First Turkish Altay tank comes in April with a Korean power group
ANKARA, TURKEY — BMC General Manager Murat Yalcintaş announced that the Altay main battle tank produced by BMC Defense, which they called the “New Altay”, will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces on April 23, 2023.
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Speaking at the BMC Defense press conference held a day ago, BMC General Manager Mr. Murat Yalcintas made important statements regarding the Altay main battle tank and the company’s activities. Mr. Yalcintas announced the delivery date of the Altay tank, which the company describes as the “New Altay.”
Mr. Yalcintas’ statements reveal important news. For example, serial production activities under the Altay main battle tank project, which was officially launched on July 29, 2008, could not start for some time due to the embargo of Germany’s power group. This year, BMC will supply the Turkish Armed Forces with Altay tanks manufactured by power groups supplied from South Korea.
Altay will be delivered in April 2023
BMC won the tender for serial production of the Altay tank developed by Otokar in 2018. So far, 5 Altay tanks have been produced at BMC. Two more main battle tanks are currently being prepared for delivery. These two tanks, which are integrated with the power group supplied by South Korea, are scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces on April 23, 2023.
According to the statement of the general manager of BMC, these two tanks are starting a long-term test program. These field tests, which will be carried out with the participation of the Turkish Armed Forces, the Defense Industry Presidency, and BMC representatives, are expected to take 1.5 to 2 years. The company aims to start mass production of Altay with Korean Power Group in 2025.
Why “New Altay”?
As mentioned above, BMC christens the tanks currently in production in the BVS as the “New Altay”. Mr. Mehmet Karaaslan, who has been with the Altay project since Otokar’s tenure, explains the reason for this name as follows: “The tank we have now is not an old tank. This is a completely new configuration. In recent years, we have had the chance to locate and fix many problems. There were many battles, many lessons learned from them, and many changes to the tank as a result.”
On the other hand, Karaaslan stated that the Altay tank was not produced solely by BMC, but many people put great efforts into the program to reach this stage, which has been reached for more than 20 years.
Mr. Karaaslan emphasized that Germany did not embargo only the power group under the Altay project. “Why was it so late? When the first ALTAY prototype was built, the main powertrain was the engine that would come from a foreign country. Other subsystems would come from the same western side. This Western country, using as an excuse some of the operations carried out by the Turkish armed forces, refused to give them to Turkey.
When these are not delivered, the tank becomes impossible to manufacture. In a highly strategic ground combat vehicle like a tank, one should not be dependent on the outside. Many units, especially the power group, were requested to be located. Work on this has begun,” explained Mr. Karaaslan.
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