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Altay MBT to be ready in two years, says BMC

Turkey’s Altay main battle tank (MBT) is planned to be in use by the Turkish Armed Forces within the next 24 months, Ethem Sancak, chairman of the board of Turkish-Qatari armoured vehicle manufacturer BMC, has said.

The first 40 Altay MBTs are likely to be based on the Otokar prototype. (Otokar)

The first 40 Altay MBTs are likely to be based on the Otokar prototype. (Otokar)

The MBT and all its parts will be entirely domestically produced in 48 months at the latest, Sancak told the 10th Istanbul Finance Summit (IFS’19) on 10 October.

Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) signed a contract with BMC for the first serial production of 250 Altay MBTs in November 2018 after a delay of almost eight years. Under the contract, up to 1,000 MBTs could be procured in four batches of 250 each.

A Turkish defence industry expert told Jane’s on 4 October that the first 40 tanks of the first sub-tranche, which are planned to be equipped with the Akkor active protection system and with the possibility of additional armour developed by Roketsan, are likely to be based on five Altay prototypes produced by Turkish company Otokar.

The second sub-tranche will consist of 210 Altays, with improved armour, the ability to fire laser-guided projectiles from its main gun, and an isolated magazine for the main gun ammunition, among others improvements. They will take longer to produce because of their more advanced systems, the expert added.

BMC member of the board Yasin Oztürk told the state-run Anatolia news agency on 17 September that the first prototype of the MBT would be tested in Qatar at the beginning of 2020, paving the way for Turkey to place its first order for 250 Altays.

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