MKEK to Introduce New Weapons and Munitions at IDEF ‘19

Issue 91 - May 2019

Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation is one of the leading institutions for the Turkish Defence Industry. MKEK has been the main supplier of the Turkish Armed Forces since its establishment.   With a wide range of products, the company not only serves the Turkish Armed Forces but also takes part in the International Defence Industry Market by exporting to more than 40 countries. As in the past, MKEK continues to manufacture world-renowned defence industry products by following the technological developments in the world. MKEK will be exhibiting its new weapons systems at IDEF ‘19 the 14th International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul, held at the Büyükçekmece TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center between April 30 - May 3, 2019.

This year at IDEF, MKEK will display the Yavuz Vehicle Mounted 155 mm/52 caliber SPH and the Boran 105 mm Air Transportable Light Towed Howitzer systems which were previously introduced at IDEF17. In addition, MKEK plans to unveil its newest projects, the 20 mm and 12.7 mm Gatling-Style Rotary Gun systems and the 120 mm Mortar System for the first time in IDEF 19. The company launched these projects with its own resources to strengthen the Turkish Armed Forces and to increase capabilities of the Turkish Defence Industry. 

The “Yavuz” 6×6 Vehicle Mounted 155 mm/52 caliber Self-Propelled Howitzer System

Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) unveiled the “Yavuz” 155 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems mounted over 6×6 vehicles at IDEF 2017 for the first time. MKEK launched the “YAVUZ” project in April 2016, using the company’s own resources to develop a 6x6 vehicle mounted 155 mm howitzer system in line with the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. The project was started in order to integrate the existing weapon system into the MAN 6X6 vehicle. In the case of demand, the howitzer system can also be integrated into vehicles such as VOLVO, SCANIA, RENAULT, MERCEDES, BMC, ASTRA, KAMAZ, and VOLAT. MKEK successfully completed the sub-assembly integration and testing activities in the project and the qualification activities for the system were started. The company also successfully carried out firing tests at different elevation angles with a total of 40 ammunition using the 155 mm MOD 274 HE-ERFB/BB (High Explosive Extended Range Full Bore Base Bleed) Ammunition and M107 HE ammunitions. MKEK continues its efforts to reduce the weight and improve the ergonomics of the system. When compared to the 155 mm PANTER towed howitzer, the YAVUZ self-propelled howitzer offers superior features such as ammunition carrying capacity (18 rounds), shoot-and-scoot capability, high maneuverability, armored cabin for crew members and ability to climb a 40% gradient with a 30% side slope.

The “Boran” 105 mm Air Transportable Light Towed Howitzer System

MKEK launched the 105 mm Air Transportable Light Towed Howitzer (BORAN) project to fulfill the operational requests of the Commando and Infantry units for Airborne Operations. The system can calculate its own position and identify targets without usual deployment procedures thanks to its modern command and fire control systems. It has a minimum range of 17 kilometers and 6400 NATO mils (360°) firing capability. The howitzer weights around 1800kg and can be airlifted with a medium-lift utility helicopter and deployed in a short time for fire missions. Design Verification Tests of the M1 and M2 type prototypes were successfully completed and seven howitzers are expected to be produced in 2020 following the completion of the Product Qualification Tests.

20 mm and 12.7 mm Gatling-Style Rotary Gun 

In order to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces, MKEK initiated Gatling-style weapon systems projects to domestically design, develop and produce 20 mm six-barrel rotary cannons and 12.7 mm three-barrel rotary machine guns for application on a variety of air, land and sea platforms, including helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, land-based vehicles, and naval vessels. The Gatling-style Rotary Gun Projects consist of 5 phases including Requirement Analysis and Determining System Requirements, Preliminary Design Phase, Detail Design Phase, Technology Demonstrator Production, and Technology Demonstration Tests. Preliminary Design and Detail Design phases of the projects have successfully been completed, and the Technology Demonstrator Gatling gun prototypes have been produced.

20 mm Gatling Gun Technical Specifications:

Quick Change Barrel

Weight: 112,5 kg

Muzzle Velocity: 1030 m/s 

Rate of Fire: 4000-6000 rounds per minute

Action: Hydraulic, electric, pneumatic

Feed System: Linked or linkless

Recoil Force: 9,4 kN

Dispersion: 8 milliradians diameter, 80% circle

Operating Temperature Range: -46, +52 ° C

12.7 mm Gatling Gun Technical Specifications:

12.7x99 mm NATO,

Standard NATO M9-linked (Closed Loop – Pull Out)

3-barrel Gatling-style,

Barrel Length: 900 ± 50 mm,

Electrically driven,

Feeder/Delinker Unit,

Gun Control Unit (GCU)

Total System Weight without Ammunition: 75 kg,

Rate of Fire: 1000 + 200 rounds per minute

Effective firing range: 1.700 meters,

Mean time to repair (MTTR),

Mean time between failures (MTBF),

Reliability: %0.1 failure rate,

Dispersion: 5 milliradians diameter, 80% circle,

Light-weight and small size.

120 mm Mortar System 

MKEK initiated the project to design, develop, manufacture, test and qualify a 120 mm Mortar System. Within the scope of the project, five different alternatives were studied for the system and the most optimal solution was provided by analyzing the technological feasibility, manufacturability, availability, modularity, ease of use and costs. Later in the project, MKEK designed and analyzed the Barrel, Base Assembly, Elevation Assembly, and Breech Assembly, which are the sub-main assemblies of the weapon system. Following the analysis, sub-assemblies were produced, and the weapon integration was successfully completed.

Technical Specifications:

Weight: ~10 ton

Barrel Length: 1900 mm

Range: 9 km

Ammunition Capacity: 30 rounds

Rate of Fire: 10 rounds per minute

Traverse: ±3200 mils

Elevation: 800-1200 mils

Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation also carries out other strategic projects to provide domestic and national alternatives for the various weapons systems and ammunition currently used by the Turkish Armed Forces. The changing nature of the threat environment and the lessons learned during the cross-border operations in Syria influenced the R&D initiated by MKEK. 

Research and Development Projects

The company has almost completed the production of the 120 mm tank ammunition family with the development of the 120 mm HE-T and HEAT-MP-T ammunition. 155 mm MOD 274 HE-ERFB/BB artillery rounds have been manufactured and delivered to Turkish Land Forces for the Fırtına and Panter/Yavuz howitzers. MKEK also mobilizing its capabilities to manufacture defence products, that are hard to import from abroad, through domestic means. The company launched projects to manufacture guided ammunitions and smart munitions. Additionally, MKEK works on the development of domestic engines that can be used in land vehicles of the Turkish Armed Forces. 

120 mm MKEK MOD300 HE-T Tank Gun Ammunition Project

One of the latest developments in the Turkish defence industry was the successful testing of 120 mm HE-T tank ammunition developed by MKEK. In line with the requirements of the Turkish Land Forces Command for 120 mm HE-T Tank Gun Ammunition to be used against open and sight defilade targets, MKEK launched a project with its own resources to develop and produce such ammunition. In this context, MKEK designed the warhead body, fins, and the fuse. Following the production of the prototypes, wall penetration and muzzle blast tests were carried with an M60-T Tank. During the tests, the 120 mm MKE MOD300 HE-T Ammunition was fired against concrete structures/fortifications and effectively destroyed the barricaded targets. MKEK successfully completed the R&D activities in the project and signed a contract with the Turkish Land Forces Command for a total of 8000 rounds. The first 1000 pieces have been delivered and the product qualification process has been completed.

120 mm HEAT-MP-T Tank Ammunition Development Project

MKEK will produce the Combustible Cartridge Case, Case Adapter, Case Base, Electric Primer, Fuse, and Propellant as part of the project. The High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose Tracer (HEAT-MP-T) projectiles use shaped charge explosive to defeat armored and soft targets and can be fired from both L44 and L55 smoothbore guns. During the firing tests, the projectile successfully penetrated 430 mm RHA armor at 1000 meters with high accuracy. MKEK has started the qualification activities for the ammunition.

120 mm Gun-Launched Laser Guided Missile Development Project 

MKEK started the “120 mm Gun-Launched Laser Guided Missile Project” on January 25, 2018, with its own resources in order to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. Within the scope of the project, MKEK aims to develop and produce indigenous Laser Guided Anti-Tank Missiles which can be launched from 120 mm tank barrels. The Missiles will have a minimum range of 5km and 750 mm RHA armor penetration capability. The contract negotiations are still ongoing under the project.

155 mm Precision-Guided Ammunition Development Project

MKEK currently produces the standard 155 mm Extended Range Ammunition and the 52 caliber Weapon System with an effective firing range of 40 km. In addition to the standard 155 mm Extended Range Ammunition, MKEK is also working on the production of a guided ammunition system for the 155 mm Fırtına Howitzers. In this context, the company initiated an R&D Project with its own resources. With this project, MKEK aims to acquire the capability to locally produce Precision-Guided (GPS/INS) Munitions that can be used against armored or unarmed fixed targets with known coordinates within a 60+ km range.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Ammunition and Weapon Projects

MKEK also started different projects to integrate assault rifles and grenade launcher systems into Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

T-155 S/P FIRTINA Power Pack Integration and Procurement Project 

MKEK owns the intellectual property rights to export T-155 Fırtına Howitzers. However, the power pack requires an export license, and this creates an obstacle regarding the overseas sale of the vehicle. To overcome this obstacle, MKEK has been conducting studies to find an alternative solution. In this context, the company has started the design, production, and procurement activities for the T-155 Fırtına Howitzer power pack and signed a contract in December 2018.

RDX-HMX and Aluminum (Al) Powder Production Projects

Composite fuels, gunpowder, and pyrotechnic materials are highly valuable chemicals as energetic materials. Aluminum (Al) Powder, RDX (Hexagon) and HMX (Octagon) are used for various types of Polymer-Bonded Explosive (PBX) compositions and these materials are currently imported from foreign sources. To meet this need within the country, MKEK has started the “RDX-HMX and Aluminum (Al) Powder Production Projects” with the aim of providing domestically produced explosive composition solutions. Laboratory tests carried out with the produced samples resulted in the desired characteristics and quality and MKEK successfully completed the development and production activities of RDX, HMX and Al powder with local resources.

Thermobaric Explosive Production Project

Thermobaric explosives (TBX) cause significant destruction in confined spaces such as caves, shelters, tunnels, and headquarters than conventional explosives by producing more heat and overpressure than conventional explosives. MKEK has started an R&D Project for thermobaric explosives and munitions.

Modular Propelling Charge System Development Project

The “Modular Propelling Charge System” used with the MKEK product 155 mm Extended Range (ER) High-Explosive (HE) Projectiles is currently supplied from abroad. On December 22, 2016, MKEK launched the “155 mm Modular Propelling Charge System Development Project” with its own resources to domestically develop propelling charge modules compatible with the 155 mm Extended Range Ammunition used by the Turkish Armed Forces. The Design Verification and Testing Phase of the project was successfully completed in March 2019 in accordance with STANAG 4224 (Safety and Suitability for Service) and ITOP 4-2-504(1) (Safety Testing of Artillery Ammo) documents. The system is ready for mass production and the contract negotiations are underway.

Spectral Flare Development Project 

Within the scope of the “Spectral Flare Project” MKEK aims to domestically develop/produce two different types of decoy flares called Type-1 and Type-2, which can be deployed from existing “Countermeasure Systems” in order to counter/confuse new generation advanced infrared homing missiles by imitating heat signatures of the air platforms.

OZOK Hand Grenade Project

The “Stun Grenade” project proposed by Martyr Lieutenant Ozan Olgu KÖREKE and Sergeant First Class Mustafa ORMAN is named as “OZOK Project” in memory of Martyr Lieutenant Ozan Olgu KÖREKE. Thanks to its small size and lightweight, it allows the soldiers to carry more grenades and it can be thrown further than similar systems. When detonated, it creates a loud sound and creates a shock effect. Project studies were initiated, and the first tests of the grenade were successfully completed.