Air Defense: March 8, 2001


: The Turkish Land Forces have resumed a program to buy an anti-aircraft vehicle that will be based on Leopard-1 tank chassis already in service with the Turkish military. (These Leopard-1s will be replaced by the new tanks to be bought, releasing their chassis for auxiliary duties.) The deal will include 60 initial vehicles along with options for a further batch of 40. Turkey expects to co-produce the turrets. The three contenders are:

@ The British Aerospace / Royal Ordnance Marksman twin 35mm

@ The German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Gepard twin 35mm

@ The Italian OTOBreda single 76mm

Turkey wants new turrets, not reconditioned turrets (which would only be available for Gepard). Turkey already manufactures its own 35mm ammunition (for use in towed anti-aircraft guns) which is identical to that used by Gepard and Marksman.--Stephen V Cole


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