A mass production agreement for Turkey’s first locally designed and produced assault rifle has been signed with a local company, the Defense Industries Undersecretariat has said.
“Some 10,000 MPT-76 will be manufactured by Sarsılmaz Silah Sanayi under the assault rifle supply project,” the undersecretariat said in a written statement.
The statement said the MPT-76 assault rifles, whose design and development were conducted locally, would be delivered to the land, naval and gendarmerie forces.
“During the mass production period, the primary aim is to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces, plus all of Turkey’s allies,” it added.
The MPT-76 is meant to replace the German Heckler & Koch G-3 rifles used by the country’s armed forces, reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers and develop further weapons.
The first group of 500 rifles was delivered in January.
According to the state-run Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK), the assault rifle has an effective range of up to 600 meters and is capable of firing 600 rounds per minute at a muzzle velocity of 800 meters per second.
The MPT-76 – named for the Turkish acronym for “National Infantry Rifle” and the caliber of its 7.62 millimeter NATO round – is described by the MKEK to be “as effective as the G-3, reliable as the AK-47 and practical as the M-16.”
Sarsılmaz Silah Sanayi, a prominent Turkish firearms manufacturer, is an official pistol supplier to the country’s police and armed forces. The company has been also operating as an aviation industry subcontractor.
The first batches of the MPT-76 were delivered to the army in 2014, while the MKEK delivered another batch to the Defense Ministry on Jan. 11.
Speaking at an event to mark the delivery, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said the rifles were developed with “local and national opportunities” and would be used in all kinds of land and weather conditions. Işık said production of the first batch of rifles had been completed and delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
The MPT-76 is composed of around 200 parts. The gun has a shooting range of 400 meters, weighs 4.3 kilograms and extends 88 centimeters in length.
The MPT-76 has also seen demand from countries including the United States, Chile and Azerbaijan.
The rifle passed 42 NATO tests, becoming the first rifle to pass the test without a mistake.