Land Platforms

Turkey to equip MBTs with APS for operations in Syria

08 March 2018
Conceptual representation of the Turkish Pulat APS, which is being fitted to Turkish MBTs for operations in Syria. Source: Aselsan

Key Points

  • Turkish MBTs operating in Syria are receiving an active protection system developed by Aselsan
  • The system is believed to be a development of the Ukrainian Zaslon-L system

Turkish main battle tanks (MBTs) operating in Syria’s Afrin region as part of the Turkish armed forces’ ongoing Operation ‘Olive Branch’ are to be fitted with Pulat active protection systems (APS) by late this month or early April, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on 7 March.

Turkish forces supported by Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels have been fighting against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin since 20 January.

In an interview with the state-run Anatolia news agency, Canikli claimed that the Pulat APS was developed by local company Aselsan from scratch. The Anatolia report claimed the system provides 360-degree full protection against anti-tank guided missiles and rockets and can work effectively under extreme environmental conditions such as dust, mud, snow, or rain.

“They [the systems] provide protection for tanks even in close-range shots. The system will not only be limited with tanks but also in the future they may be fitted on other armoured vehicles,” Canikli added.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary of the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM) İsmail Demir reported on 5 March via his twitter account that the Pulat APS had undergone successful firing tests.

Despite Canikli’s assertions, it is understood that the Pulat APS is based on an advanced version of Ukraine’s Zaslon-L APS.

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