Roketsan’s MZK Armoured Turret Serves Turkish Army
Roketsan has presented its modular tank turret on its social media account, saying it is now in service with the Turkish Army. The modernisation is part of the TİYK-M60A3 modernisation project. TİYK means Additional Capacity Gaining for Tanks; its Turkish meaning is “Tanklara İlave Yetenek Kazandırma”.
The turret can be integrated into the M60A3 chassis as the Turkish Army uses. It is also known that a foreign user tested the turret solution for their T-72 tanks.
Roketsan’s turret is equipped with a 105-mm gun and an automatic loader. Due to the new design, it became lighter than the original by 1.5 tons. The M60A3 turret weighs 14,5 tonnes while T-72 is 18 tonnes. The 13 tonnes MZK provides additional protection against RPG, anti-tanks, Armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) and 30 mm gun.
The MZK, which has sharp lines and a low structure, provides increased protection, especially against tandem-headed anti-tank missiles, thanks to the ERA blocks located on the front, sides and top. The new turret provides protection with ERA blocks against the attack in the “top-attack” mode, where the tank’s protection level is lower and preferred by modern anti-tank missiles.
Laser Warning Receivers with 360-degree coverage and Situational Awareness systems on the MZK contribute to survivability by increasing situational awareness apart from armour. Remote Controlled Weapon Systems can also be integrated into the turret.
Built with an architecture compatible with 125 mm and 105 mm guns, the MZK also has an automatic loader that holds 22 ready-to-fire ammunition with 125 mm or 18 ready-to-fire shells with 105 mm.
MZK, which has new opportunities for the international market and Turkiye, is a new alternative that wants to modernise its tank fleet but has difficulty in allocating a budget due to the massive increase in the cost of the last-generation main battle tanks while increasing protection and operational efficiency that can respond simultaneously to the countries of the Eastern and Western bloc. It could be a new avenue for non-modernised M60A3 tanks that can’t handle modernisations that would increase the weight of engines.
In addition, the turret has modern optoelectronic surveillance devices, a laser radiation warning system and a SARP remote combat module from the Turkish company ASELSAN. The combat module will be equipped with a 12.7-mm machine gun.
The turret can be applied to Leopard 2A4 tanks to unify the TİYK-LEO 2A4 and TİYK-M60A3 modernisation programs.
The Turkish Armed Forces are known to have over 600 M60A3 tanks. As part of the TİYK-M60A3 program, it is planned to upgrade these machines and bring them to the M60TM level.