Turkey has successfully developed an indigenous powerpack for its Altay main battle tank (MBT), marking a significant milestone in the country’s defense industry. Janes reported that this milestone was announced by Serhat Erpolat, a senior associate at Turkey’s Defence Industry Agency, during the recent SAE Media’s Future Armoured Vehicles Power Systems conference held in Wokingham, UK, on September 27 and 28. The new powerpack, a crucial component for the Altay MBT, is set to be integrated into all serial production vehicles from lot-2 onwards. The Altay MBT, based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther and produced by BMC with design assistance and technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem, has been a focal point of Turkey’s military modernization efforts. However, the project faced a significant setback in 2018 when Germany imposed restrictions on the export of military equipment and components to Turkey, in response to Ankara’s military operations in northeastern Syria. This export restriction left the Altay without a powerpack for serial production, posing a considerable challenge for Turkish engineers.
Previously, the Altay had been equipped with MTU’s EuroPowerPack, renowned for being one of the most compact and advanced powerpacks available on the market. Replacing this state-of-the-art powerpack was a formidable task, as it featured a parallel U-shaped design that made it highly compact, significantly shorter than its counterparts. Under the BATU Project, Turkey’s new powerpack for the Altay MBT boasts a 12-cylinder V-type water-cooled Diesel engine generating an impressive 1,500 horsepower and 4,600 Nm of torque. This powerful engine is seamlessly integrated with a U connection cross-drive transmission, equipped with steering and braking functionality. Additionally, the new powerpack includes cooling systems, air filtration, and exhaust systems, ensuring optimal performance in various operational conditions. As of August 2022, durability testing of the powerpack, combined with the DV27K engine and EST15K transmission imported from South Korea, is underway. If these tests yield successful results,
Turkey is poised to produce the first 250 Altay MBTs with the integration of the indigenous powerpack, marking a significant stride towards achieving self-sufficiency in defense production. The tank will benefit both from indigenously developed systems and from technologies of the K2 Black Panther, accorded by an agreement signed with South Korea. The main armament of the tank is the 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun, which was redesigned under license based on the CN08 120 mm gun of the K2 Black Panther. Turkey’s accomplishment in developing an indigenous powerpack for the Altay MBT not only enhances the country’s military capabilities but also demonstrates its commitment to advancing its defense industry. This achievement underscores Turkey’s ability to overcome challenging obstacles and innovate in the realm of military technology, paving the way for a stronger and more self-reliant defense sector.