Last July, a faction within the Turkish military attempted a coup d’etat against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. After it failed, Erdoğan wasted no time tightening his grip on political power, launching mass arrests of soldiers, judges and teachers. The government “purged” more than 100k Turks and suspended civil rights. The international community’s outrage was, shall we say, muted. That said, Austrian politicians threatened an arms embargo: no more G3’s or G3 parts for you!
Even before the backlash, Erdoğan’s government had been ramping-up domestic weapons production. Their home grown MPT-76 rifle finished development in 2014. And now, thanks to the angst, Turkey is rolling out the firearm in a big way. The Turkish army, NATO’s largest, is looking to take delivery of 500k rifles. According to dailysabah.com . . .
The MPT-76 is designed and produced by the state-run Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK), which produces firearms for the army. The weapon, promoted as being as effective as the G-3, as reliable as the AK-47 (better known as the Kalashnikov) and as practical as the M-16, the American assault rifle, will be introduced into the army’s armory with a ceremony expected to be attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan . . .
Composed of 413 components, the rifle, manufactured in a factory in Kırıkkale, a city neighboring the capital Ankara, weighs 4.1 kilograms. The rifle’s effective range is 600 meters and fires 700 rounds per minute. The muzzle velocity of the bullets is 800 meters per second. It has telescopic rifle stocks and can be customized with various scopes, its developers say.
Oh, and the gas-piston rifle was originally chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO. For some reason, they switched to 7.62×51mm NATO. Go figure.