Altay tanks to strengthen Turkish army
Istanbul-based armored vehicle manufacturer BMC won the contract to mass produce Turkey's next-generation main battle tank (MBT), Altay.
Following the bidding process the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) would now hold talks on the deal with BMC to mass produce and develop the battle tank, an SSM source said on condition of anonymity.
Studies for a modern battle tank to serve the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) began at the end of the 1990s. The first stage focused on the production of foreign tanks in Turkey with local partners and searches in that direction continued until 2004.
Turkish automobile giant Otokar won the bid to develop Altay prototypes using local resources and facilities. The company developed a number of prototypes, which successfully went through a series of tests.
Starting off with 250 vehicles, the number will gradually be raised to 1,000; boosting Turkey's ground forces inventory to great extent.
Meanwhile, the economic size of the project, spread over more than 20 years, is expected to reach $25 to $30 billion, Daily Sabah reported.
The mass production phase of Altay will see the maximum contribution by a number of local producers, including BMC, ASELSAN, ROKETSAN, and the Machinery and Chemical Industry Institute (MKEK).
Classified as a "Third Generation Advanced" tank, Altay will be equipped with state of the technology, capable of providing all kinds of tactical support for a 21st-century army.
The tank is expected to become a critical element for the Turkish military in future thanks to its excellent mobility, superior firepower and durability.