Turkey Reports Successful Test of ‘Homegrown’ Tank Engine

The engine is set to power Turkey’s third-generation main battle tank, which is fitted with a 120mm Rheinmetall main gun, a .50 caliber heavy machine gun, and 7.62 medium machine gun.

Turkey has successfully completed the test of its first-ever nationally developed 1,500-horsepower engine, BATU, that will power various armored vehicles and tanks, Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries head Ismail Demir announced on Twitter.

“Our defense industry is taking firm steps towards its targets in engine technology. The firing of our first engine with 1,500 horsepower, BATU, developed by BMC Power for tanks, various armored vehicles, and machines, was successfully completed,” a translation of his statement said.

The powerpack consists of an engine (12-cylinder, V-type, water-cooled, turbo-diesel, at least 110 kW 1500 HP rated power and at least 4600Nm max torque), a transmission (cross-drive, U connection type with steering and braking functionality), integrated cooling pack, air filtration, and exhaust systems.

The BMC-developed engine is set to power the Altay — Turkey’s third-generation main battle tank (MBT)  — which is fitted with a 120mm Rheinmetall main gun, a .50 caliber heavy machine gun, and 7.62 medium machine gun. The MBT project was said to be revived when Turkey’s old American tanks were quickly destroyed during its incursion in Syria in 2016.

Turkey plans to initially build 250 Altay MBTs and eventually produce around 1,000. The Turkish MBT will have a crew of four: driver, gunner, loader, and commander.

Altay MBT’s Development

The MBT project began in 2005 and its first prototype was launched in 2015. 

The Altay ambition was put to a halt after Germany imposed a federal arms embargo on Turkey over its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Turkey previously planned to power the tank with the German MTU engine and RENK transmission.

Eventually, BMC reached an agreement with two South Korean companies, Doosan Infracore Co. and S&T Dynamics Co., for the engine and transmission. Under the latest negotiations, the companies will supply the power pack and assist with its integration into the MBT. Further tests will follow.

This week, Turkey has also tested its Hisar-A+ missile, successfully hitting its target aircraft. It also announced that it has successfully converted its Simsek system into an autonomous “kamikaze” drone.

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