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Is the Altay MBT nearing production?
October 18, 2017
The Altay main battle tank is at the center of Turkey's armour modernization roadmap. With up to 1000 units planned for the Turkish Army, the Altay is shaping up to be a very advanced and capable system. Photo credit: Otokar

Is the Altay MBT nearing production?

By Bilal Khan

Otokar, the Turkish defence vendor in charge of designing, developing, and producing Turkey’s national main battle tank (MBT) program, the Altay, is excited and reportedly ready to push the much awaited tank into mass production (Hurriyet Daily).

Speaking to the Turkish media at the beginning of April, Chairman of the Board at Otokar, Ali Koç, said, “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.”

No specific dates were given as to when the Altay would enter production, but from Ali Koç’s statements, it seems that time is nearing, and that the company was in the process of ramping up for the Turkish Army’s initial order of 250 tanks.

Turkey began developing the Altay in 2007 under the framework of a comprehensive strategy to source as much of its critical defence equipment in-house. Otokar was selected as the leading vendor to bring the Altay MBT to fruition. In 2008, Otokar approached the South Korean firm Hyundai Rotem, which in turn provided assistance using the expertise developed from its K2 Black Panther MBT.

At 65 tons, the Altay MBT is a heavyweight platform. It is armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun as well as a 12.7mm heavy machine gun and a remote controlled turret. A 1500hp German diesel engine powers the tank, though Turkey is aiming to eventually replace it with an indigenous powerplant. In addition to its armour, the Altay is also protected by an active protection suite.

A number of countries have reportedly expressed interest in the Altay, including Pakistan, which is in the process of evaluating a number of tanks under the “Haider” program. The Haider MBT is being envisaged to supplement the al-Khalid MBT line in replacing the Pakistan Army’s legacy tanks. It is not known if the Army’s interest in the Altay is under the framework of Haider, or another area entirely. In addition to the prospect of having heavy MBTs, the Army may also be motivated by the idea of securing Turkey’s active protection technology for use on its own mainstay tanks.

Thank you Umit for the tip!

  • Mustafa O

    Now lets see whether modi toady shows up bloating about indian white elephant, i mean that stupid box shaped metallic piece of junk called arjun.

    • Lol you know MT is coming. He’s going to say, “A ltay is just k2 kalla billi korea with some licensed german n’ swiss technology on top of it. Aslsan might have made the thermal imaging system, but it’s old licensed technology from Thales. They cant update it because French-Turkish relations went downhill. haider is another cheeni tank, no, same cheeni mbt-2000, just subpar 1500hp cheeni engine.”

      • Abdul Rashid

        You forgot to mention, “with turki R$d nr zero as compare swiss n German n lag far behind even india which launch sattelite using advanced indiginus rocket, pak which is millionyr behind Sunni major power turki & atleast 1000 yr behind even Shia iran stand no chance II challenge Arjun II in battlefield whith knock down cheeni mbt2000 assembly kit…” and on and on & aan…

        Lol, I have absolutely zero defence related background but reading thru my own comment it seems 2 not lag II far behind Quwas’ leading defence technology expert from India.

        • MT has contributed more to this site than I, will he say, “even Quwa, it is an Indian product.” 😀

        • MT

          altay has german engine with swiss fire control system but entire major sysems are korean in origin.
          Some electronic and optronics r licensed manufacturered by aseldan with 3rd gen technology tot from sorafdir & thales of france.

          Turks lag behind drdo in indigenous technical maturity of individual subsystem.

          Turks jst started to work on engine while
          india is finaly testing 1500HP engine & it ll hve better tank over time once it develops all subsystems

        • MT

          Where is turkey in radar development ??
          can they develop fire control radar? ?
          can they make local awacs?
          all they do is license production American western systems

          turks stand nowhere in sam development.
          They taking full tot from diehl germany from where they procure hisar.Diehl is offering them tot of dual pulse rocket engine while drdo spend 100mill $ over 15yrs to build from scratch.

          The only technical advantage turk have over india is in E/O Pod in which they received full tot of 2nd gen optronics tech from sorafdir french.
          But aselsan still stuck in substandard early 3rd gen pod

          Turks have some edge in tanjs and FICV but most of them are procured from korean s

          Turks lag behind In tank engine & their turbofan development in in primitive stage.
          They r members of mtcr & their pvt company make weapons buying/sourcing tech from west.

          Turks got their 1st missile from cheen in 1990’s.
          Their defence industry was nothing in early 90.
          All altay has german engine with swiss fire control system but entire major sysems are korean in origin.
          Some electronic and optronics r licensed manufacturered by aseldan with 3rd gen technology tot from sorafdir & thales of france.

          Turks lag behind drdo in indigenous technical maturity of individual subsystem.

          Turks jst started to work on engine while
          india is finaly testing 1500HP engine & it ll hve better tank over time once it develops all subsystemsof it is possible bcoz of nato & mtcr membership.

          • Shershahsuri

            Ever read of Kalkan Radar of Turkey?

          • MT

            all license produce of western systems

            show me turkish awacs radar? ?

      • Muhammad Shahid

        Hahaha. O my God……., you have drawn a very true and funny picture. Now I have started skipping MT quotes. I don’t know how he gets so free time to write more than 1 meter long comments without any sense….!!!

        • Mustafa O

          Read my very first comment on this thread about Modi Toady…. U will laugh off ur butts

      • Mustafa O

        Lol…. Look thats whats he is exactly saying….. Bloating DRDO superiority over turkish tank…. What a retard.

        • MT

          what is capabilities of turks in composite, material science, engine technology, super alloys.

          They have few pvt companies who source stuffs from west, korea but I don’t see them anything more than systems integrators in tank development

    • Ashi Sidhu

      It’s still under development/testing

      • jigsaww

        Has been for last 20 years and and will remain for another 20 after which it will be abandoned.

        • Ashi Sidhu

          india already has thousands of T 90 ,T 72 arjun will be ready in atmost 2-3 years after which it can be inducted

          • jigsaww

            Aren’t you tired of listening to and repeating these timelines by DRDO and hindustani government? Why do you believe in these stories when you know arjun is an underpowered overly heavy rip off of leopard that has failed to impress the hindustani military even.

            The fact is even if arjun gets inducted by political forcing, hindustani military will never base its strike formation straregy on arjun but rather on T90s and older soviet tanks.

            You can believe whatever you want in name of your self esteem but that is pretty much the truth.

          • Ashi Sidhu

            No good tank take time to develop india develop indigenous capability
            It is no leopard it uses israeli components of merkava
            Wait for it

          • jigsaww

            LOL. Good. It’s junk.

            Arjun is a cheap rip off of german leopard. Desi leopard.

          • MT

            india is building Drdo bharat 1500HP engine.
            Next gen barrel, turret is also in development while composite alloy to be used for armour of sub 50 tons FMBT
            india ll hve better tank over time once it develops all subsystems.
            Until then T90 ll be far cheaper to build

          • jigsaww

            lol 1500 HP engine.
            bhai pehlay pencil sharpner bananay ke aukaat tau bana lo apni.
            engine banain gay. lol

          • MT

            india makes many different dozen truck engine .

            Drdo 1500Hp bharat pack engine involved top tier 1 company in pump systems: kirloskar,Compton geaves, manhindra both rank among top 10 motor,pumps and automobile manufacturer in world

          • MT

            arjun is preface to future MTCR.Aim is to build and develop most of tech at home
            Russia can produce better tank at cheaper price as they produce 1000tanks with fully indigenous component
            In order for india to deliver decent tanks ; drdo ll have to achieve 75%+ self sufficiency & -they shall involve all pvt and public sector companies

            2020 is limit for drdo to maximise indigenous component from current 45-50 % to 75%

          • jigsaww

            Arjun is junk.
            Now stop wasting my time.

          • MT

            better than cheeni copy cat of Pakistani

          • jigsaww

            Pakistani tank does not sit in hangers.
            It’s out there in the battle performing, and getting exported too.

          • MT

            pakistan can’t make steel so calling cheeni maal pakistani is so obvious for cheeni ghulam

          • MT

            arjun is preface to future MTCR.Aim is to build and develop most of tech at home
            Russia can produce better tank at cheaper price as they produce 1000tanks with fully indigenous component
            In order for india to deliver decent tanks ; drdo ll have to achieve 75%+ self sufficiency & -they shall involve all pvt and public sector companies

            2020 is limit for drdo to maximise indigenous component from current 45-50 % to 75%

          • Javed

            There is no doubt India has put lots of efforts money and manpower building locally everything and defense was no exception but the results have been very disappointing and poor specially the help India got for 50 long years from Soviet Union, Warsaw pact countries like Poland Hungry, Czechoslovakia, Romania traditionally very good at producing military/heavy mechanical hardware/tanks et; and now US is holding their hand.There must be something wrong?
            Comparing China that was very poor, poorer than India, lost Soviet technical and economic support in late fifties early sixties but the results are (in China’s case) very impressive, too impressive even for US to digest. Wonder where India missed and why?
            Today China assembles 50 Airbus 320 a year( in China) getting ready for Airbus 330/340 and even 350 and if assembly was that easy why not in India or elsewhere? Even Boeing is planning big assembly line there.The point is China not only leaned highly sophisticated assembly techniques and technology and descipline it is coming up with its own 200 seats jet liner called C919 (lucky number in Chinese culture) with French engine.So where DRDO or HAL stands for that matter?

          • MT

            Russia never helped india as india was isolated ally of soviet .

            chinese policy makers buys all total sales of pvt sector say for eg 200 airbus orders year to force those manufacturing from airbus

            on the contrary indian pvt sector just buy their planes from.airbus .

            so 10 diff indian companies end up buying 5-6 airbus but india dont get those manufacturing contracts..

            cheeni pvt sector r controlled by cheen military .

            but india ll eventually have increased outsourcing from airbus.
            They bought1bill$ parts from india in 2015-16

      • Javed

        This is the most expensive (over $12 million/piece) 68 ton behemoth entering in its 30th year of tinkering “technical Babus” call development. And how many major parts/sub-assemblies (at least 25) are Western. Granthi only knows
        Unsuitable to transport through Indian railways/bridges systems and even more unsuitable for Subcontinent plains and desert. India has a habit of taking too much on its plate and there are plenty of examples…Teja, Arjun, Sitara (trainer) Ajeet list is long and performance pathetic.

    • MT

      altay has german engine with german fire control system with korean licensed production

      india is building 1500HP engine & it ll hve better tank over time once it develops all subsystems

      • Mustafa O

        Turks are infact decades ahead in defence tech info and r&d. They are the ones making f16s, the only f16 production line outside USA. TAI is now under contract to produce f35 parts, a400m transport aircraft, t129 attack helicopters, uavs, recce satellites. C130 avionics etc etc. All state of the art, not shitty hindustani low tech defence products who no body buys, not even indian military.
        Dont compare ur drdo products. Fate of Nishant, arjun and tejas is very evident to the entire world. Be realistic and DONT MAKE A LAUGHING STOCK OF URSELF AND INDIA.

        • MT

          Turkey is assembling f16 just as u guys r doing with junk fighter17

          india companies have 100 contracts with French swiss usa companies

          what Tyrks do is low end assembly & have very limited intellectual property of its own as they license western technology being part of MTCR

          • Mustafa O

            Read my last line above AGAIN.

          • MT

            Turkey is simply sourcing weapons from west as they r member of MTCR.

            Their sam programme Hisar is tot production by Diehl germany

            while the radars & electronic r soured from usa,france,swiss

            even altay tank is copy of korean tank with swiss,french subsystem

            there is no. comparison of india with turks.
            india have icbm,top 5 space & satellite industry,SLBM, local awacs radar,destroyers,ssbn/nuke submarine,frigates/corvette,air craft carrier while turks r lagging behind in these field

          • Mustafa O

            Time to wake up from ur slumber

          • MT

            there is no. comparison of india with turks. Turks yet to develop an indigenous fighter .
            licensed production of f16 means nothing as usa always withheld critical work to be manufactured in usa.

            india have icbm,top 5 space & satellite industry,SLBM, local awacs radar,destroyers,ssbn/nuke submarine,frigates/corvette,air craft carrier while turks r lagging behind in these field

          • Mustafa O

            Yup ur right. Turks are a martial and a proud race. One sick man of europe is now tiger of europe. With a state of art defence industry propelled through decades of experience gained through technical know from f16, f35 assembly lines. Now there us long list of state of art weapons being produced, way too ahead of india. I mean, even Pakistan has more export custimers of its weapons than india.

            Now compare that with shitty drdo and hal with experience of a dinky called gnats, a flunk aircraft called marut and the legacy contniues with yet another failed project called tejas that indians claim to be 4th gen, hardly having any worth mentioning indian technology. About hindu race dont even take me there. So yup, there is indeed nothing in common

          • MT

            turks haven’t made any aesa radar for awacs, fire control radar, long range radar.
            Expecting them to develop an aesa radar for fighter jet knowing that any decent 1000 T/R module miniaturised aesa radar in aircraft require decade effort.
            Turks EW, counter measures products are purely licensed tech from Bae system usa with some local parts
            Turks couldn’t make a small missile which they procured from cheen in 90s.
            They joined MTCR a decade ago & we see so many western missile such as hisar a, o, m licensed from Diehl germany.
            India had set up its first aesa fabricating plant in 2002 when turks didn’t manufacture any radar of any kind back then.
            Turk stands as novice in indigenous technology.
            All of these Aselsan electronics published on their site is licensed manufacturing of western equipment under shadow of MTCR and Nato.
            Turks won’t survive a month if they are kicked out of MTCR nd denied technology access which is norm for china, india over last 2decades.
            I realise that indian companies can’t import some uav moog actuators from Moog Inc usa
            Getting all tech tot from american companies is something india usa hasnt agreed even on hobby project: A raven uav which has range of few km.
            india may be usa ally but technologically ;Usa haven’t supported a basic product IP with india.
            India cant hire American consultants on any project while most TAI anka subsystem are developed with full tot from american companies.
            In all sense Turk with fewer manpower& low experience on public r&d are not competitors for usa unlike china india who have larger industrial base with home grown technology developed from scratch & rank among top 2, 5 patent publishers.
            Expecting some new pvt sector companies such as Aselsan with no existential research product & Ip to start producing world class products out of nowhere is nothing short of magic.
            Turks set up their satellite industry in 2000 & we read many articles,PR agency claiming them to be best in Asia after assembling some western imported SAR modules is over exaggeration given japan cheen russia india have 5-6;decade experience of fabricating laege satellites up to weight of 5-6 tons

            Turks just learnt to make frigates,ships while india have 3-4 decade experience of making frigates,corvette & decade experience with destroyers.

            it has 3 nukes ssbn in making while indigenous aircraft carrier is to be released next yr.

            Turks simply assembled America aircraft trainer and Italian helicopter

          • MT

            dumboos,

            marut was built in 1960s

            pak has no industries of any sort.exporting cheeni assembled weapons is big deal for u

            Turks is home to many western industries while india is driven by indigenous companies manufacturing automobiles to big thermal,nuke plant

            Turks have allowed pvt sector and they integrate western components,export them while india didn’t allow pvt sector in defence.

            indian indigenous research is decade ahead of turks.

            Turks can’t make a basic turbofan engine despite being Mtcr member and free flow of western technology.

            india inspite of being non mtcr member have no access to any technology has dozen turbofan/jet engine in production,testing,development and usage.

  • wangkon936

    The K2 is 55 tons and the Altay is 65 tons. One is based on the tech of the other. Why is the Altay 10 tons heavier?

    • Could be that specific technologies made it from K2 to Altay, such as armour technology. Doesn’t mean the two tanks are the same, just share some of the same technology.

      • wangkon936

        I’d say it’s probably 10 more tons of added armor. The Turks probably want more side skirt and side turret armor because they have to worry about insurgents such as ISIS and PKK rebels whereas the Koreans don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff. The disadvantage of 10 more tons of weight is a more sluggish tank though. Frontal armor is probably the same for both tanks. See the latest version of the Altay? The turret of both the Altay and the K2 are virtually identical, just that Altay is missing the millimeter band radar receivers on the front side of the turret.

  • jigsaww

    Too early to say at this time.
    Let’s bring it to Pakistan and put it to some test.
    Would like to see Pakistan producing a customised version of tank locally.

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