Aselsan: Pulat and Akkor
A new player in the APS arena is Aselsan of Turkey, which started some years ago developing two different solutions. Both are aimed at defeating shaped charge projectiles, including fly over and top attack, the company being clear saying that those two systems are not designed to cope with KE threats.
Beside its short range Pulat system, pretty similar to the Zaslin developed by Microtek of Ukraine, a modular system which has been installed on a Turkish Land Forces (TLF) battalion equipped with M60 upgraded MBTs. The module contains both the radar and the effector, which generates around 1,000 fragments that destroy the incoming warhead.
Beside the Pulat, which falls in the distributed systems category, Aselsan also developed a longer range system known as Akkor, which is conceptually similar to other launcher-based APS. In Turkey the system will likely be installed on the new Altay MBT and on existing Leopard 2A4s, while Aselsan is promoting it on its new Korhan 35 mm turret proposed for the future TLF 8×8 AIFV.
The Akkor features the typical four high resolution radars which algorithms, according to Aselsan, recognise only real incoming threats, rockets and missiles, which results in a very low false alarm rate. According to the company, these being short range radars, the vehicle electromagnetic signature remains pretty low. Sensors provide their data to the battle management system, increasing the overall situational awareness, A two-barrel trainable launcher is rotated towards the threat, the countermeasure being launched at the right azimuth and elevation according to inputs from the on-board dedicated computer in order to detonate at the exact interception point. While quite some details were provided on the Pulat short-range distributed system countermeasure, the Akkor countermeasure was not so much detailed, EDR On-Line understanding it might work on a similar principle, with fragments destroying the main shaped charge and blast deflecting the jet should this have already formed.
While the Pulat is fielded and combat proven on M60s, this is not yet true for the Akkor, which as well as the short range system has been developed hand in hand with the TLF that put the system through a series of thorough tests. According to Aselsan the Akkor should be fielded during the current year. A number of integration studies were carried out on different platforms. The Turkish defence electronic champion stated that a full integration analysis for installing the Akkor on a new platform, ensuring a full 360° coverage without blind spots, would take around six months, first deliveries being expected in one year.
Photos courtesy P. Valpolini