Turkish armoured vehicles manufacturer FNSS Savunma Sistemleri and Indonesia’s PT Pindad showcased a prototype of their jointly developed Kaplan MT armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) at the 2017 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), which took place in Istanbul from May 09 to 12.
Weighing 35 tons, the Kaplan MT is equipped with the CMI Cockerill 3105 turret, which in turn is centered on the Cockerill 105mm gun, which benefits from an autoloader and digital fire-control system (FCS). Its electronics suite also includes a battlefield management system and laser warning system.
The Kaplan MT can also be armed with a co-axial 7.62 machine gun. The Kaplan MT has a power-to-weight ratio of 20 hp/ton with a range of 450 km and top speed of 70 km/h.
FNSS is marketing the Kaplan MT as a supporting armour solution for engaging light armoured vehicles as well as flanking and ambush operations. It can also serve as an infantry fighting vehicle. FNSS views the Kaplan MT as a capable complementary asset to heavier main battle tanks.
Development of the Kaplan MT began in 2014 under the Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) program. In November 2016, FNSS and PT Pindad announced that they completed its conceptual design work.
The Kaplan MT is conceptually similar to Poland’s Anders Multirole Combat Platform. Like the Kaplan MT, the Anders is a tracked infantry fighting vehicle that can be configured with a tank turret centered on a 120mm cannon. The rationale behind this approach is provide a common platform for several roles, such as ferrying troops, fighting infantry as well as flanking and ambush firing.
If the underlying platform – e.g. Kaplan – is embraced for several roles, the end-user would benefit from a common maintenance and logistics channel, thus saving on long-term operational costs. This is ideal for building expeditionary forces. In comparison to modern-day Western tanks, the Kaplan MT would also be more affordable to procure.