Indonesian firm PT Pindad has announced that it expects to start mass-producing the Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) it is currently developing in collaboration with Turkey’s FNSS Savunma Sistemleri in 2019.
The tank programme is currently at an advanced stage of development, with PT Pindad having carried out ballistic and mine explosion tests featuring a MMWT hull prototype in Bandung, Indonesia, on 12 July.
Following the trials, PT Pindad said that the MMWT would now be prepared for certification tests with the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD). The company added, “[The programme] will then proceed to the production stage to meet the modernisation needs of the TNI-AD and export markets.”
Ade Bagdja, PT Pindad’s director of technology and development, expects that the company will produce at least 100 MMWT units for the TNI-AD. The new tank will replace the service’s depleted fleets of French-made AMX-13 light tanks, which originally numbered more than 300.
Bagdja also said that in the initial production stage about 50 local companies will be involved in the production of the MMWT, although this would increase to at least 100 firms as the programme matures.
He added that through the arrangement with FNSS – a joint venture between Turkey’s Nurol Holding and the UK group BAE Systems – PT Pindad will have responsibility to market the MMWT to export markets in the Asia-Pacific, while FNSS plans to export the product to markets in Africa.
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.
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