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Turkey to revise Altay MBT engine plans
April 28, 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

Turkey to revise Altay MBT engine plans

Turkish engine vendor Tümosan was forced to cancel its collaboration with Austria’s AVL List GmbH following the Austrian Parliament’s decision to impose an arms embargo on Turkey in November 2016.

In its official statement (available on KAP or Turkey’s Public Disclosure Platform), Tümosan stated that following the Austrian Parliament’s decision, the Austrian government “insisted on export licenses with conditions that would interfere with the internal affairs of our country and failed to fulfill its commitments due to the failure to accept the export licenses issued by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.”

Tümosan added that it will continue with the program and utilize “domestic resources as much as possible and shares (sic) its proposals with SSM [Undersecretariat for Defence Industries].”

In March 2015, Tümosan signed a contract with AVL List GmbH for the latter’s technical assistance in the design and development of a diesel engine for the Altay MBT, which was commissioned under a USD $206 million program by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). Tümosan was to develop the transmission as well as other critical components, such as the diesel pump, injector, and electronic control unit. The engine was to be developed in 54 months (Defense News).

Notes & Comments:

The 65-ton Altay main battle tank (MBT) is currently powered by a 1,500 hp German MTU diesel engine. While Turkey’s domestic engine efforts have run into obstacles, the Turkish Army’s initial Altay MBTs will the MTU engine. However, the Tümosan engine would have been essential for exporting the Altay.

It is worth noting that in 2016, Turkey opted to strengthen its defence ties with Ukraine, especially with Antonov with whom Turkey is to co-develop and co-produce An-158 and An-178 aircraft. It is possible that Turkey (or Tümosan) could consider engaging with the Malyshev Plant for technical support.

Alternatively, Turkey could also collaborate with British defence vendors, which have been viewed (due to frequent high-level meetings in Turkey) as development partners in Turkey’s aviation programs, most notably its next-generation fighter, the TFX.

  • Shakeel

    Rumours were circulating that Turkey may tie up with Ricardo plc as a substitute. Early days I guess?

    • Türker Demircan

      Yes, you are right…And UK seems the only Western power have an intend for this, their intrerest for TAI TF-X confirm that..

      • Superior Shakeel

        I wouldn’t trust the Brits with something as important as the engine for the MBT.

        They are US puppets and will also sanction or stop the supply of components at the time of need I also don’t see them transferring all the blueprints so easily they will retain some manufacturing of critical components only option is to go home made or collaborate with Russia or Ukraine.

        • Türker Demircan

          Turkish Defence industry is based on Western philosophy, mainly US (I am not happy with that but this is the truth, at least at the moment)..There has not been any big Project till now with Russia or Ukraine…Tümosan or SSM/Government cannot take such risk…I am sure alternative Technology Providers again will be from West Europe…Tümosan has 3 Weeks time…Now they say they will try to solve with Local Companies, as much as possible…If they can convince SSM, looking from technical, it will be accepted..

          Rolls-Royce CEO visited Turkey and meet with Erdogan, PM, SMM…All top management just to say that they are ready to do anything to be in TF-X and TR-JET Projects….After Brexit, UK is not so comfortable

  • Türker Demircan

    ” In March 2015, Tümosan signed a USD $206 million contract with AVL List
    GmbH ………….”

    Any reference for this? Really asking because I have never seen any value about that

    Also, contract value between Tümosan and SSM is already EUR 190 million….

    • Apologies, the statement was not written correctly.

      • Türker Demircan

        No worry … Great articles Bilal Khan … I appreciate ‘Notes & Comments’ sections and the ‘Discussions’…and will be following up all

        This still could be possible, in practicle, Tümosan to spend all conract value for technology transfer because it was a strategic movement for the Company and Turkish Government to break the dependence on MTU….Then, for Tümosan, earning money from the last three batches of 750 Motors (3 x 250) w/out spares as first batch of 250 units will be MTU in any case..

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