Turkey develops infantry rifle and two snipers

As Turkey displayed some new military products during the Aug. 30 Victory Day parade, including an allegedly Turco-Chinese-made rocket, code-named Yıldırım, the state-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) has also come close to the ser

Turkey develops infantry rifle and two snipers

As Turkey displayed some new military products during the Aug. 30 Victory Day parade, including an allegedly Turco-Chinese-made rocket, code-named Yıldırım, the state-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) has also come close to the serial production of one infantry and two sniper rifles.

The prototypes of an infantry rifle code-named T-50, as well as two snipers displayed during the International Defense Industry fair (IDEF'07) held in Ankara between May 22 and 25, were manufactured at MKEK plants in Kırıkkale. They are undergoing tests at various military headquarters before the Turkish Land Forces Command decides on their serial production date, which will probably be early next year.
The T-50 infantry rifle weighs 3.6 kilograms without magazine and has a maximum range of 3,800 meters; the effective range is 400 meters. Bodies from HK33-make rifles were used in the T-50 prototype.

In a related development, it has been decided that the production of aging HK33E 5.56-millimeter assault rifles will be terminated this year, following a rift within the Land Forces Command over the rationale behind the production of the rifles. Around 83,000 5.56-millimeter rifles have been produced so far, said Turkish military sources.

The Land Forces Command has currently been working on the details of a new tender for the local production of modern infantry rifles, code-named Mehmetcik 1. Turkey seeks to produce the modern infantry rifles to replace the aging 5.56 models with a local design.

British snipers purchased

The MKEK has also developed prototypes for a semi-automatic sniper rifle code-named Tufan 80, with a 7.62 x 51 caliber as well as 7.62 JNG 90 snipers developed in cooperation with the country's Gendarmerie General Command. These are the first snipers designed and developed by Turkish engineers, said MKEK officials.

German Smith Bendor telescopes, costing around $9,000 each, were equipped on the JNG 90 sniper prototype. According to MKEK officials, JNG 90 sniper tests have proven that it was more accurate than British Accuracy International snipers that Turkey bought in 2006.

Turkey purchased around 640 snipers from the UK's Accuracy International, at a cost of around 5 million pounds. Technical specifications of the JNG 90 sniper include a single-fire manual mechanism, a 6.7 kilogram weight without magazine, an effective range of 400 to 1,200 meters and an accuracy rate of 0.3 MOA at 100 meters.

In a related development, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the MKEK close down its idle and inactive plants throughout Turkey and instead concentrate on the manufacture of guided smart-ammunition as well as arms that require high technology. Erdogan made the remarks during a visit to Kırıkkale near Ankara in mid-April during which he was allegedly surprised when he learned that half the lands of the township belong to MKEK facilities. He urged MKEK officials during a briefing that the organization should downsize and become more efficient. The MKEK has 12 factories in different parts of Turkey and 7,000 employees.

Panter howitzers at Victory Day parade

During the Victory day parade in Ankara, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also displayed Panter Howitzers developed by local companies.

Turkey has been producing six new-generation, 155mm/52-cal towed howitzers, code-named Panter, with a range of 40km at the MKEK Çankırı facilities near Ankara. Panter howitzers represent the first artillery gun that was developed within Turkey exclusively by the country's own workforce. Thus the license and the technical information package of Panter belong to Turkey, said MKEK officials.

MKEK initially received assistance from Singapore Technologies Kinetics (previously known as Ordinance Development and Engineering of Singapore) in the development of the new towed weapon.

Turkey also displayed a rocket during the parade, said to have been developed jointly with China. Western military sources speaking to Today's Zaman stated that the rocket carried on a truck was displayed for the first time during the parade along with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The TAI-developed UAV has a range of 50 kilometers and is named "Witness," Gözcü in Turkish. The same sources, however, were not able to confirm whether this was the rocket developed jointly with China. Turkey has long been cooperating with China in the development of an unspecified number of rockets with a range of 150 kilometers.

Today's Zaman

Last Mod: 11 Eylül 2007, 18:57
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