Heavy and expensive: why the Turkish Altay tank did not fit Pakistan?

ISLAMABAD, (BM) – While modernizing their armored forces, the Pakistani military command has been eyeing Turkish Altay main battle tanks. However, it has now been decided to purchase Chinese VT-4s, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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Why this happened, explained the Pakstrategic website. The big drawback of the novelty of the Turkish military-industrial complex is its significant weight, exceeding 60 tons.

This is considered a major disadvantage for mountain and desert operations. In terms of mobility, Altay is significantly inferior to the tanks produced by the local industry Al-Khalid, Al-Zarrar and samples from China.

It is noted that a 120-mm cannon is installed on a Turkish armored vehicle, while the main tank caliber in the Pakistani army is 125 mm. Manufacturing or purchasing new ammunition will take a long time and cost too much money.

The tank also has a 1,500-horsepower German engine, and for political reasons, it is unlikely that permission will be obtained to export such power plants to Pakistan. Prospects for creating your own 1800 hp engine very foggy.

There are also big questions about the price, and it is significant – the cost of one unit already reaches $ 13.75 million.

In the spring of this year, it became known about a deal for Pakistan to purchase 300 VT-4 tanks manufactured in China. The contract amount is estimated at $ 860 million.

Read more: Altay Tanks Will Be Delivered to Turkey Under a Multibillion-Dollar Contract

Military cooperation between these two countries in the field of armored vehicles began in the 60s and a significant part of the fleet is made up of combat vehicles purchased from China or created with the help of specialists from this state.

Briefly about Turkish Altay tank

In 2007, the Turkish Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with Otokar to create the Altay AHT main battle tank. The tank received its name in honor of General of the Army Fakhrettin Altai. The new tank is intended to replace the German Leopards and American M60s.

There are several reasons for creating a new tank. Firstly, a combat vehicle of its own production will be cheaper. Secondly, Turkey’s policy has led to complications with NATO countries, which can completely stop the supply of weapons and components for the Turkish army.

In addition, Turkey hopes that in the future the tank will be supplied not only for the army, but also for export.

When creating the tank, foreign experience was used, more than 60% of technologies were borrowed from foreign companies (Germany and South Korea). After showing “Altay” at the exhibition, many noticed the similarity of the Turkish tank with the South Korean K2 Black Panther (Black Panther).

The mass of the new vehicle is around 60 tons. The booking will be combined, multi-layered with elements of active armor.

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Altay is armed with a 120mm MKEK120 smoothbore cannon assembled under license from Hyundai Rotem (South Korea). The aimed firing range is 3 km. Additionally, a remote module with a 12.7mm machine gun is installed on the turret. Serial production of the tank has already begun and an order for 250 vehicles has been received.

On the whole, the opinion of experts is unanimous that while Altay looks very impressive, it loses to the Russian T-90A and the German Leopard-2. Turkey will need time to gain experience in the creation of tanks.


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