According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, Turkish armoured vehicle manufacturer FNSS displayed its Kaplan-20 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for the first time on 5 May at the IDEF 2015 defence exhibition in Istanbul (Turkey). The Kaplan-20 NGAFV (New Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle), weighing in at 20 tonnes, is the latest member of the Kaplan family, following on from the 10-tonne Kaplan reconnaissance vehicle, which was unveiled at IDEF 2013.
The Kaplan-20 IFV at IDEF this year is a working prototype, company officials told IHS Jane’s, and is planned to begin trials in later in 2015. Although not created for a current Turkish military requirement, the country is expected to launch a programme for a replacement IFV within the next few years.
The Kaplan-20 IFV has a low silhouette, and with its twin 6 road wheeled tracks, has the ability operate in hot/cold weather conditions at high speed not only on asphalt and stabilized highways, but also in soft soil, muddy and rough terrains. The advanced suspension system, tracks has been designed to reduce vibration and increase road holding. Access to the vehicle is gained through a personnel door on the ramp or the hydraulic ramp located at the rear of the vehicle. On the top, there is a wide hatch for personnel and another hatch that has been specifically designed to maximize the driver’s field of view. The maintenance and repair of the power pack are performed via the cabin access hatch and hatches that are at the front of the vehicle. The two fuel tanks are located at the rear for balance and are fully-armored and isolated from the vehicle to ensure the security of personnel.
The Kaplan-20 is available with two turret options, with both a two-person and an unmanned version of the FNSS Teber turret being offered. Either can be fitted with a 30-40 mm automatic cannon, with the IDEF display vehicle being equipped with an unmanned turret armed with a an ATK Bushmaster Mk-44 30-mm dual-feed cannon. Both turret configurations are armed with a 7.62-mm coaxial chain gun.
Company officials told IHS Jane’s that the vehicle has been designed to offer a low visual and thermal signature. They added that it has an internal volume 40% larger than vehicles in the same weight class, such as the ACV. When fitted with an unmanned turret the Kaplan-20 carries a crew of three and can take eight dismounts – which drops to six when fitted with a manned turret. Situational awareness is provided across 360° through day and night cameras. It is also fitted with a range of features such as an acoustic shot detection system and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).
FNSS officials told IHS Jane’s that the Kaplan-20 is entirely indigenously designed, although the vehicle’s running gear, powerpack, electronic systems, and armour have been bought in from foreign suppliers. The Kaplan-20 features rubber band tracks (from Germany’s Diehl), which FNSS company representatives said reduced both noise and vibration, improving crew comfort and extending the service life of onboard equipment.
The IFV has been designed to keep pace with Turkey’s new Altay Main Battle Tank (MBT), and offers a maximum cross-country speed of 43 mph/70 km/h. FNSS intends the Kaplan-20 to offer 25 hp per tonne, although an engine supplier has yet to be chosen for the vehicle, which was displayed without an engine installed. As well, Kaplan-20 has an amphibious capability, with two water jets mounted at the rear.
|Power to Weight Ratio||25 hp/ton|
|Crew||3+6, 3+8 (Including Gunner, Driver and Commander)|
|Length||6.5 m/21.3 feet|
|Width||3.15 m/10.3 feet (Without Active Protection)|
|Height Overall||2 m/6.5 feet|
|Electrical System||24 V|
|Steering System||Through Transmission|
|Maximum Road Speed||43 mph/70 km/h|
|Range||404+ miles/650+ km|
|Side Slope||40 %|
|Trench Crossing||2.6 m/8.5 feet|
|Obstacle Climbing||0.70 m/2.3 feet|
|Main Armament||RCT (Remote Controlled Turret), 30-mm Automatic Cannon|
|Coaxial Armament||7.62 mm Machine Gun|
|CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Protection System|
|CBRN Detection System|
|Automatic Fire Extinguishing System|
|Reduced Thermal Signature|
|Blast and Leakage Protected Fuel Cells|
|Advanced Modular Armor Protection|
|Active Protection System|
|Mine Blast Protected Seats|
|Smoke Grenade Dischargers|
|360° Degrees Situational Awareness|
|See Throe Armor System|
|Wireless Crew Intercom System|
|Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)|
|Daylight-Responsive Interior Lighting Controls|
|Drivers Thermal Sights|
|Sniper Detection System|
The New Generation Tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle