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ECONOMICS > Turkey to reveal local tank ahead of deadline

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Turkey’s debut home-developed battle tank will be produced up to two years before the set deadline, PM Erdoğan says during a landmark event

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Turkey will move on to serial production of Altay battle tanks once four prototypes are finalized until 2015.

Turkey will move on to serial production of Altay battle tanks once four prototypes are finalized until 2015.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday that the Altay, Turkey’s first main battle tank, would be finished “one or two years ahead of time.”

Erdoğan attended a ceremony to mark the roll-out of the first prototype of the tank in Adapazarı, in western Turkey, together with Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, procurement chief Murad Bayar and South Korean ambassador to Turkey Lee Sang-kyu.

Nearly four years after signing a $500 million contract with the private armored vehicle maker, Turkey is looking forward to obtaining the first four prototypes of the Altay. The Otokar group, which had planned to finish the building of four prototypes by 2015, will now complete the prototypes by 2013 or 2014 under the new calendar given by Erdoğan.

“The four prototypes will undergo performance tests throughout 2013, and then we will pass into the final prototypes and serial production stage,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech, without giving exact times.

He said Turkey had been very late in completing many of its defense systems for many years and that this should be investigated. With improvements in the past 10 years, Turkey would now have the kind of unmanned aerial vehicles that only the United States and Israel currently have, as well as a military satellite with a 2.5-meter resolution rate. “We are constructing the arms that our army needs, and that can be sold,” Erdoğan said. The tank project was officially initiated on July 29, 2008, when the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), Turkey’s procurement agency, and Otokar signed a $500 million agreement for the design, development and production of four prototypes of the Altay.

South Korean partner
After a SSM meeting, a decision was made to select South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem for the overall technical support enabling business, while Turkey’s Aselan was chosen as the Fire Control System and Command, Control and Communications Information system subcontractor. State-owned MKEK was selected as the subcontractor for the 120mm primary weapon, while Roketsan was tasked with the job to provide the armor.

The new tank is named after General Fahrettin Altay, who commanded the 5th Cavalry Corps in the Turkish War of Independence. Hyundai Rotem has been tasked with working closely with Turkey’s government-owned MKEK for the development of the tank’s 120mm main gun. The South Korean company will work with Roketsan for the tank’s armor. Accordingly, Otokar’s present contract will be over by the end of 2015, when a total of four prototypes will be built.

November/16/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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turkic voice

11/17/2012 10:23:07 AM

never ever rely on out side supply for your defences and armory as once relations go bad you will be left out with your pants down

Eric Martin

11/17/2012 7:48:16 AM

Agree with Murat. This is a GOOD DEAL for the country and good deal in price even if it is joint venture with Korea. Should have happened DECADES ago. Our former leaders in their infinite wisdom though building our own weapons was a waste of time. Faruk - We must have defense and 'industry'. Already have schools! US Observer is wrong. Leopards cost more. Wikipedia = Leopard Unit cost 2A6: US$5.74 million. Altay = Unit cost $5.5 million (est.)[citation needed]

ealsho@eartlink.net tango73

11/16/2012 8:50:02 PM

Altay appears to copy the S Korean K2 Black Panther, with a re-designed Turkish turret. The candidates for the engine are German MTU Friedrichshafen and the new S Korean engine which is currently under development.The gun is licensed produced Rheinmetall 120 mm gun.The main problem is if Aselsan can manufacture and integrate the-modular fire control system, command, control and information system.Thy tried with ANKA but did not succeed.

Murat

11/16/2012 4:59:12 PM

Let's see, armor, optics, electroincs, barrel, gas turbine engine... all designed and built in Turkey or with joint ventures with Koreans. Though I am not sure if Turkey really needs such a powerful tank now, this is not only cheaper than buying but infinitely better for local economy and technology. Turks can never rely on anyone for their critcal needs, that is a given.

US Observer

11/16/2012 2:37:29 PM

German tanks are not the best, but they are very good. You are correct in that it would have been cheaper to buy than produce.

A Bek

11/16/2012 1:17:15 PM

I disagree with comments above. In term of security and security capabilities, it is highly recommended that country such Turkey surrouned by rivalries and potential enemies to rely as much as she can on its own capabilities. Turkey can rely for ever on Germany to provide tanks. What happen if Germany decided not to sell its tanks to Turkey, it can happen. Turkey need to win its independance and especially in term of its security.

Red Tail

11/16/2012 12:16:18 PM

Is everything made in Turkey. To buld the metal stuff, any mechanical work shop can do. But to develop electronic and balistics etc, that is what is advanced and crucial.

Faruk Beisser

11/16/2012 11:04:45 AM

Just think what social benefits like schools and hospitals could have been created with this money in the Southeast to benefit the people, but no, money must be wasted to raise the Great Leader to greater heights. Btw, German tanks are the best in the world and would have been much cheaper to buy than to produce Turkish tanks!

Murat

11/16/2012 12:34:28 AM

You can not rush these things.
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