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This Battle Tank Combines German Hull with Turkish Turret, Ready for Production

The German Leopard battle tank is one of Europe’s most important such machines. Introduced way back in 1979, it is still in service in most of the continent’s countries, with around 3,600 of them made since production started in Germany.
Turkish-German tank hybrid 1 photo
As it usually happens with war machines, the Leopard has a great number of versions, depending on a variety of factors, including the country using them and the purpose for which they are deployed. And new interpretations of the tank keep popping up.

Turkey, for instance, has over 350 of them enlisted, some of which got their share of action in 2016, when they were sent into battle in Syria to fight ISIS. Their Leopard variants are called 24A, and sport vertically-faced turret armor, a digital ballistic computer, and a better fire extinguishing system.

Yet weapons systems can always be improved, and earlier this year local company BMC showed a variant of the 24A no longer sporting its original turret, but one taken from Turkey’s own Altay – the Altay is a variant of the K2 Black Panther made by South Korean Hyundai Rotem.

The Turks called this hybrid machine “an upgraded version” of the Leopard. The new turret comes with a 120 mm (4.7-inch) smoothbore gun, and home-made protection and laser systems.

The tank was shown for the first time in the last week of January, and the company making the conversion says it is ready to start modifying more than 300 Leopard tanks, should the Turkish government approve the move.

“If the military command decides to order mass production, we will start the work immediately,” a BMC official was quoted as saying by Defense News, adding that the idea could be used for export purposes as well.

“That will pave the way for similar upgrades on hundreds of Leopards in different parts of the world. Export potential is bigger than the Turkish contract.”


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