Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) received their first 500 MKEK MPT-76 battle rifles from the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK).
Speaking at an event to mark the delivery, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said the rifles were developed with “local and national opportunities” and will be used in all kinds of land and air conditions. Işık also noted that Turkey was nearly 80 percent foreign-dependent 14 or 15 years ago in the defense area, but today this ratio has fallen to 40 percent.
Fire test by MoD and Land Forces Commander
Undersecretary of Defense Industries İsmail Demir gave a MPT-76 rifle to Land Forces Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak during the ceremony. After the ceremony ended, Çolak and Işık went to a nearby shooting range to test firing of the rifle.
Chambered for 7.62×51 mm NATO rounds, the production of the MPT-76 began in 2015 at MKEK’s small-arms manufacturing factory at Kırıkkale in central Turkey. According to weapon engineers MPT-76 has “an effective range of up to 600 metres and is caable of firing 600 rounds per minute at a muzzle velocity of 800 metres per second. The MPT-76 will gradually replace the Turkish Army’s Heckler & Koch (HK) G-3 battle rifles.
As well as the G-3, the Turkish military also uses the Russian-made AK-47, and the introduction of the MPT-76 is part of a program of introducing domestically manufactured arms to bolster the Turkish defense industry and reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers.
It is expected to save large sums of money and become a stepping stone for further development of other weapons, the MKEK official said.