Turkey buying tank defence equipment from Ukraine

Turkey has chosen Ukrainian suppliers for the active protection systems its tanks need to further defend themselves from Kurdish rebels, defence website The War Zone said.

“With relations strained between Turkish authorities and many of their traditional partners, including the United States, Israel, and Germany, the government in Ankara has now turned to a Ukrainian firm to help supply the new defensive equipment,” it said.

“In February 2018, Turkey’s Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said that Microtek was still finishing testing of the Zaslon-L in Ukraine. Afterwards, Aselsan will begin working to integrate the system onto Turkish tanks. It’s not clear how long it will take before the first tanks with an operational active protection system will reach units in the field.”

The “hard-kill” system has also been chosen because it is relatively easy to install, the website said, with multiple connected units detecting incoming missiles and using a high-explosive fragmentation charge to neutralise them.

The system is becoming ever-more-necessary as shoulder-mounted anti-tank missiles become more common among Turkey’s foes, the site said.

One drawback to the system, however, is that it is dangerous to any infantry or civilians within 1,300 feet when it is used. This means that the tank could be protected at the expense of the infantry guarding it.