M-38 Savaşçı

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M-38 Savaşçı
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M-38B Savaşçı
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Ankoren
Service history
In service 1998-present
Used by Ankoren Islamic Revolutionary Army Land Forces
Production history
Designer National Defence Research Office
Designed 1994-1995
Manufacturer Ceylan-Rasfanjani Defence Corporation
Produced 1998-Present
Number built 1,445
Variants M-38A, M-38B
Weight 54 tonnes (M-38A)
57 tonnes (M-38B)
Length 9.55 m
Width 3.78 m
Height 2.36 m
Crew 3 (commander, gunner, driver)

Armor Composite armour, RHA, ERA
AZL 125mm Smoothbore gun
1 x 12.7 mm heavy machine gun
Engine MOZA113 Diesel engine
Power/weight 18.2 hp/t
Suspension Hydropneumatic
495 km (With extended tanks - 755 km)
Speed 74 km/h onroad

The M-38 Savaşçı (Ankoreni: Warrior) is an Ankoreni main battle tank designed in 1995 and mass produced from 1998 onward. It is the principle MBT of the Islamic Revolutionary Army Land Forces and is derived from the Tuthian designed GAEN Taylan-64.

It was designed as a domestically produced successor to the Taylan-64s and its design offers some key improvements, the M-38 has been designed with a 125mm smooth-bore gun, however its auto-loader has been vastly improved and the turret was redesigned for further sloping hull features. The M-38 also stands superior in its use of the MOZA113 Diesel engine, which has allowed the M-38 outpace the Taylan-64 and its variants and has enjoys further fuel efficiency. However the M-38 reportedly operates composite armour, many military experts doubt that the M-38's armour is of high equality, mostly due to Ankoreni shortfalls in securing designs for a stronger armour from abroad.

Design specifications

The M-38 has a sloped turret, different from the imported Taylan-64s. The gears that move the turret are also improved hydraulics, enabling a 360 degree turn in 8.4 seconds. The turret is also covered in ceramic composite armour, with the rear bustle being covered in a further 5mm compared to Taylan-64C due to an enlarged holding space for ammunition, the M-38B can hold 96 shells.

All M-38s come with enlarge fuel tank, removing the need for an exterior fuel drum that is used on all Ankoreni tanks in use, the option is there for an extra drum for extended operational range. The crew is three, a driver, gunner and commander. However the auto-loader is the Ankoreni made VR3A, which has improved loading times, yet the M-38 maintains the charge encased combustible bags. Other tank guns, the combustible charges are stored in 36 recesses surrounded by a pressurized water/glycol mixture - so-called "wet-stowage". In the event of a hit which penetrated the fighting compartment, the jacket would rupture, soaking the charges and preventing a catastrophic propellant explosion. As there was no shell case, the firing of the charge would be vented through tubes automatically loaded from a magazine on the breech.

The Ankoreni made KIZ44 fire and control system is superior to the one operated on all other tanks in service, as the gunner has access to a stabilised passive thermal sight and laser rangefinder. The commander has a panoramic thermal sight mounted on a mast, allowing for 360-degrees observation. He has the ability to override the gunner’s target selection and aim the gun himself. The tank’s digital fire computer takes into account factors such as crosswind speed, the speed of the vehicle, barrel wear and temperature and makes adjustments accordingly. In conjunction with the two-axis stabilisation system of the main gun, the M-38 is capable of tracking and engaging targets even when moving cross-country at speed. The KIZ44 allows the M-38 to shoot down helicopters such as the HB-2 Humpback and the UH-28 Black Falcon, again this is debatable according to foreign experts.

The M-38 also operates an improved chassis with a V-shaped belly armor pack for the underside for protection against IEDs and mines. It's modular system is designed to allow for damaged tanks to be rapidly repaired and returned to the field. Some features, such as hull shaping, exterior non-reflective paints, and shielding for engine heat plumes mixing with air particles to confuse enemy thermal imagery, were carried over from the NAM Guldiz program of the [[Islamic Revolutionary Army Air Force]] to make the tank harder to spot by heat sensors and radar, the program's success is debatable according to outside commentators.

The M-38's tracks are also designed in a way to incorporate tracks, springs and wheels, allowing it to operate in the most harshest terrains found in the Middle East such as the harsh basalt rock conditions of northern Ankoren and the borderlands with Samchania and Irvadistan with minimal "track-shedding".

The tank carries the Ankoreni made UCN BMS (Battle Management System), a centralised system that takes data from tracked units and UAVs in theater, displays it on color screens, and distributes it in encrypted form to all other units equipped with BMS in a given theater.