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During World Defense Show 2024, held in Riyadh from 4-8 February, Turkish company Otokar and Italy’s Leonardo presented a new variant of Otokar’s Tulpar multi-purpose AFV armed with a 120 mm calibre gun.

The variant presented at the show was a light tank concept incorporating Leonardo’s 120 mm gun-armed HITFACT II turret, which was originally developed by Leonardo as part of the Centauro II 8×8 anti-tank vehicle programme, although the turret can alternatively house a smaller-calibre (105 mm) gun. The HITFACT II turret also features a coaxial machine gun and can accommodate a remote-control weapon station (RCWS) on its roof (the version at WDS 2024 featured Leonardo’s HITROLE Light RCWS).

The Tulpar light tank has not yet completed development, however, and work on it will continue after WDS 2024.

The Tulpar constitutes a universal and modular AFV design that can be integrated with various systems to adapt to a wide range of tasks. The vehicle’s weight thus ranges from 28 tonnes to 45 tonnes, depending on its role. Possible variants include a light tank, infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), armoured personnel carrier, reconnaissance vehicle, command vehicle, ambulance, air defence platform or mortar carrier. In addition to its crew of three, the vehicle can accommodate nine troops.

The Tulpar is 7.2 m long, 3.45 m wide and, powered by a 700-1,100 HP diesel engine, has a maximum speed of around 70 km/h and a range of over 500 km. The Tulpar can cross trenches up to 2.6 m wide, climb vertical obstacles up to one meter in height, safely traverse side slopes of up to 40% and can ascend vertical slopes of up to 60%.

A Tulpar IFV variant, designed to provide fire support alongside Turkey’s Altay main battle tanks, was first shown in 2015 during the IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul (with a 30 mm cannon and eventually with an Umtas anti-tank missile launcher). Then, in 2018 during the Eurosatory show in Paris, a variant equipped with the Cockerill 3105 turret with a 105 mm cannon was first presented.

A new variant of Otokar’s Tulpar multi-purpose AFV was shown at WDS 2024 featuring a Leonardo HITFACT II turret armed with a 120 mm calibre gun. (Photo: ESD editorial staff)