Aselsan Unveils Volkan-M Fire Control System for Turkish M-60T Tanks

Aselsan Unveils Volkan-M Fire Control System for Turkish M-60T Tanks

The Turkish defense industry has taken a step in modernizing its armored forces with the development and integration of the Volkan-M Fire Control System into its M-60T tanks. This initiative, part of the broader FIRAT-M-60T Project, as reported on Army Recognition on 13 February 2024, aims to enhance the operational capabilities of Turkey’s M60 main battle tanks, which have long been a central element of the country’s armored forces.

The Volkan-M Fire Control System represents a technological advancement for Turkish M-60T tanks, developed entirely with Turkish components by the defense company Aselsan. This modernization is a component of the FIRAT-M-60T project, aiming to improve the combat capabilities of these main battle tanks in service with the Turkish army. The Volkan-M is designed to provide a simplified system architecture, effective day and night visibility, a high probability of hitting the target on the first shot, and fire control functions adapted to challenging combat conditions, whether moving or stationary, on rough terrain, and in adverse weather conditions.

Key features of the Volkan-M system include two-axis stabilization of the line of sight and fire, high-resolution thermal imaging, an eye-safe laser rangefinder, automatic target tracking on thermal/TV images, integrated ballistic calculation capability, computer-controlled fire control functions, management by the commander and the shooter, an electrical gun and turret control system, precise gun control and stabilization, and an improved and user-friendly operator interface. These features are designed to enhance the survivability of M60 tanks on the battlefield by increasing their capability to effectively hit targets under various operational conditions.

The modernization project was motivated by the need to update the aging fleet of M60A3 tanks, which had become increasingly obsolete in the face of modern anti-tank threats. As part of the upgrade, the M-60T tanks not only received the Volkan-M fire control system but also a set of new subsystems including laser warning systems, remote weapon systems, telescopic periscope systems, and the Active Protection System (APS) Pulat, among others.

This initiative reflects Turkey’s broader efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign military technology and develop its defense capabilities. The push towards indigenous defense solutions was partly motivated by economic sanctions and restrictions, notably following Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense system. In response, Turkey has accelerated its national defense projects, including the development of drones, missiles, air defense systems, and now the Volkan-M fire control system for its tank fleet.

The integration of the Volkan-M system into the M-60T tanks demonstrates Turkey’s growing strength in defense technology and its commitment to enhancing the capabilities of its armed forces. By investing in such advanced systems, Turkey aims to ensure its military remains effective and capable of addressing contemporary and future threats on the battlefield.

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