Anadolu Agency (AA) reports that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) received their first 500 MKEK MPT-76 battle rifles from the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK)
Chambered for 7.62×51 mm NATO rounds, the production of the MPT-76 began in 2015 at MKEK’s small-arms manufacturing factory at Kırıkkale in central Turkey. AA states that the MPT-76 has “an effective range of up to 600 metres and is caable of firing 600 rounds per minute at a muzzle velocity of 800 metres per second.” The MPT-76 will gradually replace the Turkish Army’s Heckler & Koch (HK) G-3 battle rifles.
Notes & Comments:
MKEK markets the MPT-76 for being “as effective as the G-3, [but as] reliable as the AK-47 and practical as [the] M-16.” As per the Daily Sabah, the MPT-76 was chosen in May 2014 after it had successfully done 50 tests – firing a total of 1.1 million rounds during the tests.
In December 2015, the Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) ordered 15,014 MPT-76 rifles for USD $18 million. With a unit cost of nearly USD $1,200, the MPT-76 sits in an affordable price range, which bodes well for the TSK considering the Turkish Army alone requires approximately 600,000 rifles.
In parallel, the Turkish defence industry is also developing – if not already producing – a range of optics and other accessories. 3E EOS and Aselsan are Turkey’s leading vendors in this regard. Combined, these aspects position Turkey as a strong prospective small arms vendor, which will bode well with Ankara’s aim to be a defence exporter.