Order put for 100 Turkish-Indonesian battle tanks

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
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The Philippines and Bangladesh have put an order for 100 KAPLAN MT, medium weight tanks co-produced by Turkish defense contractor FNNS and Indonesia's PT Pindad, said Windu Paramata, the head of the project at Pindad.

Paramata said that the two countries are interested in buying 40 to 50 units each.

"In October, we will be demonstrating the medium weight tanks there, as a condition for the procurement of defense equipment in those countries," Paramata told Anadolu Agency (AA) Friday.

He said that the Indonesian Ministry of Defense is also looking purchase the KAPLAN MT, but is yet to decide on the number of units.

Paramata said the Indonesian Army's Research and Development Agency certified the tank earlier this year.

He praised the Turkish-Indonesian battle tank as featuring state-of-the-art technology.

Poland has followed suit in producing a similar tank, Paramata said, adding that, however, the country was still at the concept stage.

Paramata said the medium tank is suitable for use in countries with only two seasons in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines as well as in four-season countries because it can operate at a maximum temperature of 50 degrees Celsius, and at a minimum temperature of minus 30 degrees Celsius.

FNSS General Director Nail Kurt said Wednesday that the tank has successfully passed the qualification tests in Indonesia and is ready for mass production.

"We are very close to the production phase of the project. It will receive a five-year budget after 2019. There is a demand for a total of 200-400 units, so we are talking about some very serious quantities," he said.

The KAPLAN MT prototype was first exhibited at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair held last May. The first prototype was sent to Indonesia last September.

A CMI Cockerill 3105 tower - equipped to fire high-pressure 105 mm shells - provides the tank's main firepower.

The diesel-engine powered tank has a fully automatic transmission and is able to carry three crew members - a driver, a shooter and a commander.

With a maximum speed of 70 kph, the vehicle has a range of 450 kilometers.

Ballistic guards protect the tank's body and the vehicle has add-on armor. In addition, the tank's belly is guarded against mines.

It also has a secondary weapon in the shape of a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.

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