The Altay is a modern main battle tank, based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther tank, developed by Otokar, a subsidiary of Koç Holding, for the Turkish Army and export markets. It is named in honor of Army General Fahrettin Altay who commanded the 5th Cavalry Corps in the final stage of the Turkish War of Independence.
The tank is projected to have a 120 millimetres (4.7 in) smoothbore gun and will include CBRN defense elements, to protect it from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. The planned maximum speed is set at 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph), provided by an 1,800 hp (1,300 kW) engine (the first two batches will have 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) engines), and the MBTs will be able to function under 4.1 metres (13 ft) of water.
The tank will benefit both from indigenously developed systems and from the cannon technology of the South Korean K2 Black Panther, accorded by an agreement signed with South Korea. The first two batches will be powered by the 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) MTU engines whereas the last two batches will be powered by an indigenous 1,800 hp engine. On 16 June 2008, SSM and industry members discussed a possible participation for the development of 1,800 hp (1,300 kW) indigenous power pack for use in the armoured personnel carriers and main battle tanks produced in Turkey.
Altay appears to share strong chassis characteristics with its technological base, the South Korean K2 Black Panther, with a re-designed Turkish turret and Aselsan’s Volkan-III modular fire control system. The tank will be fielded with a STANAG 4579 compatible battlefield target identification system that ensures interoperability among small tank units. There are seven wheels, which translates to a longer hull, heavier armor and increased survivability.
While moving at high speeds, to evade ATGM attacks, sudden brakings and manevuring at severe angles are the capabilities that were taken into consideration from the early stages of development. Isolated ammunition compartment is designed to save tank crew from explosions alongside fire and explosion suppression systems which will activate in case of hit or accident. The tank is equipped with sensors for the detection of air contamination sourced from chemical and biological weapons.