Naval News reached out to officials at MKE stand to find out the most recent status of the 76 mm Naval Gun and indigenous CIWS projects.
MKE 76 mm Naval Gun System
“The gun is ready to begin the live firing trials,” a program official stated. “We intend to begin live tests at the designated field in Konya in either October or November. We have been working on the gun for a year and are very close to seeing the fruits of our labor,” he continued.
Two months before the expo, MKE’s General Manager, Yasin Akdere, discussed the project in detail during a June event sponsored by the SAHA Istanbul Defense and Aerospace Cluster Association. “Research and development took twelve months. We are currently in the stage of assembly. Within the next month, we will conduct live firing tests,” he stated during the event. Additionally, he underlined that the project began in 2020 due to perceived high procurement costs and a lengthy delivery schedule for Leonardo’s Oto 76/62 guns (formerly Oto Melara).
While there is no official policy implementing the replacement of Italian guns with Turkish ones so far, the Turkish defence industry put an emphasis on the installation of 76mm guns made in Turkey on some of their surface vessels. The 76/62 currently arms a variety of warships, including G-class frigates (ex-USN Oliver Hazard Perry-class), Ada-class corvettes (MILGEM), and fast attack crafts.
Naval News understands that if the domestic 76mm gun successfully completes qualification and enters the serial production phase, the current guns may be phased out gradually over time (during long maintenance periods including mid-life upgrades etc.).
Specifications of MKE’s 76 mm Naval Gun:
• Range : 16km
• Barrel dimensions: 76mm diameter, 4.700 mm length
• Water cooled barrel
• Firing rate: Max. 80 round/min
• Unloaded Weight: 7.500 kg
• Loaded weight: 8.500 kg
• Magazine capacity: 70 rounds
MKE 20 mm CIWS
One of the biggest surprises at IDEF 2021 was undoubtedly MKE’s Phalanx-inspired close air defense system. The system’s weapon component, dubbed the 20 mm gatling gun, was introduced with an electrooptic sensor. An MKE official stated that the system, which currently lacks a search and tracking radar, can function in this configuration in conjunction with the ship combat management system, such as GENESIS ADVENT.
“The system, developed entirely with domestic resources, provides close air defence to the land and sea assets against incoming air threats such as guided missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and helicopters. A cooled thermal camera, a day camera, and a laser rangefinder are all included in the electro-optical system attached to the gun.” a project official told Naval News. “We aim to deliver the system by the end of 2022”
MKE Official talking to Naval News at IDEF 2021
Currently, the Turkish Naval Forces inventory includes Phalanx and Sea Zenith close-in weapon systems. The domestic CIWS project began as a result of supply chain issues with Phalanx and its components following the CAATSA sanctions. MKE expects to deliver the CIWS by the end of 2022.
MKE’s CIWS Key Data:
- Range : 2 km
- Barrel dimensions: 6 barrels 20×102 mm
- Firing rate: Max. 4000 round/min
- Unloaded Weight: 3.500 kg
- Magazine capacity: 1500 rounds
- Elevation limits: +85, -15 degrees