President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made statements about the Altay Main Battle Tank in his speech at the Arifiye 1st Main Maintenance Factory Directorate in Sakarya.
President Erdoğan indicated that the production of Altay MBT is planned to be carried out at the Arifiye 1st Main Maintenance Factory. Regarding the delivery of the Altay MBT to the Turkish Armed Forces, President Erdoğan pointed out the year 2023 by saying, “The target is to hold the Altay’s delivery ceremony to the Army here at the beginning of 2023.” About the 1st Main Maintenance Factory of Arifiye, President Erdoğan added, “Although this is a tank track factory, we will also produce tanks here.”
While a limited production of Altay MBT was planned in 2021, uncertainties regarding full-scale mass production continued due to the power group.
Vice President Fuat Oktay reminded that the duplicate production contract for the Altay tank was signed between the Presidency of Defence Industries and BMC company on November 9, 2018, in his speech at the Committee on Planning and Budget of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on November 27, 2020 and he remarked that subsystem supply contracts were signed between BMC and German companies MTU and RENK for the supply of engines and transmissions for the power group. Oktay continued his statement as follows:
“An application has been filed to obtain approval for export licenses, government permits from the German authorities. We are still trying to get a response from the German authorities regarding the permissions in question.”
President of the Presidency of Defence Industries Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, in his interview with M5 Magazine, was asked about the production of 6 Altay tanks with pre-supplied engines, emphasizing that the production of the Altay main battle tank was started and said,
“We can’t call it 6 for the number of units, because there is no such thing as all auxiliary engines will be motorised in the tank, but only 4 or maybe 5, something like that has started. It may be asked why such a thing was not started earlier. If we are going to start building a production facility now, we have to determine a process in order not to say “we produced 5 tanks but we waited 3 years”
Regarding the MBT engine, İsmail Demir Altay stated in May 2020, “Working with a country has come to a very good point, we can say that signatures have been signed. We still have plans B and C for the engine.” Demir also expressed that R&D studies for the electric motor to be used in the Altay tank continue as an alternative to the existing supply plans.
The ALTAY Project started under the prime contractorship of OTOKAR, which was commissioned by the Presidency of Defence Industries for the production of prototypes. Then BMC won the duplicate production tender and the duplicate production process takes place under the prime contractorship of BMC.
The engine of the Altay tank “BATU” was successfully tested
The engine of the BATU Power Group, which will power the Altay main battle tank, was successfully ignited. President of Defence Industries Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir made the following statements in his speech in May 2021,
“Our defence industry takes firm steps forward in engine technology as well. The ignition of BATU, our first 1500 horsepower engine developed by BMC Power for tanks, various armoured vehicles and machines, was successful.
Mesude Kılınç, Head of the Department of Engine and Driveline Systems at the Presidency of Defence Industries, indicated that they aim to accept BATU, which is the power group project of the Altay tank, on the tank in 2024, at the “Defence Technologies 2021” event organized by the Istanbul Technical University Defence Technologies Club.
Remarking that it would be a very difficult test process, Kılınç stated that a project process in which field tests will be carried out, including 10,000 kilometer tests on the tank. Expressing that critical subsystems were also developed locally within the context of the project, Mesude Kılınç said,
“We attach great importance to the domestic development of critical subsystems. This makes our challenging project even more difficult.”