The Kaplan MT has passed qualifications tests with the Indonesian Army, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. Source: FNSS
The Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) has passed the required qualification tests with the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) and is now ready for mass production, Nail Kurt, the general manager of Turkey’s FNSS Savunma Sistemleri (FNSS), was quoted by the Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying on 5 September.
The tank successfully underwent almost three months of trials designed to test its durability and lethality, Kurt told the media outlet, adding that FNSS, which is developing the Kaplan MT in collaboration with Indonesia’s PT Pindad, is now looking to move on to the production phase.
“A five-year budget is coming after 2019. The total need is between 200and 400 units, we are talking about very serious quantities,” said Kurt, adding that the company expects to sign an export contract by 2019, with Turkey and Indonesia expected to contribute equally to the manufacturing process.
He also said that a “small order” of 20–25 tanks “could be taken even in 2018”.
The announcement comes after PT Pindad said in July that it expects to start mass-producing the Kaplan MT in 2019. Ade Bagdja, PT Pindad’s director of technology and development, said at the time that he expects the company to produce at least 100 MMWT units for the TNI-AD.
As Jane’s previously reported, the MMWT programme is supported by an inter-government agreement between Indonesia and Turkey that was signed in November 2014. Work on the project started shortly after, with two prototypes and one hull for mine testing being produced by 2017. FNSS unveiled the first MMWT prototype at the IDEF exhibition in Turkey in May 2017.
Intended to provide direct fire and tactical mobility to the Indonesian forces, the rear-engined Kaplan MT has been designed to meet the TNI-AD’s requirement for a medium-weight tank and is set to replace the service’s depleted fleets of French-made AMX-13 light tanks, which originally numbered more than 300.