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IDEF 2019: Turkey's New Generation Firtina SPH unveiled

Turkey’s First Main Maintenance Factory Directorate displayed the New Generation T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzer (SPH) for the first time at the IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul, taking place between 30 April and 3 May.

According to officials representing the directorate, the Turkish Army has signed a contract for serial production of the vehicle pending a final series of tests.

Turkish company Aselsan is one of the leading subcontractors for the project and provided a new fire control system (FCS) for the vehicle. Aselsan stated in a press release that development of the NG Firtina was initiated as a result of feedback from recent Turkish operations in cross-border and ‘counter-terror’ operations.

Externally the most notable change from the original Firtina SPH is the installation of a SARP remote weapon station (RWS) from Aselsan on the roof of the vehicle.

According to Aselsan representatives, the RWS serves the dual role of being a close-range weapon for engagements against infantry as well as functioning as a direct-fire sight for the 155 mm main ordnance.

Additionally, the SPH’s gun control equipment has been converted from a hydraulic to an all-electric system, designed to improve crew safety and maintenance. The loading system, which was semi-automatic on the original Firtina, has been upgraded to an entirely automated system, which also allows the gunner to select from any one of four ammunition types at will.

Furthermore, the ammunition system is modified to introduce temperature-controlled stowage and a vacuum system intended to improve the safety of the stored charges.

The temperature of the propellant is fed into the Aselsan FCS to provide a more accurate ballistic solution.

The New Generation Firtina on display at IDEF 2019. The changes made to the system reflect the challenges of fighting an asymmetric opponent and the importance of artillery in doing so successfully. (IHS Markit/Sam Cranny-Evans)
The New Generation Firtina was displayed for the first time at this year's IDEF exhibition in Istanbul. (IHS Markit/Sam Cranny-Evans  )

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