Altay MBT is a Turkish main battle tank currently in development for the Turkish Army and also for export markets.
Altay is developed by the Turkish company Otokar as the main contractor in cooperation with other companies including Aselsan, MKEK, Roketsan, and Hyundai Rotem.
The tank was named in honor of Ottoman/Turkish Army General Fahrettin Altay.
Altay MBT is one of the most expensive tank designs, currently having a unit cost of 13.75 million dollars.
Turkey planned to become a tank developer since the mid-1990s, when National Tank Production Project (Turkish: MITÜP – Milli Tank Üretimi Projesi) was established.
Its goal was to establish the infrastructure for the development, production, and maintenance of Turkish main battle tanks.
On March 30, 2007, the project for developing a Turkish main battle tank was initiated with an agreement signed between the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish company Otokar.
Otokar was chosen for the design, development, and production of four prototypes of a national main battle tank.
Otokar was awarded $500 million by the Defense Industries Executive Committee to design, develop and produce four prototypes of the future Turkish main battle tank.
While Otokar was the main contractor, other companies were also selected as subcontractors:
- South Korean company Hyundai Rotem - technical support and assistance;
- Turkish company Aselsan would provide the Fire Control System and other sub-systems including the Command Control Communication Information System, the Laser Warning System, the Driver's Vision System, the Navigation System, and the IFF system;
- Turkish state-own MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation) manufactures the 120 mm 55 caliber gun for the Altay tank;
- Turkish company Roketsan would provide the armour.
In recent years, Turkey made important progress in defense production and the development of a new main battle tank is among the Turkish Defence Industry's goals.
For the development of the Altay main battle tank, the Turkish Ministry of Defense allocated a budget of $1 billion.
Aselsan of Turkey will provide all the electronic systems installed onboard including the Volkan III modular fire control system as well as the command, control, and information systems.
By the end of 2016, the first Altay prototype was produced. The Turkish Army plans to buy a total of 1,000 Altay main battle tanks.
Initially, Altay will be produced in the first batch of 250 units.
With a mass of 65 tonnes (72 short tons / 64 long tons), the Altay tank hull has a length of 7.3 meters (24 ft) and with the gun forward, the tank has a total length of 10.3 meters (34 ft).
Altay measures 3.9 meters (13 ft) in width and has a height of 2.6 meters (8.5 ft).
The crew consists of four (4) persons including the commander, the gunner, the loader, and the driver.
Altay MBT will use composite armour developed by the Turkish company Roketsan.
Altay also benefits from CBRN defense, offering protection in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear environments.
As the main gun, Altay will use a modified Rheinmetall L/55 120 mm (4.7 in) smoothbore gun manufactured under license by the state-owned MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation).
As secondary armament, Altay will be equipped with an Aselsan STAMP/II 12.7 mm stabilized remote-controlled turret and also with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.
Altay was supposed to be equipped either with a multi-fuel 1,500 hp BMC Batu engine or with a locally produced 1,800 hp multi-fuel engine.
But the development of an indigenous engine has been problematic leading to the delaying of the entire program.
The development of an electric engine is also taken into consideration by Otokar.
Otokar developed an electric engine for its buses and performs work to adapt the electric engine design for the Altay main battle tank.
Having a hydropneumatic suspension, Altay has an operational range of 500 km (310 mi), reaching a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph).