14 août 2014
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.
19 septembre 2013
Sep. 18, 2013 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News
ANKARA — Despite their differences over the July coup in Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have ratified a defense industry cooperation agreement..
According to the agreement, which took effect Sept. 11, Turkey and Saudi Arabia “aim to increase cooperation in the defense industry by improving the industry capabilities of both countries through more effective collaboration on the development, production and procurement of goods and services in the defense industry and the related technical and logistical support fields.”
The agreement had been signed in May and was pending parliamentary approval.
The agreement will remain in force for five years and it should be extended automatically for successive one-year periods. Last year, the Turkish parliament also approved a deal with Saudi Arabia regarding cooperation in the training of military personnel.
On a political level, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have cooperated to support the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which both countries said must be removed. But Ankara and Riyadh differ in their Egypt policies. Turkey has been a fierce opponent of the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in July, while the Saudi kingdom has been supporting the military-backed government there.
Industry experts here say the cooperation accord between Turkey and Saudi Arabia could facilitate Turkey’s future exports of naval vessels, assault boats, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The Arab kingdom also has shown an interest in the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous new-generation battle tank now in the prototype production and testing stage.
2 juin 2013
Ankara hopes that by 2017, as the first Altay MBT rolls off the production line it will be produced both for Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Savunma ve havacilik, Turkey
May 31, 2013 defense-update.com
Turkey’s defense industry may sell hundreds of new generation Altay battle tanks (video) to Saudi Arabia, as the two countries show a common understanding on the civil war in Syria – Defense-Update reports.
The rift between Sunni and Shiite moslems reflected in the Syrian Civil war could open new business opportunities for Turkish defense industries, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports. One of the main prospects, Saudi Arabia is sharing political and strategic interest with Turkey, particularly over the Syrian civil war and support for Syrian rebels. “There are indications that their political alliance with Ankara may facilitate bigger contracts,” Hurriyet quoted a top defense industry official in Turkey.
An executive from a Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer said that reinforced alliances with some of the Gulf countries over the Syrian crisis have already indicated that new contracts could be in the offing for the Turkish arms industry. “I can say that we are more warmly welcomed in certain [Gulf] capitals than before. Our counterparts have made it clear that almost excellent political relations their countries have with Turkey could soon turn into new business opportunities for Turkish defense companies,” he said.
Turkey has already offered hundreds of Altay Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to Saudi Arabia. While the Altay is still in development, Ankara is hopeful a preliminary agreement over a future order of the Altay could be struck in the near future. “The Altay is not available for immediate sale, but is potentially a powerful export product when you think of a medium-term deal. Saudis are good customers with available cash, good political ties and their need for new tanks. We are hopeful about a future deal [for the Altay],” an official with the Turkish Defense procurement agency (SSM) said. Riyadh expressed interest in modernizing its fleet of MBTs for years, but has yet to decide what tank it would like to buy. Among the platforms they have considered in the past were the leopard II, which is still in consideration, French AMX-56 Leclerc, the cancelled T-95 and its successor T-99 ‘Armata’ from Russia. Saudi Arabia already operates several hundreds American M-1A2 currently undergoing systems upgrades. New tanks are required to replace 320 AMX-30 tanks delivered from France in the 1980s.
Koç Holding’s Otokar is currently producing prototypes of the Altay MBT. Under the turkish defense procurement plan, four tranches of 250 units will be procured over the next decade, gradually replacing some 3,000 German-made Leopard 1 and US made M-60s and obsolete M48 still in service. Ankara is hopeful that a Saudi order could further improve the production cost of the new tank, expected to begin in 2017, establishing the new tank’s position in the export market.
Otokar Altay Main Battle Tank