Altay Main Battle Tank. Image – Turkish Defence Industry Agency (SSB)

Türkiye has begun mass production of its first domestically-made main battle tank, the Altay, according to a top defense official’s announcement on May 29th, 2024.

BMC Defense has initiated serial production of the Altay main battle tank at its Ankara facility. This large-scale project envisions the manufacturing of 1,000 Altays for the Turkish Armed Forces. With a targeted production rate of eight tanks per month, BMC aims to deliver an initial batch of 250 Altay tanks.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) received two pre-production Altay tanks from BMC in April 2023 for testing purposes. The Altay boasts a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun,  12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns, and ammunition capacity for 40 rounds of 120mm shells.

These tanks are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including a new active protection system, enhanced armor, upgraded fire-control and vehicle control systems, and various other domestically-developed subsystems. The Altay MBT is designed to meet the evolving needs of the Turkish Land Forces, offering advanced capabilities suited for contemporary and future battlefields.

A key aspect of the Altay program is the development of a domestic powerpack solution. This critical component encompasses the engine and transmission system, directly impacting the tank’s performance. By sourcing the powerpack domestically, Türkiye aims to reduce reliance on foreign technology and strengthen its self-sufficiency in defense production.