3 May 2019
By Paolo Valpolini
At the FNSS stand IDEF visitors can see the two qualification vehicles developed by the company for the antitank vehicles contract aimed at the Turkish Land Forces. Both the tracked Kaplan Antitank and the wheeled PARS Antitank are both undergoing the final phase of the testing. Both are fitted with the company Antitank Remote Controlled Turret (ARCT) which is designed to be able to fire either the Kornet or the OMTAS antitank missiles, the latter developed by Roketsan.
Both vehicles are amphibious and can enter water without preparation; when afloat they propulsed by two propellers. Swim tests have all been completed. Both missiles have been fired from the ARCT, although further qualification firing tests will be made together with the customer. As for the PARS Antitank, this is half way through the durability tests, mine blast testing having been completed, while some further ballistic tests will be carried out in the coming months. The Kaplan Antitank testing is very close to the end, FNSS expecting to complete it by the end of June, that of the PARS Antitank being expected in late September.
The Turkish Land Forces will receive 76 wheeled vehicles and 184 tracked ones. All PARS Antitank will fire the OMTAS missile, while the Kaplan Antitank fleet will have a mix of 64 Kornet launchers and 120 OMTAS launchers. Although the ARTC can launch one type of missile, transforming it to launch the other missile is feasible, carrying out a configuration change, a relatively simple work to be done at factory level.
The production of the Kaplan Antitank has already started at the FNSS facility, the company planning to deliver the first pilot vehicle by October 2019, with three more following before year end. As for the PARS Antitank, the production of the vehicle should start soon at the Nurol Makina facility, first deliveries being planned for early 2020, although FNSS hopes to be able to anticipate that date. The completion of the programme with the delivery of all vehicles is planned for 2021.
Photos by Paolo Valpolini