The Turkish Army is expected to receive upgraded Leopard 2A4 MBTs with additional Roketsan T1 reactive-passive armor armor in October. According to the information provided by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), integration of armour package will be conducted at the task area of tanks in the field conditions. The study on armour upgrade was carried out at the Roketsan Ballistic Protection Centre and the armour package was qualified recently. The reactive-passive armor solution package developed by Roketsan was unveiled during August 30th ceremony, without any additional information. 40 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks will be up-armoured at the first stage.
The T1 armor is likely to contain a composite component. Including the turret sides and rear of the tank, and the engine compartment, it appears to be equipped with lattice armour, which provides protection against hollow charge ammunition. The cage has a structure that can withstand multiple hits. The gun shield and the front and sides of the turret were presumably protected with composite components and their survivability was increased. The level of protection has increased from the side of the tank to the engine compartment. The reactive armour package known as era may be integrated to increase the survivability of the crew compartment, which is the critical part of the Leopard 2A4 tank.
The new armor can protect against all known anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) threats in regions where the TSK is actively in operation. Four of a total of 16 smoke mortars in 4×2, located on the two sides of the rear upper part of the tower, have been removed to make space for the fasteners of the cage armour. With the additions to the tank’s existing armor system, resistance to anti-tank missiles have been increased. Although the weight of the tank increased from 55 tons to 62 tons with the added armor, obstacle overcoming and mobility tests in the field were successful. It was proved that despite the increased weight, there were no losses to operational power.
Roketsan Roket Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S. is a major Turkish weapons manufacturer and defense contractor based in Ankara. Incorporated in 1988 by Turkey’s Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) to establish the nation’s industrial base on missile technology, the company has quickly risen to become one of Turkey’s top 500 industrial corporations. Roketsan’s current share holders include Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (55.5%), ASELSAN (15%), MKEK (15%), Vakıflar Bankası (10%), HAVELSAN (4.5%). Roketsan is best known for its vast range of unguided rockets as well as laser and infrared guided missiles such as Cirit and UMTAS.