|Manufacturer:||MKEK Agir Silah ve Celik Sanayi va Ticaret A.S.|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
The 155 mm/52 calibre Panter towed howitzer was developed in the 1990s to meet the operational requirements of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC).
Following trials and modifications with a number of prototype systems, the first production order was placed and the first batch of six 155 mm/52 calibre Panter systems were completed in mid-2002.
These were built at the Cankiri facilities of MKEK CANSAS and handed over to the 105th Artillery Regiment in Corlu with a ceremony held at the 1011th Ordnance factories in Ankara.
The first production batch of 155 mm/52 calibre Panter consisted of 18 units, which was sufficient to equip one artillery regiment, which has three batteries each of six weapons. It is understood that at least 24 Panter systems had been delivered to the TLFC.
While Turkey has carried out extensive upgrades on old US supplied M44 (155 mm) and M52 (105 mm) self-propelled weapons, which have been fitted with a 155 mm/39 calibre barrel, the 155 mm/52 calibre Panter is the first complete artillery system to have been developed in Turkey.
It is understood that some assistance during the development phase of the 155 mm/52 calibre Panter was provided by another country.
This is understood to be Singapore Technologies Kinetics who have also developed the FH2000 155 mm/52 calibre towed artillery system to meet the requirements of the Singapore Armed Forces.
The new 155 mm/52 calibre Panter has started to supplement the current M114 towed howitzer, which only has a range of 14.6 km and fires standard ammunition.
The TLFC have a total of 517 M114s in service but only part of this fleet will be replaced by the much more effective 155 mm/52 calibre Panter.
The Turkish Land Forces Command has started to take delivery of the locally manufactured Firtina 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled artillery system. This is essentially the Republic of Korea 155 mm/52 calibre K9 Thunder. Details of both self-propelled systems are given in separate entries.
The 155 mm/52 calibre Panter howitzer is mounted on a conventional split-trail carriage. When in the travelling position the 155 mm/52 calibre ordnance is traversed through 180° and locked in position over the closed trails. The travel lock is mounted on the right trail.
Mounted on the forward part of the carriage is an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) that enables the 155 mm/52 calibre Panter to propel itself at a maximum speed of 18 km/h. The APU includes a German DEUTZ air-cooled diesel developing 160 hp.
When deployed in the firing position the weapon is supported on a circular baseplate mounted under the carriage and the two trails each of which is provided with a spade. When deployed in the firing position, the four main road wheels are raised clear of the ground.
Each trail leg has a small wheel to assist in bringing the weapon into the firing position. These are also used in conjunction with the four main wheels when the weapon is being used in its self-propelled mode.
The sighting system, as well as the laying equipment, is mounted on the left side where the seat for the layer is provided.
The 155 mm/52 calibre Panter is used in conjunction with the new locally developed Aselsan BAIKS-2000 Field Artillery Battery Fire Direction system. This will improve response times as well as improving first round bit probability under a variety of weather conditions at all ranges.