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Altay MBT
The Minister of National Defense of South Korea Lee Sang-Hee at the inauguration ceremony for the production of MİTÜP Altay
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Turkey
Production history
Designer Otokar
Manufacturer 1st Army Maintenance Center Command, Adapazarı
Unit cost $5.5 million (est.)
Weight 60 tons (est.)
Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Armor MKE Reactive Composite Armor
120 mm (4.72 in.) Smoothbore
1x Aselsan STAMP/II stabilized remote controlled turret
1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun
Engine Multi-fuel turbine engine
1500+ HP Batch 1/2 (MTU),
1800+ HP Batch 3/4 (Indigenous)
Suspension Torsion bar
Speed 70 km/h max.

MİTÜP (an acronym for Milli Tank Üretim Projesi, i.e. National Tank Production Project) nicknamed Altay by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), is the official name of planned Turkish national main battle tank.

History[edit | edit source]

The project was initiated with an agreement signed between Otokar and SSM of the Republic of Turkey on March 30, 2007; when the Defense Industries Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, awarded a contract worth approximately $500 million to Otokar for the design and development of 4 prototypes of a new national main battle tank. This will be Turkey's first MBT development program since 1943, when prototypes of a Turkish national tank were produced in the city of Kırıkkale, but never reached full-scale mass production.

Otokar, a company owned by Istanbul-based Koç Holding, is authorized to select its local partners or sub-contractors, but the foreign technology suppliers will be selected by the SSM (Undersecretariat for Defense Industries) in line with an assessment report that will be prepared by Otokar.

Development[edit | edit source]

In order to improve the current technical capabilities of the Turkish defense industries and increase the amount of domestic contribution towards national defense, the Undersecreteriat for Defense Industries decided that a "National Tank" will serve as an excellent catalyst for uniting certain Turkish defense companies around a common goal and for providing the Turkish military with extra firepower in the form of a modern tank.

Three local sub-contractors have already been selected: The military-owned electronics firm Aselsan will manufacture and integrate the Volkan-III modular fire control system; a partnership between Aselsan and STM (Undersecretariat of Defence Technologies) for the command, control and information systems; and state-owned MKEK(Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation) for the production and integration of the armor and the Rheinmetall 120 mm gun.

Once the prototypes are produced and tested, the Undersecreteriat for Defense Industries of the Republic of Turkey will prepare and execute a separate order for the first lot of 250 tanks. A total of 1,000 new MBTs are planned to be produced in four separate lots of 250 units. Every delivered lot is expected to have additional upgrades.[1]

Design[edit | edit source]

The tank is planned to have a 120 mm smoothbore gun and will be able to protect itself from chemical, biological and radioactive attacks. The planned maximum speed is set at 70 kilometers per hour, thanks to a 1800 hp (1324 kW) engine (the first two batches will have 1500 hp engines), and the MBTs will be able to function under 4.1 meters of water.


MİTÜP Altay Main Battle Tank

The tank will benefit both from indigenously developed systems and from the armor technology of the South Korean K2 Black Panther, thanks to a $540 million agreement signed with South Korea. The candidates for the engines were the German MTU Friedrichshafen or the new South Korean engine which is currently under development. On 16 June 2008, it was announced by the Turkish Defence Procurement office (SSM) that it has decided to commission the development of 1800 hp (1324 kW) indigenous turbine engine for use in the Turkish made armoured personnel carriers and main battle tank, the first two batches will be powered by the 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) MTU engines whereas the last two batches will be powered by an indigenous 1800 hp engine.[2]

The initial 3D design of Turkey’s new main battle tank, Altay, was released on April 7, 2010 during a press release by SSM, which also marked the completion of the M-60T modernization program.

Altay appears to share strong chasis characteristics with its technological base, the South Korean K2 Black Panther, with a re-designed Turkish turret and Aselsan’s state-of-the-art Volkan-III modular fire control system. The number of wheels have been increased to seven, which translates to a longer hull, heavier armor and increased survivability.

According to reports, a military envoy from Colombia was also present at the press meeting to obtain more information about the tank.[3]

First prototype[edit | edit source]

The head of the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), Murad Bayar has confirmed at the 9th IDEX International on 29 April 2009, Defense Industry Fair in Abu Dhabi, UAE, that the Turkish tank will be manufactured using only Turkish resources. He added that the research started last week and that he expected to create an authentic tank model specially designed for the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) within 3 years.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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