ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish armored-vehicles manufacturer FNSS and its Indonesian partner PT Pindad have signed a contract to co-produce scores of medium-weight, new-generation battle tanks for the Indonesian army. The deal was signed during this year’s IDEF defense and aerospace show in Istanbul Apr. 30-May 3.

The companies will initially produce a batch of 18 Kaplan MT tanks within two years. The second stage of the contract involves mass production of the Kaplan MT.

FNSS and PT Pindad have designed, developed and built two prototypes of the Kaplan MT under a 2015 deal. The prototypes have passed field tests in Turkey and Indonesia and were certified by the Indonesian military. The deal is part of a defense industry cooperation agreement between Turkey and Indonesia.

The first prototype of the Kaplan MT tank was exhibited during IDEF’17. The tank was showcased in Indonesia during a military parade on National Armed Forces Day in October.

The Kaplan MT is equipped with a battlefield management system, a wireless crew intercom system, a navigation system and an automatic fire extinguishing system.

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

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

The Kaplan MT is powered by a new-generation diesel engine coupled to a fully automatic electronic-controlled transmission. The fuel is supplied from two separate fuel tanks.

The tank has a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and a minimum operating range of 450 km. It can negotiate a gradient and side slopes of 60 percent and 30 percent, respectively. It can climb a vertical obstacle of 90 cm and can cross a trench of two meters.

Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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