Koç group’s Otokar ‘ready for the mass production’ of Turkish indigenous battle tank Altay
AA PhotoTurkish defense and civil industry firm Otokar, a branch of the leading Koç Group that undertook the design phase of Altay battle tanks, has said it is ready to undertake the mass production of the country’s first ever domestic tank.
“If we are assigned to the task, we are ready to fulfill all the obligations with the highest sensitivity and ambition in the Altay tank project, which is Turkey’s biggest land systems project,” Anadolu Agency quoted Otokar’s board chairman, Ali Koç, as saying on April 3.
“We are ready for the job, with our human resource, from the subcontractor to our workers, experience, abilities and our passion to serve the best for our country,” said the chairman.
“We believe that the interest that the countries who are friends and allies have taken in the Altay tank will present a positive effect on defense industry exports in the long term,” Koç also said.
The mass production of the Altay tank is among the main agenda items in Otokar’s future goals. Otokar, in accordance with the “Modern Tank Production Project with National Opportunities – 1st Period Turkish Main Combat Tank Design and Prototype Production Main Agreement” signed with the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) in 2008, has completed the development process and prototype production.
While the user system qualification and acceptance tests were ongoing, the proposal on serial production was presented to the SSM on Jan. 18 in accordance with the agreement and project schedule. After the SSM’s evaluation, an opinion about the mass production process will be formed.
The Altay Project 2nd Period Mass Production Project involves the production of 250 tanks and their integrated logistical support activities.
The Altay tank project, in which the national resources and opportunities were used, was designed in relation to the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) needs.
Through the Altay, a design, prototyping and qualification project, Turkey will acquire a main combat tank using its own intellectual property right and will have the substructure to design and produce the most complicated vehicle on ground.
The Altay was equipped with the latest technology and developed to provide 21st-century modern armies with all necessary tactical innovations. The most advantageous aspect of the Altay is that it was designed by taking current and future threats and task conditions into account, beginning from the concept design stage, according to the makers.
The Altay has been subjected to many different terrain and climate conditions and presented a successful performance. The tank is protected with composite/reactive armors and systems that allow the crew to operate in conditions where there are chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear threats.
The latest developments in the Altay tank were discussed at the SSM meeting on March 9. Upon a question by Reuters about the issue, Defense Industry Undersecretary İsmail Demir said, “We got the offer for the Altay tank and we have been reviewing it.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he talked about the Altay tank project with late Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa Koç a day before the businessman’s death from a heart attack on Jan. 21.
“Mustafa Koç and his brother, Ali Koç, visited me a day earlier before this tragic incident. We mainly discussed what steps Koç Holding had taken in the defense industry as well as in other sectors. We also mentioned the group’s future trade relations with several neighboring countries to Turkey. As you all know, we offered the national tank, Altay, project to one of their companies during my prime ministry and they developed the project,” Erdoğan said Jan. 22.