Turkey signs deal with domestic manufacturer for mass production of battle tanks
Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) on Friday signed a contract with armoured vehicle manufacturer BMC for the mass production of Altay battle tanks, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The $30 billion deal between SBS and BMC, one of Turkey's largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, was signed, following a row between Turkey and Germany over Altay’s potential engine this year.
The tank was originally planned to be built with a German-made engine, but, earlier this year, German opposition party Die Linke proposed a draft bill banning arms sales to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, citing possible human rights abuses.
Turkish government later announced that the project would continue using 'national and native’ capacity.
Turkey's first main battle tank project Altay has electronic command and control systems, a 120-mm gun, and armour, all produced domestically.
The first 15 tanks will be put into service in 2020, while 20 tanks will be delivered in 2021, according to 2017-2021 Strategic Plan published by the SBB.
The SBB said the Altay Main Battle Tank had been developed through cooperative efforts of key players in the Turkish defence industry, boasting the world's most advanced technology subsystems.
In recent years, Turkey has been working to develop its own defence vehicles, including tanks, combat helicopters and marine missiles in an attempt to expand its defence capabilities.