The production of Turkey’s battle tank “Altay” may be completed in 18 months, İsmail Demir, undersecretary for the defense industry of Turkey, said on April 26.
“We will do it very fast; we do not have any other choice. We expect our tank to roll off the [production] line after 18 months. We have a very ambitious target,” he told state-run Anadolu Agency at the Eurasia Show in the southern province of Antalya.
“We aim to sign the contract as soon as possible but there are many conditions. It is not correct to set a date but we have been targeting the earliest one. It also depends on the preparedness of the company,” he added.
BMC, a Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, won the key contract to develop and produce the country’s main battle tank on April 24.
After winning over the FNSS and Koç Holding’s Otokar, the maker of Altay’s prototypes, in the “Altay” batch production race, BMC is now holding 20 percent of the shares of the tank project.
Parts are mostly indigenous
Demir also said the batch production will start with 250 tanks and they will make significant contributions to the subsidiary industries.
Excluding its engine and the transmission assembly, the “Altay” tank will be mainly made of domestic machineries, he added.
“There may be a need of more work to make the protective systems better. Considering all these elements we can say that the tank will be indigenous in a very large extent.”
Separately, companies including the public engine maker Tümosan as well as BMC, Figes Fizik, Istanbul Denizcilik and Tusaş Motor have made their offers to develop domestically produced tank engines and transmission assembly since last year.