The T-155 Firtina is a 155mm 52 caliber manufactured in Turkey by a consortium of Turkish Defense Companies based on the South-Korean-made K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) designed and manufactured by Hanwha Techwin (Formerly Samsung Techwin). According to the licence agreement with Samsung Techwin, the first eight T-155s were built in South Korea, while the remaining batch of more than 300 units would be produced in Turkey. The total reported cost of purchase and technology transfer for the Turkish government was $1 billion. In 2011 Azerbaijan ordered 36 Firtina with a delivery in 2014.
Though essentially using the subsystems of the K9 howitzer, including the South Korean designed 155/52 caliber gun system and automatic ammunition feeding mechanism, and the German designed MTU-881 KA 500 diesel engine, the T-155 has considerable differences in its turret design, parts of the chassis, the navigation system, and electronic systems (such as the radio and fire control system) which were developed in Turkey. Unlike the K9, T-155 Fırtına lacks commander’s digital panoramic sight. Through the Inertial Navigation System produced by ASELSAN the howitzer is able to determine the coordinates of the targets at 17.5 meters deviation. Fırtına can open fire within 30 seconds.
The self-propelled howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 km, depending on the type of ammunition. The gun of the Firtina is compatible with standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. A standard 155 mm M107 high-explosive projectile can be fired to a maximum range of 18 km or a M549 rocket-assisted high-explosive projectile to a maximum range of 30 km. The barrel is fitted with a multi-baffle muzzle brake and fume extractor. The Firtina is fitted with an automatic ammunition loading system and the gun can fire at a maximum rate of three rounds in 15 seconds. The commander’s cupola on the right side is armed with 12.7 mm M2 machine which can be used against ground or aerial threats. Four smoke grenade dischargers are mounted at the front of the turret, on each side of the main gun.
The T-155 Firtina is powered by a German MTU 881 Ka-500 water-cooled diesel developing 1,000 hp coupled to an Allison X-1100-5 fully automatic transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The hydropneumatic suspension either side consists of six dual rubber-tyred road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. The Firtina can run at a maximum top speed of 67 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 360 km. The Firtina r is able to negotiate gradient up to 60%, side slope to 30% , cross a water obstacle of 1.5 mm deep maximum, can climb vertical obstacles of 0.75m and can cross a trench of 2.8m maximum. It can reach a top speed of 66 km/h and has an operational range of 480 km.