The original definition of a Turret is a small tower that projects from the wall of a building, such as a medieval castle.

Since the technology of war has advanced there are now new types of turrets.

Such Turrets are usually rotating armoured armed carbine, installed on armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) or other platforms (such as warships, military aircraft or fixed towers).

The most common use of the term Turret is to denote the elevated rotating cabine installed on a tank and equipped with a large caliber gun (cannon). In modern main battle tanks, the turret is manned by the tank-commander and the gunner and can rotate around 360 degrees. It is armed with a large caliber gun (a cannon of 105mm, 120mm, 125mm or higher) and has independent scopes systems and outer armour to protect the tank crew. The turret also (can be) armed with machine guns, flares, smoke grenades and even internal mortar.

In summary, here are the characteristics of modern main battle tank turret:

  • Armoured.
  • Armed with large caliber gun.
  • Can rotate 360 degrees.
  • Armed with additional machine guns.
  • Have hatches and scopes systems.

Rotating machine gun post on other vessels such as APCs, naval ships and B-17 "Flying Fortress" can also be called a turret. Some of those turrets are automatic and controlled from within the vessel and other are manned. Not all of those turrets have armoured protection.


  • Some APCs have a 30mm gun turret for supressing fire support.
  • The IDF Nagmachon has a fixed pillbox turret, enabling the troops inside to shoot soft targets without being exposed to enemy's fire.
  • The IDF Machbet has a turret armed with M61 Vulcan rotary cannon and a FIM-92 Stinger launcher.
  • In World War 2, battleships had 2-3 turrets armed with serveral 4 inch cannons.
  • The legendary bomber, the B-17 Flying Fortress, had 5 turrets with heavy 0.5 cal machine guns in order to intercept enemy's warplane attacking it.

See also: AFV, tank, battleship, chassis, APC, machine gun, fortification.