The Turkish Altai main battle tank, of which we recently analyzed a new attempt at national re-motorization, was shown in a new configuration in which elements of Aselsan’s active Akkor protection system can now be recognized.
On January 23, Turkey held a ceremonial reception ceremony for three new T-155 Firtina 2 howitzers that had been upgraded by the national industry. This event was attended by the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and served to organize an armored media parade in Turkey.
One of the media that was seen was one of the Altay main battle tanks mentioned above, now manufactured by BMC, showing a very different picture than the prototypes that were in testing a few years ago. The image of this version corresponds to the infographics of the Turkish companies from 2019, in particular Aselsan, to illustrate Akkor’s active protection system, which is the main novelty of this version, with the exception that only one launch vehicle instead of two appears in the tower.
The Altai now has a newly designed turret in which the 120 mm barrel is stored. and 55 caliber, manufactured by the Turkish MKE under license from the South Korean Hyunday Rotem. A workstation 12.70 mm away can be seen on the tower roof. supplied by Aselsan, in this case in the central part, unlike other places where it had been seen. The design of the tower also suggests the introduction of a new armor scheme on the sides and top, provided by Roketsan, which includes reactive armor. Roketsan was also responsible for ballistic protection of the hull against the threat of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with a special suite for the Altai that complies with levels 2 to 4 of the NATO standard STANAG 4569.
Above the turret, on the left, is the most noticeable element of the Akkor protection system, the launching of devices or explosive devices designed to intercept the threats floating above the tank in the form of rockets or rocket-propelled grenades. Because of its size, some have mistaken it for a rocket launcher, but it is a rotating device with a 360 degree range guided by the warnings from the radars built into the tower (two of which are visible in the front corners). and the laser alarm receivers which are also visible in the front corners (next to the laser receiver you can see what an IR jammer could be for the missiles). In the video it is possible to see two more panels in the rear corners of the tower. It is still not possible to know whether these are functional systems or whether they are not yet integrated, or whether they are even models or models of this protection system.
In 2018, we analyzed the properties of this active protection system following the Turkish announcement to modernize its tanks with active protection systems, as it is insufficiently operating in Syria. In March of this year, the State Secretary for the Defense Industry (SSM) Ismail Demir announced that the Akkor PULAT active protection system had passed the last tests with a positive result. Demir also announced that as part of the olive branch operation that began in January of this year, the system will soon be integrated into tanks deployed in Syria’s Afrin region.
The PULAT Active Protection System (APS) was developed by Aselsan in cooperation with the Turkish Council for Scientific and Technological Research (TBITAK). It is a system designed to provide additional protection to tanks and armored vehicles that can be built in over the existing armor, even reactive, or incorporated into the design of the tank. It consists of several modules containing explosive devices that are activated after a radar system indicates the presence of projectiles aimed at the tank, either missiles or missiles that are launched at close range. The system can protect all 360 degrees and can even be mounted vertically to protect the cart from threats from above. It can operate in any weather including sand, mud, rain, or snow.
The configuration is very similar to the Zaslon-L system developed by the Ukrainian company Microtek, so that it cannot be ruled out that it was developed in collaboration with this company. The original Ukrainian design is offered in modules with one or two launchers, while the PULAT has so far only been presented in modules with one launch vehicle. In the configuration presented by Aselsan, an M-60T tank has six modules on the barge that point on all four sides. The final Akkor setup for the Altay includes sensors on the tower and a dual artifact launcher on top. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: The Altai tank in its last configuration (Turkish Ministry of Defense)
Front lower view of the Altai tank during the above event (Turkish Ministry of Defense)
In this shot you can see the device starter as well as the laser and radar warning sensors and possibly an IR jammer (image capture by the Turkish Defense Ministry).
Conceptual representation of the Altai with the Akkor system. Then two double launch vehicles appeared. (Aselsan)
How the Akkor (Aselsan) active protection system works.
Video broadcast by the Turkish Ministry of Defense showing the Altai car from 6:20 a.m.
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