IDEF 2023: ASFAT from Türkiye unveils Arpan groundbreaking 155mm 8x8 Self-Propelled Howitzer

During IDEF 2023, ASFAT, the Turkish state defense industry company, unveiled its latest development in the artillery field with the Arpan, a new 155mm wheeled 8x8 self-propelled howitzer. This truck-mounted howitzer, developed in cooperation with ASELSAN, MKE, and BMC, represents a significant advancement in Türkiye's defense capabilities.
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Scale model of the new Turkish ASFAT Arpan 155mm wheeled 8x8 self-propelled howitzer, on display at IDEF 2023 (Picture source Army Recognition)

ASFAT, responsible for managing and operating 27 military factories and 3 public shipyards previously under the Ministry of National Defense, showcased the Arpan as part of its efforts to expand its product offerings in the global defense market.

The Arpan is a 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer, designed to deliver firepower, mobility, and protection on the battlefield. It measures 13 meters in length, 3.46 meters in height, and 3.24 meters in width, with a combat weight that can vary between 32 to 38 tons per configuration. The vehicle is mounted on an 8x8 chassis, allowing for enhanced mobility across different terrains.

Its power pack consists of a 447 kW (600 Hp) engine, providing a torque of 2,508 Nm at 1,100 rpm. The fully automatic 7 Forward + 1 Reverse transmission system contributes to efficient power distribution and smooth operation.

The Arpan boasts impressive mobility features, including a road range of 600 kilometers and a road speed of 80 km/h. Off-road or trail speed is approximately 50 km/h. The vehicle can ford up to 1 meter of water and cross trenches up to 1.50 meters, demonstrating its adaptability to challenging terrains. The Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) enables adjustable tire pressure for optimal performance on varying surfaces.

Regarding protection, the Arpan howitzer offers a fortified cab and upper structure. The vehicle is rated up to Level 3 for ballistic protection, up to Level 2 for mine protection, and is equipped with protection to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), enhancing crew safety during operations.

In terms of firepower, the Arpan howitzer features a fully armored superstructure that can accommodate up to 24 complete rounds of ammunition and charges. Its 155mm/52-caliber ordnance with a 23-liter chamber complies with the Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding. The vehicle supports both manual and semi-automatic ammunition loading. The howitzer is capable to fire various ammunition types, with ranges of up to 18 kilometers with M107 (HE), 30 kilometers with M549A1 (HE), and an impressive 40 kilometers with MOD 274.

The fire control system includes a ballistic computer integrated with the vehicle's command and control system, ensuring effective coordination at all levels. An Inertial Navigation System facilitates precise land navigation and gun-laying, while additional features such as the Muzzle Velocity Radar and Thermal camera improve accuracy during direct firing, both day and night.

Operated by a crew of 3 to 5 personnel, the Arpan howitzer has a rate of fire of up to 6 rounds per minute. Its quick response time allows for the first round to be fired in less than 30 seconds, providing swift reactions to emerging threats on the battlefield.

With an in/out action time of up to 120 seconds, the vehicle's operational characteristics ensure enhanced survivability during missions.

ASFAT has also provided optional features for the Arpan howitzer, allowing customization to specific operational requirements. These options include a secondary weapon station with a choice of automatic or manual turret, a self-recovery winch, smoke dischargers, electronic countermeasures, run-flat tires, and automatic fire suppression systems for both the cabin and engine compartment.

The unveiling of the Arpan Howitzer 155 at IDEF 2023 reflects ASFAT's commitment to advancing Türkiye's artillery capabilities and offering cutting-edge solutions in the global defense market. The vehicle's innovative features and potential applications are likely to garner significant attention from defense forces seeking to bolster their artillery capabilities in modern warfare scenarios.