Korean Doosan will power the first 100 Altay tanks, 2023 is key

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ANKARA ($1=18.60 Turkish Liras) — The general manager of the Turkish company BMC Savunma Mehmet Karaaslan and the CEO of BMC Murat Yalcintas announced that the prototypes of Altay tanks in the new version will be provided to the military for testing next year, writes Turkiye Gazetesi.

Photo: Wallpaper Flare

It was initially assumed that the Altay would be powered by a 1,500 hp diesel engine from the German company MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH with the German Renk transmission, with which the first Altaya prototype was equipped. At the same time, the German concern Rheinmetall created a joint venture with the Turkish concern BMC for the production of various types of combat vehicles, including the aforementioned Altay. However, the German-Turkish industrial cooperation was quickly interrupted by the sanctions of the German authorities on the sale of weapons and equipment in connection with the participation of the Turkish army in the civil war in Syria. This situation delayed the implementation of this program.

The Turks are working on their own propulsion system for the Altay. However, due to the long implementation of a domestically produced power unit, it was decided to integrate the tank with the Korean Doosan DV27K engine with a power of 1500 hp. This will allow the realization of the first batch of Altaya in the number of 100 copies. Most likely, the next batch will already be equipped with the target engine.

The Altay is a Turkish main battle tank designed by several Turkish defense industry companies with the support of a South Korean partner, based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther main battle tank. Compared to the basic structure, the turret of this tank has been significantly redesigned with the use of numerous components produced by the Turkish arms industry, partly based on technology transfer from Korea.

Doosan engine, Photo credit: Army Recognition

These include the following systems developed by the ASELSAN company: command and communication, fire control, navigation and identification of foreigners [IFF], as well as the laser warning system or the Akkor active vehicle protection system [ASOP], internal additional armor under form lattice armor screens in the rear of the turret by ROKETSAN and a 120 mm long 55 caliber smoothbore gun manufactured under license by MKEK. The tank also has a crew of 4 and seven pairs of running wheels, no automatic loading system.

So far, the Turkish military has ordered 250 Altay models worth a total of about US$3.5 billion under a contract since November 2018. The target demand is estimated at nearly 1,000 examples, which are to be received in four tranches to replace tanks from more old generation in Turkish army. In March 2019, Qatar also decided to purchase 100 of these MBTs along with 20 T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzers.

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