Altay is the modern main battle tank of Turkey, designed based on the Korean K2 Black Panther chassis.

Altay is one of the most expensive tank designs, with a price of $13.75 million each. Altay is honored to be one of the first 4th generation tanks in the world, on par with Korea’s K2 Black Panther, Type 10 of Japan; Leclerc XLR Scorpion of France and T-14 Armata of Russia.

In 2007, the Turkish Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with Otokar to build the Altay main battle tank, to replace the German Leopards and the US M60. In addition, Turkey expects Altay to be a key export product.

Altay MBT
Altay MBT

There are several reasons for the Turkish development of a new main battle tank. Firstly, to develop the domestic defense industry. Second, the autonomy of defense industry capacity. Turkey’s policies have led to tensions with NATO countries, so it is possible that these countries will stop supplying weapons and components to the Turkish military.

The Altay tank project is developed based on foreign experience that has been used. More than 60% of technology is borrowed from foreign companies (mainly from Germany and Korea). The Altay has a weight of 60 tons, so it needs an engine from 1,300 to 1,500 horsepower.

Altay is equipped with a 120mm MKEK120 smoothbore gun, assembled under license from Hyundai Rotem (Korea). Its effective range is within 3 km. In addition, a remote controlled weapon station with a 12.7mm machine gun will be mounted on the top of the turret.

In the first batch, Altay will use Korean engines. Turkey is in talks with South Korea to supply these engines. The Korean engine is Doosan Infracore DV27K, 12 cylinders, water-cooled, with a capacity of 1,500 horsepower. Turkey’s Batu domestic engine will continue testing this year and will be fitted on Turkish Altay tanks in the future. Comes with the engine will be an automatic transmission. However, Turkey still did not have the technology to produce automatic transmissions, so it had to join a joint venture with Iveco of Italy.

Previously, the next-generation battle tank’s prototype was to be powered by a 1,500 horsepower diesel engine from Germany’s MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. Germany’s Rheinmetall has also established a joint venture with BMC aimed at establishing joint production of armored vehicles, particularly the main battle tank, Altay. However, the production and supply of the tank engine came to a halt following Berlin’s decision to limit arms exports to Turkey, a long-term NATO ally.

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