Turkey secures engine for home-built battle tank

Top Turkish defence company BMC has signed deals with two South Korean companies for the manufacture of key parts for Turkey’s indigenous Altay tank that is in the development phase, Burak Bekdil, an analyst and journalist, said in an article for news website Defense News on Tuesday.

BMC has signed the agreements with Doosan and S&T Dynamics for the engine and transmission mechanism for the tank. The deals are “the result of a strategic understanding between our companies and countries,” a BMC official told Bekdil.

A defence procurement official in Ankara confirmed the “breakthrough” agreements, without giving details, Bekdil said.

Turkey is seeking to manufacture a tank to develop its arms industry and render the country less reliant on foreign weapons. Production has been delayed because the tank has relied on German MTU engines and RENK transmissions, the export of which has been frozen due to Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

The South Korean companies will “de-Germanise” some components in the power pack of the tank to bypass German export license restrictions, Bekdil said, citing sources familiar with the program.