With conceptual design complete, FNSS and PT Pindad are showcasing their jointly developed Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) at INDODEFENCE 2016 in Jakarta this week.
“Turkey and Indonesia have been collaborating in the form of partnerships in their respective industries since 2010 and we initiated this project in 2014,” Project Manager Baris Aslan of the FNSS Business Development and Local Programmes Directorate told Mönch in Jakarta. “We have now begun construction of two prototype vehicles, one of which will be used as an evaluation vehicle here in Indonesia,” he confirmed.
FNSS focus in the programme has been on the platform (it is based on FNSS' new KAPLAN armoured fighting vehicle chassis, which it developed for Turkey’s anti-tank weapon carrying vehicle [WCV] programme and was contracted for it by Turkey’s SSM procurement department earlier this year) and automotive systems, while PT Pindad has exercised its expertise in managing the design (and now fabrication) process for the user systems. Programme partner CMI Defence manages the turret and associated 105mm weapon system for the MMWT.
“Production will be shared [between the partner companies] as and when an order is placed,” Aslan confirmed to Mönch. There is no formal requirement as yet from the army of either country, but sources close to the programme indicate that an initial order of 50 vehicles can be expected as the precursor to an eventual total that could rise to 400 or more vehicles. The first prototype is likely to be shown in public for the first time at IDEF next May, according to Aslan, and although there is not yet any formal evaluation planned by the Turkish army, the results of the Indonesian evaluation and test programme scheduled for next year are likely to produce results that will be shared with the respective government authorities.
MMWT offers weights between 32 and 35t, depending on the exact armour configuration selected. The new generation engine, coupled with a fully automatic electronically controlled transmission results in a high power-to-weight ratio in excess of 20bhp/t which, with six wheeled torsion bar suspension systems and double pinned tracks results in exceptional agility, according to the company.
Careful attention has been paid to the ergonomics of the design as well as the necessity for an efficient power management system. Customised crew seats provide for significant operational flexibility and an intelligent software-driven hydraulic fan cooling system for the engine compartment provides for optimum torque extraction and contributes to a 450km operational range. An advanced battery monitoring system also provides optimum power management and SilentWatch capabilities.
The aim behind MMWT is, “to provide users with a capability comparable to a main battle tank but at a lower weight and cost,” Aslan told MT, adding that the benefits already obvious include lower operating costs and much greater operational flexibility: the vehicle will be capable of dealing with most threat scenarios currently envisioned, in high ambient temperatures and in inimical conditions, he says.