Altay is a third-generation Turkish main battle tank based on South Korean K2 Black Panther. Design and development of the tank was undertaken by Otokar with assistance and technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem. Project started in 2008 with agreement between Otokar and Hyundai Rotem for development, assistance, and technology transfer for a main battle tank to be produced in Turkey. After approximately 10 years of design and development, Otokar submitted their final offer for serial production, subsequently refused by Undersecretariat of Defence Industry. Within the same year, BMC awarded with contract for mass produce of Altay.
Design and Development
Altay is product of The National Tank Production Project (MİTÜP) which was initiated in late 1990s to establish independent tank production and maintenance capabilities also acquire know-how for “National Tank”. Undersecretariat for Defense Industries approached Otokar as local partner, and an agreement signed between them in 2007. Otokar quickly set out to seek help from experienced foreign partner for design and development. In 2008 Otokar and South Korean firm Hyundai Rotem reached an agreement in 2008 and development started.
Otokar during Phase-I (Design and Prototype Production) produced five prototypes with ASELSAN electronic sub-systems, ROKETSAN armor package and MKE tank gun. Otokar also produced private venture prototype. In 2012, first two prototypes FTR and MTR rolled out from production facility and revealed to public in Sakarya. In 2015 two more prototypes, PV1 and PV2, produced for extensive mobility, firing and weather tests, which shows satisfactory results. Sometimes between 2012 and 2015, BHT prototype was produced and used in ballistic tests. In 2017, Otokar showcased last two of their Altay prototypes in 2017 IDEF defense fair, Altay AMT and Altay AHT. AHT was based on PV2 prototype and was pinnacle of Otokar’s design. AHT was produced with the experiences gained from Operation Euphrates Shield to create a tank fitting in urban and close-quarter engagements. AHT supports heavier armor, a dozer blade and sub-system which aims to increase overall survivability and situational awareness of the tank. Otokar’s prototypes are as follows:
● MTR, Mobility Test Rig
● FTR, Firing Test Rig
● BH&T, Ballistic Hull, and Turret
● PV1&2, Prototype Vehicle ⁽ˀ⁾
In 2010, Otokar signed contract with MTU and RENK for EuroPowerPack for 5 units. Further engine acquisition block by German arms embargo on Turkey. With BMC’s acquisition of program, Otokar handed over 4 remaining prototypes, barring AHT, to BMC. BMC upgraded PV1 based prototype with ASELSAN’s AKKOR APS and revealed it alongside Leopard 2A4 mated with FTR turret during the visit of Minister of National Defense, in 2021. Withing same year at IDEF 2021 both vehicles were presented to public eye.
Altay T1 (2021 IDEF Prototype)
Altay T1 is the first prototype of BMC and first revealed in IDEF 2019. It was equipped with long awaited AKKOR APS. It made its second appearance in IDEF 2021 alongside Leopard 2A4 with FTR turret. BMC’s venture is plagued with engine problems, and delayed production. As of 2022, agreement signed for Korean engine while BMC Power is developing indigenous engine.
BMC after their acquisition of the Altay Project, revealed their first Altay prototype in IDEF 2019, Altay T1. T1 is equipped with ASELSAN’s long awaited AKKOR APS. It made its second appearance in IDEF 2021 alongside upgraded Leopard 2A4 with FTR turret. BMC’s Altay venture is plagued with engine problems which delayed serial production. As of 2022, agreement signed for Korean engine while BMC Power is developing indigenous engine.
Altay’s main armament is MKE 120mm L/55 smoothbore cannon which is based on Hyundai WIA CN08. MKE tailored WIA’s design to meets requirements of Altay Project. Main difference between MKE’s and Hyundai’s gun design is that MKE’s design does not have mechanism for autoloader unlike WIA’s design. MKE 120mm L/55 is compatible with all NATO standard 120mm rounds. PV1 and PV2 secondary armament consists of co-axial 7.62mm machine-gun and 12.7mm heavy machine-gun on SARP remote controlled weapon system. Fire control system is ASELSAN’s state-of-art VOLKAN-II New Generation Fire Control System. It was specifically designed for Altay Project and also integrated into Leopard 2A4NG prototype.
SARP is a compact, remotely operated stabilized weapon platform with high-precision surveillance capabilities and superb firepower. It can be integrated onto vehicles or fixed posts to provide firepower against air, ground, and asymmetric threats. SARP has ability to mount 7,62mm machine-gun, 12.7mm heavy machine-gun and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher in accordance with the operational needs.
• Laser Range Finder
• Day and Night Imaging
• Gyro Aided Stabilization
• Automatic Target Tracking
• Automatic Ballistic Calculation
• Shoot-On-the-Move Capability for Stationary and Moving Targets
Brochure with More Information
German Federal Arms Embargo on Turkey affected Altay Project severely as embargo blocked any sort of access to MTU engines. BMC went to search for suitable replacement for German power pack, In 2022 Turkey and Korea signed an agreement for Korean power pack which consisted of Hyundai Doosan Infracore’s V27K Diesel Engine and SNT Dynamics’s EST15K transmission system. Although Korean power-pack chosen for serial production, BMC Power currently develops indigenous engine for Altay. BMC Power revealed their new engine named “BATU”, it is 1500 horsepower and coupled with Cross Drive transmission system. In 2021, BATU was ignited for the first time without any problems. At the moment, BATU stays experimental and no Altay is equipped with it.
In 30 January 2023 agreement signed between SNT and BMC for export of SNT’s transmission system. It is also revealed that BMC tested an Altay with Korean power pack for eight months, although there no footage or photographs of said vehicle yet. This makes me include that this T1 was not powered by Korean power pack instead it retained EuroPowerPack. Considering BMC used Otokar’s prototypes as base of their production, it makes sense.
Armor package of Altay Project is based on K2’s KSAP. Armor package modified and developed by ROKETSAN with Boron Carbide elements to meets specifics of Altay Project. It is said to offer better ballistic protection than the original armor package though further information about protection levels is stays classified. Armor tests was done with prototype designated as BH&T, Ballistic Hull and Turret, and presumed destroyed during tests, there are no photographs of armor rig. ASELSAN’s AKKOR APS is also fitted which further enhances overall survivability of the tank.
BMC’s prototypes are said to have better overall protection with enhanced/increased armor package in comparison with the Otokar’s prototype. Visually, BMC’s prototypes have bulkier design with the additional Explosive Reactive Armor units but it is unknown if overall thickness/effectiveness of armor increased or not except for the turret roof. BMC’s brochures/infographs specifically mentions increased turret roof protection.
Specifications of KSAP
AKKOR, abbreviation of Aktif Koruma, is a soft-kill, hard-kill APS system developed by ASELSAN. AKKOR provides 360-degree coverage against incoming threats in both unconventional and regular warfare environment. Thanks to its modular structure, AKKOR can be integrated variety of fighting vehicles.
• Hard-Kill Ability
• Soft-Kill Ability
• Fast Response Time Against Asymmetric Threats.
• High effectiveness against thermal and laser guided missiles with multi spectral smokescreen
• 360 degree protection
• Operational Against Multiple Threats
ASELSAN AKKOR Brochure (In Turkish)
SSB Brochure (In Turkish)
AKKOR Info Video
It appears that, hull sides of BMC’s prototype received additional armor in similar manner with Otokar’s AHT prototype. Additional side armor might be ERA, NERA or other form of composite armor package offered by ROKETSAN.
Red: Additional Side Armor
White: Slat Armor
AHT seems to be bulkier with thicker armor on side and front. Unlike T1, we do know that AHT’s scheme of additional armor. Side of both turret and hull is fitted with ERA while front of hull and turret has additional passive armor elements (it is not specified if it is NERA or another form of composite).
Between T1 (2019) and (2021)
• Angular Armor of Turret Sides
• Arrangement of Sensors and Cameras
Photograph of T1 (2021) for Reference
Between T1 (2019) and PV2
• AKKOR APS
• Arrangement of Sensors and Cameras
• Slat Armor to Back-Sides of Hull and Turret
• Additional Armor to Hull Sides
Photograph of PV2 for Reference
Otokar’s Altay Brochure
- Crew: 4
Dimensions and Weight
- Mass: 65 Tons
- Length: 7.3 m
- Width: 3.9 m
- Height: 2.6 m
- Main Armament: MKE 120mm L/55 Smoothbore Cannon
- Secondary Armament:
• Co-Axial FN MAG 7.62mm Machine Gun
• SARP Remotely Controlled Weapon Station Mounted M2HB 12.7mm Heavy Machine-Gun
- Ammunition Capacity
∙ 40 Tank Rounds
∙ 10,000 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine-Gun
∙ 3,200 12.7mm Machine-Gun Rounds ˀ
- Engine: MTU MT883 KA-501, Diesel Engine 1500 Horsepower
- Transmission: RENK HSWL 295TM Automatic Transmission, 5 Forward, 3 Reverse
- Suspension: In-Arm
- Maximum Speed: 70 km/h
- Power to Weight: 23 hp/t
∙ ROKETSAN Boron Carbide Armor Based on KSAP
∙ Explosive Reactive Armor
∙ Slat Armor
- Active/Passive Protection System: AKKOR
- Smoke Grenades: 16x
- Night Sight
- Thermal Sight
- Spall Liner
- Laser Range Finder
- Laser Warning Receiver
- 360° Close Range Surveillance System
- Hunter-Killer Capacity (Commander’s Override)
- Night Sight
Implementation to War Thunder
All of the Altay variants/models should be reserved for future Turkish Ground Forces Tech Tree. Altay T1 (2021) would be excellent top tier main battle tank with hard-hitting main armament and superb protection levels. BR-wise ı would say it would fit around somewhere between 11.7 to 12.0 Battle Rating.
BMC BATU First Ignition
Altay (main battle tank) - Wikipedia. - General Info
https://www.military-today.com/tanks/altay.htm - General Info
Otokar Altay - General Info
Altay main battle tank (2012) - General Info
Altay Ana Muharebe Tankı – Millisavunma.com - General Info
Milli tank 'Altay' tanýtýldý - Güncel - Otokar’s Altay Reveal
ALTAY Seri Üretime Hazır Hale Gelince Süreç Ne Olacak? - Prototypes and Road Map
Otokar Submitted Final Offer For Serial Production Of Altay Main Battle Tank | savunmahaber.com - Otokar’s Production Offer
https://shiftdelete.net/altay-tanki-uretim-tarihi - Serial Production Date Speculations
MKE 120 mm gun - Wikipedia - MKE 120 mm L/55
https://archive.md/dFVf7 - KSAP
https://www.savunmasanayist.com/bmc-arifiyede-ilk-altay-tankini-uretti/ - BMC’s First Altay
https://www.defenceturk.net/akkor. - AKKOR APS
https://www.savunmasanayist.com/guney-kore-ile-altay-tanki-motoru-anlasmasi/ - Korean Powerpack
https://www.bmcpower.com.tr/tr/sayfa/29/batu-projesi - BMC Power BATU
ALTAY Tankı'nın şanzımanı için Kore ile sözleşme imzalandı - Agreement between SNT and BMC for SNT’s Transmission System
Altay Suggestions’ List
Altay PV2 (2015)
Altay PV2 (2017)
Altay T1 (2019)
Altay T1 (2021)
Altay FTR (2023)
Altay T1 (BATU)