Defense Blog reported that Turkish Company BMC has unveiled an upgraded version of its hybrid main battle tank which combining the hull of a Leopard 2A4 with the turret of an Altay. The upgraded Leopard 2A4 is equipped with a Turkish-made active protection system and laser warning systems. It combines the chassis of Germany’s tank with the turret of locally developed Altay with 120mm (4.7 in) smoothbore gun. The latest version of the tank was displayed during the visit of the Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar to the BMC Plant.
Altay is a Turkish modern main battle tank which is a variant of the K2 Black Panther that was developed by South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem. 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. As the main contractor within the scope of the program, BMC will produce 250 ALTAY Main Battle Tanks and deliver them to the Turkish Armed Forces. The BMC has a company called Rheinmetall BMC Defense Industry (RBSS), in which the BMC is a partner with the German heavy industry company RheinMetall. A number of leading local defense contractors such as Roketsan, Aselsan, Havelsan and the Machinery and Chemical Industry Institute (MKEK) are among the stakeholders of the project.
The military electronics company ASELSAN manufactures and integrates the Volkan III modular fire control system, command, control and information systems, while state-owned MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation) agreed for the production and integration of a modified and licensed produced Rheinmetall 120 mm gun. Another state company ROKETSAN designs an indigenous armor. The production of Altay has been affected since 2018, as they rely on German MTU engines and RENK transmissions, because of the German federal arms embargo on Turkey due to their involvement in the Syrian Civil War.
South Korea has experienced similar problems with its program for the mass production of the K2 Black Panther tank. Turkish procurement and military officials as well as teams from a private manufacturer have been negotiating with a South Korean company to recover a program riddled with delays. BMC has been in talks with Hyundai Rotem to solve problems surrounding missing foreign technology for the Altay, which Turkish officials often portray as a fully national, indigenous Turkish tank. BMC is also in indirect talks, through Hyundai Rotem, with two South Korean defense technology concerns: engine-maker Doosan and S&T Dynamics, which produces automatic transmissions.