Turkey Conducts its First Tank Export to Indonesia, and a New Turret Project may be Born
The Program Manager of Medium Weight Battle Tank Program, Barış Aslan, explained how the program started, the current status, the features of the tank. Barış stated that FNSS would provide logistic support to tanks.
FNSS CEO and General Manager Kurt was the following speaker. Kurt had three points to underline. FNSS made Turkey’s first tank export. He reminded a story about a German company that underestimated FNSS. He said, "In one of the defence shows around the region, we showcased the scale model of Harimaou because the model was not there at that time. Soon after that show, we read that a German competitor marketing director just released a press release and said, if you sign development contracts with companies like FNSS, plastic models are all you get. This was very underestimating our capability. We decided not to respond in the way they made the declaration. We said we should finish this as soon as possible and showcase the real product. Only 1.5 years later, Germans saw how a plastic model turns into a real master."
Kurt’s last remark was about FNSS’s intention to prepare a 105 or 120 calibre turret. He stated that the turret is from Belgium, not from Turkey or Indonesia and asked both governments' support to start such a programme.
Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Wakasad) of Indonesia, Major General Agus Subiyanto, stated that Indonesia wants to continue on defence industry cooperation with Turkey. “I hope this cooperation will progress,” Subiyanto said.
The last speaker who came to the stage was SSB President Demir. Demir stated how happy he is to see the result of co-development between FNSS and PT. Pindad companies. “It was one of the first international agreements that I had signed when I was in my current position,” Demir said. Demir voiced his wish to see the export of the tank to third countries.
Demir has also answered the turret issue that FNSS CEO Kurt expressed. “I guess both governments are willing to support to localise an indigenous turret. And from our part, since we have Altay Main Battle Tank, you will find full support once you go in that direction. I guess we can make a declaration today that we will localise an indigenous turret,” Demir continued by underlining that IP rights would belong to two countries.
KAPLAN MT Medium Tank Project was initiated with a G to G agreement between the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and the Ministry of Defence of Indonesia. In 2015, a corporation agreement was signed between DG Defence Potential of Indonesia and SSB to develop two prototype vehicles. Within the project’s scope under the KAPLAN MT (HARIMAU) Medium Weight Class Tank Serial Production Long-Term Collaboration Agreement signed between FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş. and PT Pindad in 2019, FNSS completed the production of the first batch of vehicles with the serial production configuration. Developed within the project’s scope, the vehicles were presented to the representatives from the Indonesian Army, Indonesian Ministry of Defence, and PT Pindad management, with the attendance of the SSB and Ministry of Defence.
Following the “KAPLAN MT Medium Tank Platform Production Completion Ceremony” held in FNSS facilities, all tank platforms will be shipped to Indonesia for final turret assembly and delivered to the Indonesian Army after the final acceptance stage.
After the prototype development studies, FNSS completed the endurance and firing tests in Indonesia. At the end of 2019, FNSS signed a joint production contract for a total of 18 KAPLAN MT vehicles and completed the design perfection studies carried out with the participation of end-users in 2020. The technical support and supply parts provided to PT Pindad for producing the vehicles in Indonesia were completed in 2021. These parts and subsystems were exported to Indonesia as tool kits and delivered to FNSS’ partner PT Pindad. As of the beginning of 2022, FNSS completed its project activities and made the vehicles produced in Turkey ready for user inspection. Within the project’s scope, the remaining vehicles will be delivered in Indonesia by PT Pindad with the technology transfer model successfully implemented by FNSS.
While FNSS completed its design perfection studies in a short period of time and completed its production activities in Türkiye after acceptance, it once again demonstrated its export experience and success with the technology transfer model.