Meeting Mr. Görgüç at IDEX a few months ago we mostly talked about export programmes. Talking to him at IDEF, where the company exhibited some new products, one of them quite innovative, led the discussion towards the future of the company and its portfolio.
“We will definitely maintain both wheeled and tracked vehicles production, the latter remaining the backbone of any army even in the long term,” Mr. Görgüç states, “so we maintain a dedicated engineering department, our main product in that field being currently the medium tank that we introduced at Eurosatory in June 2018.” Following the French exhibition the medium tank, based on the Tulpar chassis fitted with a CMI Defence 105 mm turret, underwent firing trials, including firing on the move, all integration and optimisation work having been concluded according to Otokar General Manager. “We also developed a different cooling system for hot climates,” Mr. Görgüç says, “while we are working on lightweight armour solutions to improve the weight/protection ratio.” Otokar is looking with interest to two tender requirements in the Far East, while two other might be coming soon, at least one of them in the Middle East.
Otokar’s General Manager could not avoiding spending a few words on the new vehicle unveiled at IDEF, the all-electric Akrep II: “a lot of nations are interested in a light reconnaissance vehicle, so we decided to develop the follow on to the Akrep, which provides better protection and performances, and we started with the all-electric version which, as you know, will be followed closely by a diesel version, the third prototype being quite probably a hybrid diesel-electric vehicles,” he anticipates. “This will be followed by an unmanned solution, that will allow us to give up most of the armour protection, and to improve our knowledge on software and hardware solutions,” he adds, underlining how much the presence of Otokar on the commercial market, where autonomous busses have already been developed, helps the company in that field, some technologies having definitely dual applications. Robotics will not be limited to the Akrep II, Mr. Görgüç announcing that an optionally piloted Arma 8×8 armoured vehicle should be ready by 2020, mostly with convoy-type modes, although he states that armies have quite different views so no frozen solutions are foreseen.
“Our current portfolio covers quite a wide range of requirements,” Otokar’s General manager adds, “so in the early mid future we will be looking at refining our vehicles, at increasing power, upgrading protection, and add technology insertions, so you will mostly see variations on existing vehicles while I do not foresee any brand new platform in the mid term,” he concludes.
Photos by Paolo Valpolini