There is havoc in Turkey as the Altay tank turns into a fiasco!
“The production decision was made 15 years ago. In 2012, the first prototype was built, but then there was confusion about who would build the tank. The tender given to BMC in Qatar partner of Ethem Sancak 5 years ago did not yield results either. According to the latest statements of the authorities, the engine that will be installed in the tank is not yet visible on the horizon!
The transfer of Tank Pallet factory in Arifiye to BMC was hotly debated. The tank project, which was decided to be produced in 2007, whose first prototype was prepared in 2012, and which was offered to Ethem Sancak’s partner in Qatar, BMC in 2018, could not be completed until the intervening 5 years. Because at the last stage the engine that will go into the tank was not found.
Ethem Sancak, Chairman of the Board of BMC, in his speech at the 10th Istanbul Finance Meeting held on October 10, 2019 under the theme “Financial Transformation and Back to the Future” said: “I hope that after 24 months, the TAF he will use his own creation, the Altay, on the battlefield. After 48 months at the latest, the Altay tank and other accompanying products will be Turkish and domestically made.”
Since the design and production of the engine and turret parts in Turkey was not possible at the initial stage, the engine would be manufactured by the German company MTU and the turret technology would come from the USA.
The Defense Industry Presidency opposed this situation.
The engine should have been local and national. Germany has previously suffered from defense industry problems. We couldn’t trust. The same was true of turret technology originating in the US.
For other technologies, South Korea was consulted and various contracts were signed.
After a long time, it turned out that Tümosan could not develop the engine. A lot of time was wasted. A partnership was formed with South Korea for the engine. This job was given to a Hyundai company.
All tests were done and it was decided to start mass production in 2015.
The armies of Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Qatar wanted to buy this tank and Turkey bid for these tanks.
Meanwhile, Tümosan’s efforts to build engines continued.
The allegations were that Otosan, a subsidiary of the Koç Group, was not invited to do this work. A competition was then launched in 2018 to determine who would mass produce the Altay tank.
Ethem Sancak’s BMC, which was a member of the AK Party at the time, won the competition by beating Otokar.
Allegations that Otokar was inadequate, that it could not complete the armored vehicle tenders it had received in the past and that the vehicles it said it produced did not comply with the contracts remained in the air and a contract was signed with BMC.
After a while there was a move that was not in the specifications of the competition.
The Turkish Armed Forces tank pallet factory was given to this partnership to enable the Sancak-Qatar partnership to manufacture tanks.
However, years passed and the production of the Altay tank could not be started.
The prototypes of the tank, expected to be delivered in 2015, were completed in 2013, the production tender could take place in 2018, but production did not start.
Ethem Sancak suddenly transferred his shares in BMC to another group close to the government, Tosyalı Holding, known for its iron and steel investments.
And although almost 5 years have passed since the competition, there is no tank, no evolution.
Who knows, maybe the tanks will be delivered after the elections, like 250 thousand houses.”
Muhsin Dere, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Joint Stock Company (ASFAT) and Deputy Minister of National Defense, said the following about the Altay Tank in his speech by the GNAT Commission on June 22, 2022:
“BMC Power has started working on domestic production of engines and transmissions, it continues, not yet finalised. Apart from this, our Defense Industry Presidency is trying to buy power packs, engines and gearboxes from Korea. We also have studies on the Storm howitzer and tank from the US. But we don’t have engine and gearbox at the moment. So this is the answer to “why is there no tank”.