The Turkish Army have received the first six new T-155 Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzers. An upgraded version dubbed “Firtina 2” was to begin production in 2017, featuring improvement to range and rate of fire. The new vehicles were to be fitted with remote weapons stations capable of carrying 12.7mm, 7.62mm machine guns and 40 mm grenade launchers. The 155mm Self-propelled howitzers use the engine and transmission developed by BMC Power. A ceremony was held to mark the delivery milestone, which was attended by President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials.
President Erdogan said: “We will increase this number to 140 in total, with new deliveries in the coming period. The new generation Storm howitzers have many advantages compared to the models currently in the inventory. As a result of the studies carried out, both the survivability and firepower of our howitzers have been increased. Additional capabilities include new generation fire control, automatic ammunition loading, driver vision, and automatic fire extinguishing. There are many critical elements such as air conditioning, remote-controlled weapons, renewed track suspension equipment, and a new generation auxiliary power group.”
Turkish Army Receives New Batch of T-155 Firtina 155mm Self-propelled Howitzers. (Photo by Turkish Ministry of National Defense)
T-155 Firtina (Turkish for Storm) is a Turkish variant of K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer originally developed by South Korea. It is manufactured and assembled by Turkish Land Forces at the 1010th Army Equipment Repair Factory using imported subsystems from Korea. The K9 Thunder is a South Korean 155 mm self-propelled howitzer designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and is now manufactured by Hanwha Defense. As of 2023, the K9 series has had a 52% share of the global self-propelled howitzer market, including wheeled vehicles, since the year 2000.
The T-155 retains most of the K9’s features, such as the CN98 155 mm barrel and chassis, produced through the technology transfer of Agency for Defense Development (ADD) in South Korea. However, its turret reflects original Turkish design, increasing both ammunition capacity and combat weight, thus reducing power to weight ratio. Auxiliary Power Unit is installed while commander’s panoramic sight is removed. Parts of the chassis, the Inertial Navigation System, and electronic systems such as the radio and Fire Control System were developed in Turkey. Inertial Navigation system was produced by ASELSAN.