Turkey is ready to start serial production of its main battle tank

ANKARA ($1=18.63 Tukrish Liras) — Turkey is ready to start serial production of its main battle tank. The Altay project enters the long-awaited phase, amid a series of obstacles, an embargo, and tests. The first phase includes the production of 100 tanks ordered by Ankara from the Turkish company BMC.

Successful tests of Korean DV27K engine in the Turkish tank Altay
Photo: Wallpaper Flare

In 2023, the Turkish Armed Forces will receive the first two Altay tanks. They will provide important data for the production of the next 98 tanks, as they will roll off the production line and be directly delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. They will undergo a series of tests to ensure that all conditions of the Turkish military are met. BMC will produce eight tanks per month, but a similar production rate is expected in about two years.

The South Korean company Hyundai Rotem has a serious involvement in the design of the tank. Altay is based on the Korean K2 Black Panther tank. More importantly, Turkey and South Korea agreed to a technology transfer, which significantly helped the Altay project.

For example, Turkey uses technological transfer of 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun production technology, as well as the transfer of armor package technology and performance test. But the importance of the local arms industry should not be taken away. Nine Turkish companies are involved in the project, making it vital for the Turkish industry and Turkish defense.

Initially, the Turkish army should receive 250 tanks. However, according to expectations, the production of at least 1,000 tanks is planned. The value of the order is nearly 3.5 billion USD, which was officially made by the Turkish government in 2018. Qatar is expected to be the first foreign customer to order just over 100 units from Altay.

Light at the end of the tunnel for the Turkish Altay tank
Photo credit: Mesut Er

Altay will be armed with a 120mm gun and a remote-controlled weapon station equipped with a 12.7 mm / 7.62 mm machine gun. The first 100 units will be powered by a South Korean DV27K 4-long stroke, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine, while the next ones will be powered by a locally developed BATU V12 4-short stroke, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine. Both engines provide the same power – 1,500 horsepower.

The Altay project could significantly help the existing inventory of tanks in the Turkish army. Turkey operates Leopard 2A4 tank. According to rumors, mostly coming from Turkish media, German tanks in Turkey’s inventory may be retrofitted with the Altay turret.

The first upgrades to the Leopard 2A4 have already begun, but do not yet include the Altay turret. 40 German tanks receive a new rocket-propelled armor [ERA] produced by Roketsan, as well as additional armor and armor with high ballistic strength.

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