Sunday, May 14, 2017



Teber Two Man Turret

In IDEF 2017 exhibition, FNSS Savunma Sistemleri of Turkey unveiled Teber Two-Man Turret for the first time.

TEBER is a modular turret system in the medium caliber range that can be offered in Two-Man or Unmanned (Remote) configurations. 

Turret is armed with an Orbital ATK 30mm or 40mm Bushmaster automatic cannon as main armament. Mk44 Bushmaster cannon is the next generation member of the OATK's Bushmaster family after the venerable M242 25mm Bushmaster. In standard configuration Mk44 fires 30x173mm ammunition. However, with change of barrel and some parts in the feeder of the gun, the same cannon can fire what is called as the 'SuperShot 40', that fires 40x180mm ammunition.

This enables a modular lethality capability to the turret system, that can be configured to engage different threat levels.

Mk44 Bushmaster 30/40mm

30x173mm and SuperShot 40: 40x180mm

Both calibers offer HE, AP and Programmable Air Burst PABM ammunition. However Supershot 40 offers increased capabilities such as:

  • Nearly 1.5 times lethality increase in HE ammunition over 30mm
  • 3 times lethality increase for PABM over 30mm
  • Nearly 1.5 times penetration increase in APFSDS ammunition over 30mm

Teber turret is also armed with an OATK Mk52 7.62mm electric operated machine gun as the secondary armament. This machine gun enables better control on firing, no dependence to the propellant quality and strong belt pull eliminating the need for a powered forwarder for large quantities of ready rounds. The propellant fumes from firing discharged inside the turret is dramatically minimized compared with the conventional gas operated machine guns. In fact, Mk52 is the redesigned new version of the venerable Hughes EX-34 or L94A1 machine gun used in British Army Challenger and Warriors.

Mk52 7.62mm ChainGun

The weapons in Teber can function through an elevation range of -10 to +50 degrees.

The key to effective use of these weapons is the ability to rapidly acquire and accurately engage targets. This is provided by the advanced fire control system, independent stabilized sight systems for the gunner and commander and the electric gun turret drive system. The gun and turret drive systems are controlled using gyro stabilization for accurate fire on the move. The turret drives in the manned configuration are provided with manual drives that are located in the gunner's compartment.

The independent sight systems provide the ability to fight in daylight and darkness, in all weather, and in smoke and dust with high image quality due to its independent stabilization and in Hunter-Killer mode increasing effectiveness. The embedded fire control system with automatic target tracking (ATT) provides automatic ballistic offsets in lead and super elevation for selected ammunition ballistics, target range, cross wind, temperature, and cant.

The commander's sight has 360 degree panoramic motion capability and armor protection. Both the gunner's and commander's sights are equipped with thermal cameras, day cameras and laser range finders.

The manned variant also houses a direct optic back-up sight system with armored housing that enables another reversionary mode for the crew.

TEBER-30 manned version is a Two-Man turret with commander and gunner located in the turret basket. Commander is seated on the right hand side of the turret with the gunner to his left. Both gunner and commander has full control of the turret with the commander having override capability.

Turret offers different modes of operation for the commander and gunner providing flexibility in tactical situations. Both the commander and gunner can take control of the any sighting system in the turret and also the command of the weapons.

Teber Two-Man configuration offers a very large ready round capability with 300 30mm ready rounds in two compartments. The gunner identifies the type of ammunition in each compartment to the fire control system and the system applies the correct ballistic parameters.

For the 7.62mm machine gun there is 1.200 ready rounds inside.

The turret structure is a ballistically protected enclosed structure that houses the crew compartment, main and secondary weapons, ammunition stowage for the main and secondary guns, radios and intercom, gun turret drive system, fire control system, gunner and commander sights and sensors and command interfaces for the commander and gunner.

The turret offers STANAG 4569 Level IV ballistic protection all-around thru the use of ceramic composite and RHA steel armor. The turret can also be offered with a frontal protection level of STANAG 4569 Level V.

The interior of the turret is designed for growth potential and maximum crew comfort.

TEBER Remote Turret

In IDEF 2017, FNSS also exhibits the unmanned configuration of the Teber turret on the Kaplan-30 IFV.

Teber Turret in Unmanned Configuration

Teber Remote Turret is also armed with 30/40mm Mk44 autocannon and 7.62mm Mk52 machine gun.

The whole turret is above the hull with no penetration to the vehicle offering more room inside the vehicle for dismounts. The gunner and commander are located inside the vehicle and command the turret thru their command consoles.

Teber 30/40 Remote Turret

The turret similar to the manned version is equipped with two stabilized sight systems for the gunner and commander, with the commander sight having 360 degrees panoramic motion capability.

The ballistic protection offered for the remote version is configurable to provide an optimized weight solution.

The fire control and other capabilities of the remote version is the same as the manned version providing maximum commonality between the configurations.

This also offers a common turret family that can be used in manned and unmanned configurations in fleet of armored vehicles with different missions.

My take on Remote vs Manned Turrets..

These days the remote turrets have become a viable alternative to manned systems. However I do not believe that the remote systems will totally replace the manned systems very soon.

Remote turrets have some drawbacks based on the crew having been located inside the hull with total dependency on the sensors/electro-optics. 

Whereas in a two-man turret, the commander's having all around surveillance vision from the highest point of the vehicle or even looking thru the periscopes provide an important advantage in terms of situational awareness which is somehow a lacking capability in remote turrets. In addition, the sighting systems in the remote turrets, cannot include direct view optics, which is also an important requirement in some armies today. Although there are options such as fiber optic sights, the limitations on the number of fibers that can be bundled, degrades the image quality.

Another issue for the remote turrets is the difficulty of the gunner keeping his awareness of the barrel orientation with respect to the vehicle. The gunner is located inside the hull and his sensory feedback only feels the vehicle accelerations; thus after a short while it is not uncommon for the gunner to start having difficulties on where the turret is oriented with respect to the vehicle, especially when the stabilization is turned on. 

This can be overcome to some extent by utilizing easy to understand indications on the gunner's display.

I also want to stress another issue that I frequently hear that says the remote turrets offer an important advantage in weight compared with manned turrets. This is not entirely a correct statement. First of all the main difference structurally between a manned and unmanned turret is the elimination of basket structure, crew seating, crew hatches and periscopes in the remote turret concept. On the other hand, you still have to put two seats inside the vehicle for the commander and gunner. Also the displays, handles, structural elements for these still have to be located inside the vehicle. So these are weight-wise not totally eliminated albeit some reduction in the volume invaded compared with the basket swept volume for a manned turret.

However, the ammunition boxes for the main and secondary armament that are generally in the basket for the two-man turret have to be relocated to the turret hull. The hull of the manned turret does not include these, so it usually means you have to increase the turret hull dimensions to accommodate the ammo boxes. As increased dimensions translate to more surface area and more surface area translates to increase in weight, you don’t get to save that much weight by converting to a remote turret.

The trick here is the reduction of protection levels for a remote turret that enables reduction in weight. When you have the crew inside the hull and can accept a reduction in the protection level of the turret, you can save considerable weight by using a remote turret instead of a manned one.

So, in my opinion, the remote turrets although offer some advantages are not the perfect solution to replace all the other turrets.

The correct answer lies in the configuration and mission of the vehicle, such as:

  • If the vehicle is a pure IFV that is going to go head to head with the enemy vehicles, two men turrets offering more situational awareness and control over the battlefield would have a definite advantage.
  • Again if the vehicle is configured as a personnel carrier - APC, you would need as much room inside as possible, making the remote turret the preferred choice. The US Stryker lethality program is a good example of this approach. US Army naturally does not want to reduce the number of dismounts in the vehicle and thus opted for a remote turret.
  • If the vehicle is a reconnaissance vehicle that is to be used for recon-with-fire principle, again the two-man turrets offer more advantages for situational awareness. 
  • For a reconnaissance platform relying more on electro-optics and sensors following the principle of reconnaissance by stealth, you will need more room inside the vehicle for operators, more displays, consoles, etc. Remote turrets should be preferred. 
  • For a command platform, again you need more room inside for command consoles, communication equipment, etc. Remote turrets would be a better solution.

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