Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kaplan Medium Tank gets its first orders. There is a market for medium/light tanks after all....

via Defense Aerospace.
The KAPLAN MT tank's prototype was first exhibited at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair held last May.

A CMI Cockerill 3105 tower -- equipped to fire high-pressured 105mm shells -- provides the tank’s firepower.

Diesel-engine powered, the tank has a full automatic transmission and is able to carry three crew members -- a driver, shooter and commander.

With a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.4 miles per hour) the vehicle's range is 450 kilometers (280 miles).

Ballistic guards protect the tank's body and the vehicle has add-on armor. In addition, the tank's belly is guarded against mines.

It also has a secondary weapon in the shape of a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
Story here. 

I find this interesting.  Everyone likes to talk about the infrastructure of Asia being too light for tanks but that's just not true.  US, British and Australian (as well as French tanks earlier) operated in Vietnam without too much difficulty...and that was in deep jungle not just fighting in urban areas or along MSR's.

We know that they've been used successfully for jungle busting so that infantry could follow along behind and I've heard the stories from my old man about B40 rockets and the hell they would rain on base camps.  That is until the M48 would roll up and start beehiving the jungle side.

So operating in the jungle isn't a show stopper.

Additionally we know that there are tons of surplus MBTs just waiting to be sold that could be refurbished back to new condition too.

So why the market for medium/light tanks?

I'm really not sure.  These countries aren't "expeditionary".  They're not looking to fight on foreign lands.  Could it be a simple case of support costs?

Still not sure, but apparently there is a market and the Philippines and Bangladesh are all over it.

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