Turkish Altay Tanks to Begin Trials Next Month

Turkish military vehicle manufacturer BMC will deliver the first two Altay main battle tanks to the Turkish Armed Forces on April 23 for testing.

Mass production is expected to begin in 2025 following the completion of the tests in 2024, Defence Turk reported.

BMC plans to replace the tank’s South Korean engine with a domestic-produced version in 2026.

Indigenous Power Plant

The company is developing a 1,500-horsepower engine called the BATU to power various armored vehicles, including the Altay.

The 12-cylinder, V-type, water-cooled, turbo diesel engine produces 4,600 nanometers of torque.

BMC will produce 100 tanks annually, with 25 to 30 for export.

Altay Project

The Altay project, signed in 2007, has faced significant delays in securing critical components such as engines and transmissions.

After a gap of over a decade, the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries, one of the two co-developers, signed a contract with BMC to produce 250 Altays in 2018.  

The ‘New’ Altay

Quoting BMC executive board member and manager Murat Yalçıntas, Daily Sabah reported that “the tank has undergone significant changes since its first design in the 2000s.”

New capabilities include an “active protection system, improved armor system, renewed fire control system, renewed vehicle control system, concentrated power group,” Daily Sabah reported, citing BMC Defense General Manager Mehmet Karaaslan.

The tank features a 120mm Rheinmetall main gun, a .50 caliber heavy machine gun, and a 7.62mm medium machine gun.

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