Indonesian land systems specialist PT Pindad is pursuing export opportunities with its newly developed Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT), the company has confirmed to Jane's .
A PT Pindad official told Jane's at the Indo Defence show in Jakarta that Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Brunei have all expressed interest in procuring the 35-tonne platform and that representatives from the three countries will attend separate MMWT demonstrations in Indonesia before the end of November.
The MMWT is being developed by PT Pindad and FNSS Savunma Sistemleri - a joint venture between Turkey's Nurol Holding and the UK group BAE Systems - under an agreement signed in 2014.
"Countries are looking for a lighter tank than an MBT (main battle tank)," said the PT Pindad official. "Countries are looking for a platform that can easily be transported and deployed."
The official confirmed that PT Pindad has concluded trials of the MMWT and is now in the process of achieving certification for the tank. This is expected before the end of the year, he said. A contract to mass produce the MMWT is expected to be awarded in fiscal year 2020. No funds to produce and procure the platform were allocated in Indonesia's 2019 defence budget, the official confirmed.
However, once started the programme is expected to be expansive. According to PT Pindad, the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) has a requirement for 400 Kaplan MMWTs to replace the service's depleted fleets of French-made AMX-13 light tanks, which originally numbered more than 300.
The PT Pindad official explained that the scope of the programme provides an opportunity for Indonesian industry to become self-reliant in tank manufacturing. At least 100 local defence companies are expected to be involved in the programme once production starts.
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