The Falcon Turret

The Falcon Turret Background

The Falcon 2 Turret retrofitted to a al-Hussein (Challenger 1) Tank hull

The King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) is a Jordanian defence company. It was established by Royal Decree in August 1999.

One of KADDB projects has been the development of an unmanned turret that can be retrofitted in to its current tank fleet, which mostly comprises of British Tanks.

The Falcon Turret Description

The Falcon turret utilizes an autoloader designed to handle 1 part 120mm smoothbore rounds, which are NATO compatible and load them in to the Ruag Land Systems L50 (Length Calibre) 120mm smoothbore Compact Tank Gun.

The increased Calibre Length gives better performance than the L44 used on the Leopard 2 and Abram’s tanks.

Falcon 2 turret firing

The autoloader can provide a sustained rate of fire of 8 rounds per minute and can hold 17 rounds whilst additional rounds are stored in the vehicle.

The turret can be fittred with the latest fire control and sighting equipment such as an Commanders Independent Sight for a hunter killer capability making it a 3rd Generation tank.

The turrets small shape reduces the vehicles overall dimensions making it a harder target to hit. The commander and gunner are now located in the hull with the driver.  It has a laser-warning system and Thales AFV smoke screening equipment.

Advantages of the Falcon turret including the ability to bring all older in-service tanks up to a 3rd generation, increased fire power, increased crew survivability and reduced operating costs as rifled 3 part ammunition is no long produced & 120mm NATO ammunition is produced in several countries. A 3 man crew is also cheaper than a 4 man crew and there is no need for training on several vehicles.

The Falcon Turret Status

Falcon 1 Turret retrofitted on a Tariq Tank hull

Unveiled to the public in 2003, the Falcon 1 Turret (AB9C4) was tested on both the Tariq Tank (Jordanian upgraded British Centurion Tank) and the Al-Hussein (Local designation of British Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank).

The improved turret is the Falcon 2 (AB9C5), which has been photographed and marketed on the al-Hussein tank.

The Falcon development has been assisted by other companies in South Africa and can reportedly be fitted to a M60 Patton series hull, however we can not find any supporting photographical evidence for this and Jordan has gone ahead with the upgrade of its M60 tanks to the M60 Phoenix. It is also possible that the turret could be retrofitted to the Khalid Shir (local designation for the British Chieftain Main Battle Tank) due to their almost identical hulls.

Left – Falcon 1 Turret retrofitted on a al-Hussein hull. Right – Unmodified al-Hussein tank

Its reported that a Falcon 3 turret is under development, but as of early 2015, KADDB products list does include any of the Falcon turrets nor does it press centre archives dating back to 2012 so its status as a project is not known.