Turkey insists on selling T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer to Azerbaijan – EXCLUSIVE

Turkey insists on selling T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer to Azerbaijan – <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE  </font>
# 14 October 2011 15:04 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Rashad Suleymanov – APA. Despite the obstacles created by some European companies, Turkey insists on selling T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer to Azerbaijan, Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries Murad Bayar told APA exclusively.

Though Azerbaijan and Turkey reached an agreement on purchase and sale of Firtina self-propelled howitzer, according to the reports there are some technical problems in the project. Germany’s MTU company, which is providing Firtina with engine, refused to provide with engine the self-propelled howitzer that will be sold to Azerbaijan. Yonca-Onuk company, which is going to sell boats to Azerbaijan, has faced similar problem.

“As a brotherly country we have assumed the solution of this problem,” Bayar said.

According to Murad Bayar, Turkey is considering two new variants on export of weapons to Azerbaijan. One of them is the purchase of engine from another country.
“Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation is considering alternative variants. The second variant is the production of engine in Turkey. We have started work for the production of engines in Turkey. It will take approximately four or five years. There will be no problems after that,” he said.

Bayar also added that T-155 “Firtina” system was a very strong weapon. Azerbaijan will gain the additional power by including it to the weapon inventory. The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation’s (MKEK) CEO Unal Onsipahioglu told APA that the problem was on the eve of its settlement: “The engine and transmission problems of the artillery system have been solved and the alternative company was found”.

Germany’s MTU Company which provided “Firtina” with engine, refused to give an engine to Azerbaijan because of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

The length of “Firtina” is 12 meters, width – 3.5 meters, height – 47 tones, speed -66km/h. “Firtina”s which are in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces were provided with “MTU-881 KA 500” diesel engine. 155 mm “L-2” cannon and 12.7 caliber machine gun are included to the system’s armament. The artillery system can be effectively used against targets 20 km apart.