Sunday, May 8, 2011

Turkey to Unveil New Tank Prototype at IDEF

The Turkish National Tank Manufacturing Program (MITUP) is moving forward with the prototype of Turkey's first national tank, set to be unveiled on May 10 at [the International Defense Exhibition and Fair, IDEF] in Istanbul.

National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul announced the unveiling on April 30, stating the new tank would be an upgrade compared to those tanks in the inventory of the Turkish armed forces. Turkey currently operates Leopard 1A and 2A models, as well as ex-U.S. Army M60s and ex-West German M48s.

The new Turkish tank - called the "Altay" - has been designed by South Korea's Hyundai Rotem in tandem with Turkish automobile company, Otokar. In the competition for main foreign subcontractor on the contract, Rotem beat out Germany's KMW by full technology transfer of its new K-2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) design.

The new Altay tank will comprise about 60 percent of the technology used in the South Korean K-2.

The cost of the Atlay project is estimated at $500 million, with four prototypes to be produced and delivered by 2015.

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