two countries had expressed willingness to buy 40 to 50 units each. “In October, we will be demonstrating medium tanks there, as a condition for the procurement of defense equipment in their countries,” Paramata told Anadolu Agency, the Turkish government news agency, as reported by defenseworld.net.
The KAPLAN MT is designed to offer high lethality in combination with superior tactical mobility. Its layout resembles a standard main battle tank (MBT), 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 the control panel and driving instruments.
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 tank is also equipped with a battlefield management system (BMS), a wireless crew intercom system, a navigation system and an automatic fire extinguishing system.
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.
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, according to army-technology.com.
Paramata said the Indonesian Ministry of Defense was considering purchasing the KAPLAN tanks and ministry was still evaluating the number of units to be procured. The Indonesian Army’s Research and Development Agency had certified the medium tank earlier this year.
He said the medium tank is suitable for use in countries with only two seasons in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines as well as in four-season countries as it can operate at a maximum temperature of 50 degrees Celsius, and at a minimum temperature of -30 degrees Celsius.