Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Turkey Mulling Upgrade to Leopard 2s, M60s

By: Burak Ege Bekdil, October 18, 2016

ANKARA—Turkey’s military and procurement officials are mulling the options of upgrading hundreds of German-made Leopard 2 and U.S.-made M60 main battle tanks. 

One senior procurement official familiar with the program said that about 100 Leopard 2s and 300 M60s would go through an upgrade program.  Industry sources say such upgrades would cost Ankara anywhere between $2 million to $3 million per tank. A bunch of 300 to 400 tank upgrades will have a total cost of more than $1 billion. 

They say Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Under secretariat for Defense Industries (SSM in its Turkish acronym) would most likely award the Leopard 2 upgrade contract to the German Rheinmetall’s three-partner, Turkey-based venture, RBSS. Rheinmetall’s partners are the Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer BMC and the Malaysia-based Etika Strategi. 

The planned M60 upgrades may mark the first Turkish-Israeli defense deal after the two former allies froze their diplomatic ties in 2010 but agreed on détente recently. Ankara and Jerusalem are expected to appoint ambassadors to each other within days after they downgraded diplomatic representation to the level of charge d’affaires in 2010. 

In the 1990s a bunch of Turkish M60s went through a successful upgrade by Israeli Military Industries (IMI). 

Meanwhile, the Turkish government is expected to announce a bidding for the serial production of hundreds of Altays, Turkey’s first indigenous, new generation main battle tank. The bidding is expected to open in the next few months. 

In this multibillion-dollar contest Altay’s developer, Otokar, is expected to race with BMC, the Turkish partner of RBSS. 

In 2008, Otokar signed a $500 million contract with SSM for the development of four prototypes of the Altay. At the beginning of this year Otokar said it completed the production of Altay prototypes and that the prototypes were now going through system qualification and acceptance tests.  

In January, Otokar officially submitted its bid for serial production 250 Altay tanks and integrated logistical support for the program. A few months later it revised its bid and submitted its best and final offer (BAFO) to SSM. 

The Altay program involves the production of 1,000 tanks, with an initial bath of 250. 

The Turkish Army has 720 German-made Leopard 1 and 2 tanks, 930 American M60s and 1,370 M48s, most of which are Cold War-era tanks and need replacement. 

Original post: defensenews

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MBT Upgrade Solution Next Generation

Figure 1: Leopard 2 vs Next Generation

Extended System Life: ASELSAN replaced all of the electronic, electro-optical, electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic systems of the Leopard 2A4 MBTs with newly developed state of the art systems. With this methodology, since all of the obsolete parts are changed with the new ones, spare part problem is solved. By this way, the life cycle of the Leopard 2 A4s increases at leat 25 more years. Moreover, Life Cycle Cost reduces to incomparable levels to any Main Battle Tank has. ASELSAN MBT systems are based on today’s modern technology, so in the serial production phase, they will be the most up-to-date systems developed, tested and deployed on Leopard 2 MBTs. This will guaranty the utmost life cycle and the minimum Life Cycle Cost as possible.


Improved Fire Power: Fire power of the Leopard 2 is increased to a level which none of the modern MBTs have, with Next Generation Fire Control System, Electrical Gun and Turret Drives and Remote Weapon Station.

Next Generation Fire Control System: Leopard 2 NG is equipped with ASELSAN’s Next Generation Fire Control System which is based on two independent periscopes - one for gunner and the other for commander - each can perform all tank fire control functions, and also can take over each other’s fire control functions. Electro-optical periscopes with superior image quality thermal imagers managed by the gunner and the commander provide both gunner and commander accurate target engagement in day, night and severe weather conditions. In case of a failure of one of two periscope systems, the tank shall be operational in the battlefield with full performance, a feature that is beyond the capability of the current fire control systems. The fire control functions, ballistic calculations, stabilization algorithms and all other computations are performed by both Gunner’s and Commander’s Periscope’s. Thanks to automated system functions and unique simplified user interface both for gunner and commander, training for Leopard 2 NG is further simplified significantly when compared to Leopard 2A4
Figure 2: Next Generation Fire Control System

Electrical Gun Turret Drives: In order to eliminate the danger of a hydraulic fluid fire, to achieve lower noise level with lower power consumption and lower heat generation and to improve reliability and to attain lower maintenance,  Leopard 2 NG is equipped with Electrical Gun Turret Drives. To obtain high hit probability on moving tank moving target scenarios, gun/turret control and stabilization is achieved by the Gunner’s and Commander’s Periscope’s through the electric drives.​
Figure 3: Electrical Gun Turret Drives
Remote Weapon Station: Leopard 2 NG is equipped with a Remotely operated stabilized Weapon Station (RWS) that enables the tank to defend itself against air and ground attacks and also can be used in urban areas against asymmetric warfare. Depending on warfare requirements, 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Gun, 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher or 7.62mm Light Machine Gun can be interchangeably installed. RWS is fully integrated with FCS and all the controls are accomplished by the commander by his own FCS user interface. In addition, the RWS can also be controlled by the loader using his own user interface and by RWS’s own thermal sight.​
Figure 4: Remote Weapon Station

Improved Protection: To provide the demanded survivability of today’s battlefield, Leopard 2 NG’s ballistic protection is increased with add-on armor modules with a combination of several systems providing protection against different threats. The enhanced protection is provided by turret and hull add-on modules, roof protection, heavy track skirts, SLAT armor and the spall liner. Ceramic faced armor modules including composites and light alloys enable the protection system to absorb and minimize the impact effect of attacking today’s projectiles such as KEs, ATGMs and RPGs. With turret and hull inside liner, the potential spall effects are drastically reduced, and with roof protection the protection against bomblet threats is improved. Hull belly protection modules as well as the hull inside structural modifications and suspended drivers seat protects tank crew against light and heavy mines, while IED protection provides protection against different IEDs.

Improved Survivability: Laser Warning System, Battlefield Management System, Driver’s Vision System and Fire Suppression and Extinguishing System are developed to increase the survivability of the Leopard 2 in battlefield environment to a highest level.

Laser   Warning System: Leopard 2 NG is also equipped with Laser Warning Receivers (LWR) for enhanced survivability. LWR is a state-of-the-art threat warning system to detect, classify, identify and give warning of laser threats (Laser Range Finders, Laser Designators and Laser Beam Riders) aiming on the platform, and immediately enable the smoke launcher system to mask the MBT by smoke from the hostile force. LWR is closely integrated to the FCS, so that the commander and/or gunner periscopes together with the main/remotely controlled weapon shall automatically slew to the threat direction detected by the LWR, and enable the gunner and/or commander to immediately engage on the hostile force.​
Figure 5: Laser Warning System

Battlefield Management System: Battle Field Management System (BMS) is also integrated in Leopard 2 NG to support the commander and gunner in situational awareness, collaborative planning, fast and precise decision making and to provide operational flexibility. Use of BMS shall ensure fast and accurate acquisition, exchange and use of the battlefield information, providing a clear and accurate representation of the commander. BMS allows tailoring of the situational representation to the needs of the commanders at each level of command providing support for planning, execution and after mission evaluation.​
Figure 6: Battlefield Management System

Driver’s Vision System:  Leopard 2 NG is equipped with a Driver’s Vision System (DVS) composed of a Forward and Rear Thermal/CCD Cameras. Aselsan Dirver’s Vision System (ADVS) provides the driver 24-hour maneuvering capability under severe weather and harsh battlefield conditions, in addition gives Leopard 2 NG the ability to maintain continuous mission operations while providing a safe d​riving environment through enhanced situational awareness.​
Figure 7: Driver’s Vision System

Fire Suppression and Extinguishing System: In order to increase survivability, Leopard 2 NG is equipped with a halon-free fire suppression and extinguishing system for crew compartment.

*Leopard MBT is a trademark and design of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH.​

Source: aselsan

Specification source: military-today

Entered service
4 men
Dimensions and weight
65 t
Length (gun forward)
~ 9.7 m
Hull length
~ 7.7 m
~ 3.7 m
~ 2.5 m
Main gun
120-mm smoothbore
Machine guns
1 x 12.7-mm, 1 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range
- 9 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range
360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun
42 rounds
Machine guns
MTU MB-837 Ka501 diesel
Engine power
1 500 hp
Maximum road speed
~ 70 km/h
~ 500 km
Side slope
Vertical step
1.15 m
3 m
1 m
Fording (with preparation)
4 m