The Marksman turret was developed by British Firm Marconi Electronic Systems, who had a history of combat electrical systems, notably radar development.
The development of the system started in 1983. The first prototype was completed in 1984 and mounted on a Vickers Mk3 hull. In 1986 the second prototype was completed in 1986 and was of an all-welded steel construction. It was mounted on a Chieftain hull.
The turret (gives protection from MG fire & artillery shell splinters) is constructed by Vickers and the electronic systems by MES. However, through various merges/acquisitions, both companies are now owned by BAE Systems. The 35mm main guns are supplied by Swiss firm Oerlikon. These are stabilised so the vehicle can fire on the move. They are fed by containers, which each have 250 rounds, 20 of them are anti-tank. The guns have a rate of fire of 18 rounds per second. The fragmentation round has a muzzle velocity of 1175 m/s and an effective range is 4000m. The guns have an elevation of −10 to +85.
The turret has been designed to be mounted on various tank hulls, both from NATO or former WARSAW, by using an adjustable turret ring and traverse a full 360 degree’s. The vehicle commander sits on the left and the gunner on the right. They communicate to the driver in the hull via a communications interface. The MES radar tracks the targets and has a range of 12km (7.5m). The gunner also has a laser range finder as well as sighting equipment. The turret is powered by an APU at the back of the turret.
The only nation to purchase the turret is Finland and mount it on a T-55 hull, designated the ItPsv 90 (see separate entry).