Turkey | The New Altay with a South Korean power system at the disposal of the Turkish Army for field trials
Defence Redefined
Published on 25/03/2023 at 18:28

*Athanasios Tsakalos

The first batch of Turkish-made “New Altay” Main Battle Tanks will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces on April 23, 2023, according to the Turkish defence website “Defence Turk”.

The development of the said platform was initiated in order to meet the Turkish Army’s need for an advanced and capable battle tank that could replace the aging fleet of German Leopard tanks and US M60 tanks as well as to meet the demands of modern combat operations.

The BMC Defence company, which will supply, among others, simulators and subsystems, held a press and media briefing on March 22 ahead of the delivery of two new “New Altay” main battle tanks to the Turkish Armed Forces equipped with a South Korean power system consisting of the Hyundai 1500 hp Doosan DV27K diesel engine and SNT Dynamics production EST15K transmission.

The Turkish-designed and built system in question marks a milestone in the neighboring country’s efforts to reduce its reliance on foreign military technology and strengthen its own defence industry.

The first two tanks, named “New Altay” by the Turkish company BMC Defence, will be delivered for field trials to the Turkish Army on April 23, 2023. The said trials are to be completed at the end of 2024.

The name attributed to the tanks clearly indicates significant changes and improvements made to the original platform, such as the integration and trials with the power unit received from South Korea, which were deemed successful.

So far, five Altay tank prototypes have been produced at Arifieh’s facility in Sakarya.

These have a number of improved as well as additional features such as AKKOR active protection system (APS), add-on cage armor system, upgraded fire control system and upgraded vehicle status control system, ASELSAN SPIDER 360 laser perimeter surveillance and warning system, and a SARP remote combat weapon station (RCWS) with a 0.50″ machine gun and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL).

Also read: K2NO MBT | The Korean Main Battle Tank proposal for Norway – VIDEO

As for its other technical characteristics, these include a 120/55 caliber smoothbore gun with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. The top speed of the New Altay is about 70 km/h with a range of about 500 km.

The tank is also equipped with digital battle management systems, allowing it to operate in network-centric warfare environments.

It should be noted that numerous systems originated from foreign companies have been installed on the platform such as a deceleration and suspension system, coaxial machine gun, armor steel, engine, ammunition rack (ammunition compartmentalization), periscopes, fuel, and hydraulic pumps.

In the new ALTAY, it is also noted that the turret armor has been designed taking into account both the modern threats of guided anti-tank missiles capable of executing a Top-Attack hit and the lessons learned from the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

Therefore, the “New Altay” has superior capabilities compared to the original Altay.

Also read: Turkish Leopard 2A4 tanks upgraded with T1 armor from October – VIDEO

At this point, it seems that the various problems involving, among others, finding a suitable engine – resulting in a significant delay in the commencement of the development program – have been overcome.

After the completion of trials, the mass-produced tanks are expected to join the military arsenal of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Starting in the second half of 2026, mass production of the tank is planned to continue with the domestically built 1500 hp BATU V12 engine, while mass production of the Altay tank will take place at BMC’s new facilities being built in Ankara with an annual production capacity of 100 tanks and a provision for 25-30 pieces of the said tanks for export alongside the deliveries to the Turkish Armed Forces.

Also read: The first “official” presentation of the German LEOPARD 2A4 in occupied Cyprus – VIDEO




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