Bangladesh Army orders Indo-Turkish Kaplan medium tanks

Bangladesh Army orders Indo-Turkish Kaplan medium tanks

The Bangladesh Army has become the launch customer of the Kaplan or Tiger medium tank alongside the Philippines Army according to PT Pindad officials.

The joint Indonesian-Turkish medium tank is designed to be operated in Bangladesh’s environment where most heavy tanks may become bogged down.

The head of PT Pindad’s medium tank project Windu Paramata said the Bangladesh Army ordered the tank already. Chief of Staff Genera Aziz Ahmed visited Indonesia to inspect the tanks on 22 August 2019. The Kaplan was demonstrated in Bangladesh later in October 2019 as part of the condition to test its capabilities.

Deliveries of the Kaplan medium tank are to begin in 2020 with up to 48 tanks to be supplied in the first batch and a total order expected to be for 144 tanks or three tank regiments.

PT Pindad and FNSS designed the tank in 2015 with production beginning in 2017. The Kaplan weighs 35 tonnes and is powered by a Caterpillar C13 diesel engine developing 711 hp and enables the tank to reach a maximum road speed of 78 km/h. The tank has an excellent power to weight ratio of 22.2 hp/t and is equipped with Allison/Caterpillar X300 full automatic transmission. It is equipped with torsion bar suspension. It is able to cross 2 m trench and 0.9 m vertical obstacle.

Armaments on the Kaplan include a Belgian Cockerill 105mm high-pressure gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Protection is provided by STANAG 4569 Level 4 hull armour and Level 5 modular add-on armour. The V-hull in the underbelly is designed to deflect IED’s ensuring better chance of survivability for the crew. The tank is operated by a crew of three including the commander, gunner and driver.

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The Kaplan is equipped with a Cockerill CT-CV 105HP (High Pressure) 105mm Smoothbore gun manufactured by CMI (Cockerill Maintenance & Ingenierie SA Defense), with the barrel mounting a bore evacuator and thermal jacket. The turret is equipped with an autoloader and can be rotated 360 degrees both electronically and mechanically, with a maximum elevation/depression of 42 up to -6 degrees, and it’s equipped with Gyro Stabilizer and Firing Control System. It’s also equipped with an IFF system, Hunter Killer System for target selection, and Auto Target Locking System to assist the Gunner.

The Gun has been test fired with TPCSDS-T, HEP-T, HE4 TP2 shells, and can also fire NATO standard 105mm Shells such as:

  • M1060CV – Velocity 1620 m/s with RHA Penetration 560mm from 2000m at 60 degrees
  • M1061 HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) – Velocity 1173 m/s RHA Penetration >400mm from 1500m at 60 degrees
  • M393 A3 HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) – Velocity 732 m/s
  • M416 Smoke – Velocity 731 m/s
  • M1204 Canister – Velocity 1173 m/s

The hull armour of MMWT is using modular armour. It is categorized as STANAG 4569 level 4 protection, which means the tank can withstand 14.5×114mm AP rounds at 200 meters with 911 m/s velocity. The underbelly of the tank uses V-hull, able to withstand 10 kg AT mine under the tracks and under the centre. Due to modularity, the armour can be augmented to level 5 protection (withstand 25 mm APDS-T at 500 m with 1258 m/s velocity) without increasing the volume of the tank, with the frontal arc able to withstand 30 mm rounds.

A modular PULAT Active Protection System joint-developed by ASELSAN and TÜBİTAK SAGE can be integrated. This ensures the tank’s defensive capabilities against projectiles at all-angles.

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Technical specifications:

Crew: 3

Total weight: 32 tonnes

Top speed: 78 km/h

Engine power: 711 hp

Transmission: Fully automatic

Cruising range: 450 km

Power-to-weight ratio: 22.2 hp/tonne

Barrel caliber: 105mm, smoothbore

Secondary guns: 7.62mm machine guns

Gradient: 60%

Side slope: 30%

Obstacle climbing: 0.9 m Trench crossing: 2 m

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