|Place of origin||South Korea, Turkey|
Syrian Civil War
|Mass||Combat: 56 tons|
|Length||12 m (39 ft 4 in)|
|Width||3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)|
|Height||3.43 m (11 ft 3 in)|
|Crew||5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)|
|155 mm L52 Artillery Gun|
|12.7 mm machine gun|
|Engine||MTU-881 KA 500 power pack|
|480 km (299 mi)|
|Speed||66 km/h (41 mph)|
The T-155 Fırtına essentially uses the subsystems of the K9 howitzer, including the South Korean designed 155/52 caliber gun system and automatic ammunition feeding mechanism, and the German designed MTU-881 KA 500 diesel engine, but has considerable differences in its turret design, parts of the chassis, the navigation system, and electronic systems (such as the radio and fire control system), which were developed in Turkey. The T-155 lacks a commander's digital panoramic sight, which the K9 has. Through the Inertial Navigation System produced by ASELSAN, the howitzer is able to determine the coordinates of the targets at 17.5 meters deviation. Fırtına can open fire within 30 seconds.
According to the licence agreement with Samsung Techwin, the first eight T-155s were built in South Korea, while the remaining batch of more than 300 units would be produced in Turkey. The total reported cost of purchase and technology transfer for the Turkish government was $1 billion.
The T-155 Fırtına has a maximum firing range of 40 km, depending on the type of ammunition. It can reach a top speed of 66 km/h and has an operational range of 480 km.
The T-155 howitzers are built at the 1st Army Maintenance Center Command of the Turkish Army in Adapazarı. The gun is produced by MKEK. The production rate of the T-155 is 24 units per year. A total of 350 T-155 Fırtına howitzers were planned to be produced. 281 have been delivered between 2005 and 2010.
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.
Poyraz Ammunition Resupply Vehicle
The Poyraz Ammunition Resupply Vehicle (ARV) is an indigenous vehicle with an ammunition transfer system similar to that of the South Korean K10 ARV. The vehicle has a boom that is extended towards the rear of the T-155 Fırtına turret, where the resupply takes place. The Poyraz ARV has an auxiliary power unit, which the K10 ARV lacks, that allows the vehicle's crew to use electronics and communication systems, and to run an ammunition transfer system economically without the main engines being turned on.
The Poyraz ARV can carry up to 96 155 mm shells and is able to transfer 48 shells in 20 minutes. It has a range of 360 km.
The T-155 Fırtına was first deployed in Turkey's Operation Sun at the end of 2007 into January 2008 to fight the PKK militants in the northern part of Iraq. It was used in 2012 Syrian–Turkish border clashes and again during both the Jarabulus offensive (2016) and the Afrin offensive (2018).
The Turkish Armed Forces placed an order to manufacture 350 vehicles in total, with 24 vehicles rolling off of the assembly line every year.
Talks were held with the Azerbaijani government regarding the purchase and sale of the military equipment. The sides were expected to sign the contract by the end of 2011. A contract for 36 T-155 howitzers was signed in 2011, but was delayed due to complications regarding the German production of the engines and an embargo on Azerbaijan connected to conflict with neighboring Armenia. It was later reported that deliveries would start in 2014.
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