New Altay MBT Unveiled
BMC General Manager Murat Yalçıntaş, BMC Defence General Manager Mehmet Karaaslan and BMC Power General Manager Mustafa Kaval led the meeting. The top officials shared information about the facility, and a part of the assembly and test unit related to the engine and armoured vehicle was seen. At the end of the visit, the New Altay MBT was unveiled.
BMC CEO Murat Yalçıntaş, who made the event’s opening speech, stated that the facility is the property of the Turkish Armed Forces. He said, “We are here to produce for 25 years. We make this production under the permission, approval and supervision of the Turkish Armed Forces. There is no foreign national working in this factory. The right to the intellectual property of domestic and national engines, especially the Altay tank produced here, belongs to our state. All kinds of production and sales in these facilities are made with the permission of our state.”
Yalçıntaş stated that the production of the first two of the new Altay Tank has come to the last stage and that these tanks will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces for the test at the end of April”.
Following the opening speech, BMC Defence General Manager Mehmet Karaaslan gave information about the new generation of armoured vehicle Altuğ 8x8 projects and the new generation of Fırtına Howitzer. “We have brought together the most competent armoured vehicles in the design and production team field at Arifiye Facilities. We renewed the factory’s infrastructure, one of the most important facilities of our army, and the fields of work and production. We have realised many projects to increase productivity, and in this context, we have made comprehensive investments in the facility in three years,” Karaaslan said.
BMC Power General Manager Mustafa Kaval gave information about the latest point reached about the motor projects. He stated that the work for the Batu power group to be used for Altay is continuing rapidly. He underlined that the serial production will start in 2026, and in the second half of 2026, the “new Altays” will be powered with BMC Power products.
The tank demonstrated to the press had the Korean power group installed. Tank weight, engine power and torque, and weight /power ratio information were not shared. The current dimensions of the tank introduced by the company as a “New Altay” remained the same.
The general ballistic protection level of composite plates was increased. In light of the courses taken from the ongoing war in Ukraine, various improvements were added for the self-protection of the armoured vehicle. While it is learned that the thickness of the upper armour was increased against the top attack-capable missiles, changes were detected in appearance. It was also observed that slat armour was placed in the tank with a diminishing armour structure from the front to the back. This armour provides simple, cost-effective, and adequate protection against shaped-charged missiles.
The suspension was replaced with the final hydropneumatic systems mentioned at the beginning of the project. The automatic tension setting system provides the vehicle with optimum land performance in every ground condition. Thanks to the hardware, problems such as losing track are eliminated.
The hydropneumatic is known to increase the comfort of the crew. In this way, the personnel are saved from fatigue even on more extended missions. This is an element that directly increases the effectiveness of the tank due to its increased firepower. Levelling the tank is used only for maintenance/repairs as it reduces driving safety in various situations.
The tank has two separate electro-optics. The commander’s panoramic periscope provides high-level situational awareness. In this way, the marksman can be engaged in the target, while the commander can call the turret simultaneously by appointing new targets. While the marksman’s imaging equipment is more buried in the turret, the commander’s is more visible due to a broader angle requirement. It is known that the systems allow Altay to combat all kinds of environmental conditions day and night.
The Altay tank lost a long time due to the inability to solve the problem of the power group. However, the manufacturer emphasised that all the tank's components in this period have been renewed. The driver, located in the middle front of the body in the Altay tank, can easily monitor all the necessary parameters thanks to its wide screen. Similarly, the command control system can provide all the information about the vehicle to the relevant crew. With the new infrastructure, the team can take information about the mission from the field and return to the area. This makes Altay a platform suitable for network-centred battles aligned with the new generation of war doctrines.
The vehicle has replaceable card technology. In this way, the crew can continue its duty by installing another card in case of malfunction or hit. In addition, the tank’s ability to survive is high. Even if the entire electrical system is lost in case of a possible hit, all turret movement, weapons action, and ignition operations can be conducted with backup or manual mechanical backups. There is also utterly optical targeting equipment for the shooter.
Especially in piston engines, power production decreases as altitude increases. A decrease in the net power level transferred to the pallets is observed as a natural consequence. The tank includes a pressure system to prevent a drop in the oxygen level. In this way, the engine provides power regardless of environmental conditions.
In the latest model of Altay, the outer structure of the turret is slightly different than the photos previously shared. Particular antennas are located in the four corners of the tank turret, where the AKKOR active protection system equipment is embedded, and additional tool cabinets are added on both sides to detect the incoming threat above. These are the sensors of early warning systems, such as the laser warning receiver. In the upper part of the front, there is a friend-foe identification system. On both sides of the commander and loader hatches, there is an active protection system launcher with a double ramp. Unlike the Israeli Trophy, AKKOR eliminates the missile at the optimum distance by using ammunition with a radio-frequency proximity fuse against the threat. In addition, AKKOR stands out with its ability to be reloaded and used over and over again, even during warfare.
There are smoke grenade dischargers on both sides of the turret. A bit further back, there is a remote-controlled weapon station RCWS, which was moved forward compared to the first prototype. It can use 7.6 millimetres, 12.7 millimetres or 40 millimetres weapons.
BMC will design and deliver tanks with the order periods of T1 and T2 for the Turkish Armed Forces. The company will work on the unmanned turret during the T3 period and will prepare one as a technology demonstration.
BMC will carry its primary production to the Central Anatolia region, which makes sense for better protection. The new factory will be established n to the Turkish Aerospace facility in Ankara. There will be the test centre as well as production. The production method used in the Arifiye factory will not be used there.
During the press meeting, a video was shared with the “eyes only” rule. The video shows the entire production process. The video shows that the hull was two separate pieces and welded. Answering TurDef’s question whether the hull wasn’t supposed to be monocoque, BMC Defence General Manager Mehmet Karaaslan stated that the Altay tank would have a monocoque hull as required, but this capability will be in the new facility in Ankara. They do not have this production capacity at the moment.