South Korean Industry to Power Turkey’s Altay MBT

Altay-Turkey

BMC, the industry developer and manufacturer of the new Turkish Altay main battle tank has announced that it will now be directly acquiring engine power packs from South Korea’s Doosan and SNT Dynamics.

This move appears to supersede a previous proposed arrangement to jointly work on a power pack for the tank leading to co-production of an engine and transmission in Turkey. A BMC company source stated “The new understanding is for an off-the-shelf acquisition of the Korean power pack.” The effort by the Korean firms includes not only supply the power pack but also engineering support for its integration into the Altay and test support.

BMC officials anticipate this effort could see the new power packs incorporated into the Altay within 18 months.

BMC was awarded the Altay development contract in November 2018. Its first T1 phase includes production of 250 tanks plus providing life-cycle logistical support, and establishing a tank systems technology center. A phase T2 would develop a more advanced version with plans for producing and fielding an estimated 1000 main battle tanks. A future T3 phase model with an unmanned turret is also envisioned.

The Republic of Korea and its industry has been participating in Altay development since 2007. The Altay had been programmed to use the German MTU 1500 hp engine and RENK transmission, however, these became unavailable when the German arms embargo went in place as a result of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War. These are being replaced by Doosan’s DV27K engine and SNT Dynamics EST15K who’s export has approved by the Republic of Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration at the end of October 2021. There are, however, concerns that the US government may not agree and pressure to block this transaction.

by Stephen W. Miller