Altay Main Battle Tank, Turkey
Altay is the third generation+ main battle tank (MBT) of the Republic of Turkey. It was indigenously developed under the Milli Tank Üretim Projesi ALTAY (MITÜP ALTAY) programme (Altay National Tank Project). Altay is the first national MBT developed for the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC).
The Turkish National Main Battle Tank Project began in 2005. In September 2010, the conceptual design phase of Altay was completed. The first prototype was ready by 2015.
In August 2016, Otokar submitted its final offer to the Undersecreteriat for Defense Industries (SSM) for the serial production of the Altay main battle tanks.
Turkey intends to initially build 250 MITÜP Altay MBTs and ultimately produce 1,000 new tanks in four separate lots of 250 units. Altay incorporates the most modern features of a tank. The Turkish MBT has a crew of four, comprising the driver, gunner, loader and commander.
Altay main battle tank development
The SSM embarked on the National Tank project to improve the technical capabilities of Turkish defence and to increase the domestic contribution towards national defence.
The tank is named after the Army General Fahrettin Altay, who commanded the V Cavalry Corps during the Turkish War of Independence. Development of the Altay tank will be completed in three phases.
The Defence Industrial Executive Committee (SSIK), the Turkey's defence industrial procurement decision-making body, selected the contractor Otokar in March 2007, through a competition.
The $500m contract includes design, development and integration of Altay, as well as the qualification of the tank through prototypes and testing.
Work on the Altay project began in August 2008 at the Otokar factory and was completed in 2016. Otokar developed four prototypes for testing. Altay uses the technology systems developed for the South Korean K2 MBT by Hyundai Rotem. The successful testing of the prototypes was concluded by early 2017. Turkey owns the design and intellectual property rights.
Altay main battle tank design and features
A 3D image of Altay was revealed to the public in August 2010.
The tank has a conventional layout. The power pack is placed in the rear, driver seating in the front, as well as a fighting compartment in the middle. The loader sits on the left side of the turret, while the commander sits on the right side of the turret. The gunner sits on the same side as the commander but in a more forward and lower position.
Altay has the stronger chassis characteristics of the K2 Black Panther MBT. It has a re-designed Turkish turret and heavier armour than the K2. It also has seven tracked wheels and a longer hull.
The tank uses an advanced computerised Volkan-III modular (or National Cannon Fire Control System for Naval Platforms (TAKS)) fire-control system (FCS). It was developed by Aselsan, which has partnered with STM, the software division of SSM, for developing the command, control and information systems.
Altay is equipped with a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun. It is fitted with a muzzle reference system, a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. The ammunition is stowed in the turret bustle with blow out panels on the roof. The tank also has a 7.62mm machine gun mounted in coaxial to the right of the main armament. A 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the right of the turret for commander operation.
The front side of the tank has special modular reactive composite armour protection. The tank is designed to resist chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) attacks.
Both the gunner and the commander are provided with stabilised day/thermal sights incorporated with a laser range-finder with a hunter-killer capability.
The first two batches of Altay tanks will be powered by MTU Friedrichshafen 1,500hp (1,100kW) diesel engines. The engine will be coupled to a Renk transmission. An indigenous 1,800hp (1,300kW) engine will be used in the last two batches of the tank. The tank has a maximum speed of 70km/h and manoeuvrability at water depths of 4.1m.
Koç Group subsidiary Otokar is the main contractor for the Altay MBT development programme. The technology systems transfer licensing is provided by Hyundai Rotem, which also offers technical support and assistance in the tank development.
Aselsan is responsible for the sub-systems and fire control system. The state-owned ammunition producer Makine ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu (MKE) produces the main gun system, while Roketsan develops and produces the armour package. The subcontractors are responsible for integration of the respective equipment in the tank in cooperation with Otokar.
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