The first prototypes of Turkey’s first main battle tank ALTAY which is designed and developed by Otokar, the biggest privately owned company of the Turkish Defence Industry, was presented at Otokar facilities in Sakarya on November 15th.
Attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ceremony was hosted by Mustafa V. Koc, Chairman of Koc Holding. General Necdet Ozel, Chief of General Staff; İsmet Yilmaz, Minister of Defence; General Hayri Kivrikoglu, Commander of the Turkish Land Forces; Murad Bayar, Defence Industry Undersecretary; Kudret Onen, Head of Koc Holding Defence Industry Group and Chairman of the Board of Otokar; Halil Unver, Vice Chairman of Otokar and Serdar Gorguc, Otokar General Manager attended the ceremony.
The first prototypes of ALTAY reflect the results of the concept development and critical design process of the project which started in 2009. The first prototype is planned to be used for the testing and optimization of ALTAY’s mobility. The second prototype will be used in order to test the firing performance of ALTAY. Two more prototypes are planned to be manufactured following the evaluation of the data gathered from first two prototypes. The ALTAY tank will be ready for mass production by 2015.
The first ALTAY prototype had already covered more than 2.000 kilometers during tests up to now. Two prototypes exhibited a special show to the guests of the ceremony at the tank test track of Otokar. Including mobility performance like acceleration, maximum speed, side slope, suspension, stabilization track and off-road drive, this show made the impression that, when finished, ALTAY would be the most modern tank in the world.
Kudret ONEN, Head of Koc Holding Defence Industry Group and Chairman of the Board of Otokar, shared the pleasure of introducing the first prototype of ALTAY to public. After reminding about the initial stages of the Project, ONEN also spoke of the future activities of ALTAY. “550 engineers are working in order to complete the Project, 260 of which are Otokar employees. Together with the ALTAY team, and nearly 100 subcontractors, we aim to make the best of our time and prepare ALTAY for mass production by 2015.”
ONEN continued: “Today armoured tactical vehicles of Otokar are exported to almost 20 countries. With more than 25.000 vehicles used by the armies in the world, we represent our engineering and production capability. Up to now, we accomplished all our projects in time and perfectly, and we tried to fulfil all our commitments successfully.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mustafa V. KOC, Chairman of the Board of Koc Holding, expressed his satisfaction with the current situation of the National Tank Project which has a significant importance for the national defence industry strategy of Turkey. KOC stated that ALTAY had been a prestige Project not only for our country but also for Koc Group, and said: “ALTAY will provide great acceleration to land platform area of our country’s defence industry in terms of design, development and manufacturing not only with its existing power but also with its investments, developing labour force and technical know-how. With its power to withstand possible threats of today and the future, ALTAY will further enhance the strength of our armed forces as the most modern battle tank in the world. With stable management, growing economy and strong army, our country will reinforce its power and leadership within the region, and Turkey will take its place among the special main battle tank manufacturers of the world.
The Altay Main Battle Tank
The design of ALTAY has been realized in order to fulfil all kinds of operational requirements derived from the technical and tactical demands of the Turkish Armed Forces.
In this scope, ALTAY has been equipped with the latest technologies that are used in the modern tanks. With its superior fire power and hit rate, high mobility and survivability features, it’s anticipated that ALTAY will be one of the fundamental and deterrent assets of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Intellectual Property Rights Belong to Turkey
Developed by its prime contractor Otokar, and designed in line with Turkish Army’s requirements; ALTAY will cater for exact requirements of the Turkish Army. Turkish Republic will own all design and intellectual property rights of ALTAY. The Technical Data Package of ALTAY that includes all information and documents related to the design, development, integration, testing and manufacturing will be in the basis of the mass production of the tank, and all its rights will belong to the Turkish Republic.
ALTAY’s crew consists of four personnel as a tank commander, gunner, driver and loader. In order to provide the tank with the intended performance in rough terrains, it’s equipped with a 1,500 horsepower high-tech engine and transmission. The main armament of ALTAY is a 120 mm, 55-calibre smoothbore gun suitable for various kinds of rounds.
A new-generation fire control system has been specially designed for ALTAY in order to control the main and secondary armaments. By means of this system, ALTAY is also able to shoot moving targets with a very high first round hit probability. Besides, ALTAY tank is equipped with modular composite armor in order to protect the tank against all kinds of threats, and subsystems that enable the crew to proceed in environments that are under Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) threats.
When evaluated under the topics of Survivability, Fire Power, Mobility, Command Control and Communication, Integrated Logistic Support and Ergonomics, ALTAY becomes prominent as an optimized tank that is compatible to mission, threat and environment conditions, meeting the requirements of the user at maximum level, with a flexibility enabling its use in all kinds of battle environments with its additional features adaptable to various missions.
Technical specifications of ALTAY
• Four men crew
• New generation 1500 HP powerpack
• 120 mm, 55-calibre main armament
• Remote control weapon system (12.7 and 7.62 mm)
• Coaxial machine gun
• Modular composite armour
• New generation fire control system
• Electrical gun turret drive system
• C3I system
• Battlefield target identification system
• Laser warning system
• Life support system
• CBRN protection
• Auxiliary power unit
• Fire-extinguishing and explosion suppression system
• 360 degrees situational awareness system
Where does the name Altay come from?
ALTAY Main Battle Tank is named after Turkish General Fahrettin ALTAY, the commander of the V. Cavalry Corps who achieved great success during the Turkish War of Independence between 1919 and 1922.
BACKGROUND: History of the Altay Project
-- 2005: The Undersecretariat of Defence Industries assigned a consortium consisting of three companies to realize the feasibility study in order to determine the production model of the Battle Tank Project. As of April 27th 2005 the feasibility study was finalized, and the model of the project was determined as “the main battle tank to be designed and developed within the country and with technical support from abroad in required areas”.
-- On February 8th 2005, the Request for Proposal prepared according to the model determined due to the feasibility was delivered to the companies, including Otokar that participated in the feasibility study.
-- 2007: Due to the decision taken at the meeting of the Defence Industry Executive Committee realized on March 30th 2007, for the Modern Tank Manufacturing with National Facilities Project initiated in order to meet the Modern Main Battle Tank requirement of the Land Forces Command, it was decided to start contract negotiations with Otokar as the prime contractor candidate.
-- July 29th 2008: Following the finalization of the contract negotiations about the design of Turkey’s first National Tank, development of prototypes, testing and qualification of prototypes, the contract was signed with the participation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was aimed to use domestic sub-systems to maximum extend for the project except the areas determined due to the model.
In addition to Otokar being assigned as the prime contractor for the Project, Aselsan was assigned to design and manufacture the prototypes of electronic sub-systems like Tank Fire Control System and Tank C3I System; MKE was assigned to manufacture the 120 mm 55 calibre Main Armament by technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea; and Roketsan was assigned to develop the Modular Armour Package by technology transfer also through Hyundai Rotem.
-- January 2009: After signing contracts with the main sub-system suppliers, Project kick-off was made for the “design, development, manufacturing, testing and qualification of ALTAY prototypes”. The Project duration for the “Design and Prototype Production” of ALTAY was determined as 78.5 months. This part of the Project was arranged in three stages consisting of Conceptual Design, Detailed Design, and Prototype Production and Qualification.
-- May 2011: Otokar finalized the Conceptual Design Stage, as the first stage of the Project by using its engineering and design capabilities in line with the requirements, and exhibited a full-scale model of ALTAY that reflected the results of this stage at the IDEF Defence Industry Fair with the participation of President Abdullah GUL.
-- March 29th 2012: While detailed design activities proceeded, Otokar continued investing in the required production facilities for the testing of prototypes and in the Tank Test Center. Otokar Tank Test Center was taken into service on March 29th with the participation of İsmet YILMAZ, Minister of Defence. Consisting of an EMC Test Chamber, Tank Test Range and Climatic Chamber with Dynamometer, Otokar Tank Test Center is among the world’s most modern and advanced test centers.
-- October 2012: The first prototype to test the mobility was manufactured in Otokar facilities in Sakarya, and testing started.
-- November 15th 2012: ALTAY’s first two prototypes exhibited their mobility for the first time to public with the participation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN. Following the two prototypes that are tested for development/verification, the ultimate configuration prototypes will be manufactured and after finalizing their qualification by tests they will be delivered to the Undersecretariat of Defence Industries.
-- Mass production:
Following the design and prototype production phase of ALTAY conducted by Otokar as the prime contractor, mass production activities will be initiated in scope of a new contract.
As the biggest privately owned defence company of Turkey, and leading land vehicles manufacturer of the Turkish defence industry, Otokar presents special solutions for the requirements of users with its own technology, design and applications. It also designs and manufactures various kinds of tactical wheeled armoured vehicles and off-road vehicles for the defence industry.
With a turnover of 520 million USD (year: 2011) and 2.000 employees, Otokar realizes its production in its 552.000 square meters plant in Sakarya Arifiye. Otokar recently signed a MoU for manufacturing Otokar COBRA vehicles in Kazakhstan for the requirements of the Kazakhstan Armed Forces.