Turkish army takes delivery of new modernized Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzer

On January 9, 2023, the sixth generation of Turkish-made Firtina 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer was delivered to the Turkish army during an official ceremony that was held at BMC Defense Arifiye Campus and attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
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The new Turkish-made Firtina 155mm self-propelled tracked howitzer. (Picture source Screen Show BMC Video)

The new version of the Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzer features many improvements that were developed and produced by the Turkish company BMC Defense. The new version offers more mobility, firepower, and protection than the previous version.

The new Firtina will be also fitted with a new local-made transmission and engine developed by BMC.

The Firtina 155mm howitzer is the backbone of artillery units of the Turkish armed forces. The development of the Firtina began in 1995 and it entered into service with the Turkish army in 2001. It is a combat-proven artillery system that was deployed by the Turkish for combat operations at the end of 2007 into January 2008 to fight the PKK militants in the northern part of Iraq as well as in 2012 near the Syrian-Turkish border and during both the Jarabulus offensive in 2016 and the Afrin offensive in 2018.

According to the Military Balance 2021, the Turkish armed forces have a total of 310 T-155 Firtina. Under a project led by the company BMC in collaboration with other Turkish companies including ASELSAN, MKE, and ASFAT, a total of 140 new generation FIRTINA Howitzers is planned to be delivered to the Turkish Army.

The sixth generation of the Turkish-made Firtina howitzer keeps the same armament as the previous version of the Firtina consisting of one 155mm 52 caliber barrel. The gun of the Firtina is compatible with standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. The howitzer is fitted with an automatic ammunition loading system and the gun can fire at a maximum rate of three rounds in 15 seconds. It has a firing range from 30 to 56 km, depending on the type of ammunition.

The new Firtina is now equipped with a remotely operated weapon station SARP developed and manufactured by the Turkish company Aselsan. It can be fully operated and aimed under the armor of the vehicle and is equipped with a day/night vision system, automatic tracking system, and laser range finder.

The new Firtina is also equipped with new a new generation of fire control system, a new air conditioning including a new heating system mounted at the front left side of the turret. The upper part of the suspension is now protected by rubber plates.