Aug. 12, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey’s top procurement panel selected a local tractor and diesel engine manufacturer to design and develop an engine for the country’s first indigenous new generation main battle tank, the Altay.
The Defense Industry Executive Committee said that it decided to launch contract negotiations with Tumosan in connection with the engine program for the Altay.
Kurtulus Ogun, Tumosan’s general director, told reporters Aug. 12 that the contract involved development of a diesel engine and transmission system for the planned tank.
“This program will increase Turkey’s self-sufficiency in defense industry and end its dependency on foreign suppliers (of diesel engines),” he said.
Turkey’s procurement authorities are preparing to officially launch a multi-billion-dollar competition for an eventual batch of 1,000 Altays.
The race for the serial production will involve an initial batch of 250 tanks, followed by three additional orders each comprising 250 more tanks, officials said.
The Altay program has faced hurdles and delays, as the most problematic development feature concerned its engine. Turkey’s months-long negotiations with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for joint development and production of an engine for the Altay failed earlier this year.