Turkey’s Aselsan has started mass production of tank armor package for integration onto German-origin Leopard 2A4 tanks.
“We started the mass production of the armor package designed and produced at the Ballistic Protection Center in Istanbul and started its integration into tanks,” Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), tweeted Sunday.
“Developed in different configurations for turret and hull compartments according to threat analysis, the armor package has the most effective ballistic protection used in Leopard 2A4 tanks in the world’s armies,” Demir added.
The Turkish army has over 300 Leopard 2A4 tanks. These tanks have been modernized to the standard NG (Next Generation) by Aselsan.The Leopard 2A4 is an upgraded version of the first generation of Leopard 2 MBT including an automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types and an improved turret with flat titanium/tungsten armor. This tank is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun which has been developed by Rheinmetall. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left side of the main armament and one 7.62mm machine gun to the hatch of the loader. Two banks of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to each side of the turret.
The Leopard 2NG was upgraded with a new armor package including heavy track skirts, gun mantlet, turret, front armor protection, armor protection against improvised explosive devices, underbelly protection, turret protection, and slat armor mounted at the rear side of the hull. It is also fitted with new optics and fire control system integrated by local components produced by the company Aselsan. All of the electronic, electro-optic, electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic systems of the Leopard 2A4 MBTs are replaced with new systems.
The modernized Leopard 2A4 that was presented at the BMC factory is fitted with an Altay turret which is armed with one 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun designed and manufactured by the Turkish Company MKE based on technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea. A remote-controlled weapon station is mounted on the top of the turret which is armed with a 12.7mm caliber heavy machine gun.