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BMC rolls out new Altay

BMC unveiled an upgraded version of the Altay main battle tank (MBT) on 22 March 2023. (BMC)

BMC unveiled an upgraded version of the Altay main battle tank (MBT) on 22 March.

Two vehicles are under construction and scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) in late April, and will undergo a series of trials ahead of entering service in 2024.

The new Altay is the prototype of an initial production batch of 40 tanks. The vehicle features some important changes from the pre-production prototypes built by Otokar, such as the repositioning of some of the ammunition to racks on either side of the driver. Owing to problems in obtaining parts and subsystems from international manufacturers – including the bilge, fuel, hydraulic and preheat pumps, and hydraulic coupling components – these are now sourced from Turkish companies.

Further changes include the replacement of the original Aselsan Yamgöz observation and laser warning system with the Aselsan Örümcek 360° Situational Awareness System. Örümcek was designed to be used on MBTs and armoured fighting vehicles and provides 360° panoramic video for the tank commander. It is also interoperable with other displays used by the crew.

The initial production vehicles will use a South Korean powerpack, with Doosan Group and SNT Dynamics supplying a limited number of engines and transmissions. BMC plans to integrate the indigenous BATU powerpack in 2025–26 and will start to deliver these tanks to TLFC in the second half of 2026. BATU, a 1,500 hp unit, is being developed by BMC Power.

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