Turkey’s state-run Makina Ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu/Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) have announced that non-commercial military exports of their new MPT-76 rifle have begun. Turkish news site Hurriyet report that MKEK have already secured a number of foreign contracts for the new 7.62x51mm, select-fire rifle.
450 MPT-76s have already been delivered to the Somalian military who are currently engaged in counter-insurgency operations against al-Shabaab. A further 2,500 rifles have been ordered by Turkey’s satellite state the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to equip the Güvenlik Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı (Security Forces Command).
The Turkish Army received the first MPT-76s back in January 2017, with 3,200 rifles delivered so far. In Turkish service the MPT-76 will replace the indigenously made G3A7 and G3A7A1 rifles currently in service. MKEK are joined by two other Turkish defence companies: Kalekalip and Sarsilmaz, in production with the companies due to deliver a combined total of 45,000 rifles by 2018/19.
MKEK boast that the MPT-76 is as ‘effective as the G-3, as reliable as the AK-47 and as practical as the M-16.’ It weighs 4.1 kg (9.04 lb) unloaded and represents an ergonomic improvement over the G3-pattern rifles currently in use – including ambidextrous controls. MKEK have also developed a 5.56x45mm carbine, the MPT-55. There is no word yet an any potential civilian export of the MPT-76.
Edit: Rifle weight corrected, previously stated as around 7lbs, this was an earlier reported weight.