It was decided to start contract talks with BMC for the mass production of Altay and the development of its engine, according to sources.
Any financial or production details were not yet released.
The selection of BMC to produce the first 250 Altay tanks was announced April 24 by the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industries, known by its Turkish acronym SSM, in this post on its Twitter account:
Modern tank ihtiyacımıza cevap vermek üzere geliştirilmiş Altay tankının 250 adedinin seri üretim işi ve Altay tankına milli güç grubu geliştirilmesi işi için İcra Komitesinde alınan kararla BMC A.Ş. ile sözleşme görüşmelerine başlanacak. pic.twitter.com/6kk13hdxlT— SSM (@SavunmaSanayii) April 24, 2018
Translated by Bing, this post reads : “In order to respond to our needs [for] modern tank, the contract negotiations with BMC A.Ş. will begin with the decision taken on the Executive Committee for the production of 250 of the Altai tank and the development of the national power [pack] to the Altay tank.”
In the Altay mass production race BMC was competing with FNSS and Koç Holding’s Otokar, the maker of Altay’s prototypes.
The companies, including the public engine maker Tümosan as well as BMC, Figes Fizik, Istanbul Denizcilik and Tusaş Motor, were last year invited to start work on the engine development.
After the news broke yesterday, Otokar shares fell by 6 percent and Tümosan shares by 4 in the main stock exchange.
Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said last November that Turkey opened a tender to mass produce 500 Altay tanks, of which 250 were optional, and added that the tender would be finalized in the coming days.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Altay was developed by Otokar, a company belonging to the Koç group, which has been black-listed as its owner is considered as a political opponent of the Turkish president.)