Turkey has opened a first electromagnetic compatibility tank test center in the northwestern province of Sakarya, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Thanks to the center, the first tank designed by Koç-owned Otokar – which will build the Altay – will enter into service by 2017, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said at the March 29 opening ceremony.
The center will test the electromagnetic compatibility of the prototypes scheduled to be produced under the contract.
The project was officially initiated on March 30, 2007, when the SSM, Turkey’s procurement agency, and Otokar signed a $500 million agreement for the design, development and production of our prototypes of Turkey’s first tank.
There is no guarantee Otokar will be selected to carry out the project during the serial production phase, due to start with at least 250 tanks in coming years.
An SSM decision selected South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem for the overall technical support-enabling business. Turkey’s Aselan was chosen as the subcontractor for the fire control system and the command, control and communications information system.
Also, state-owned MKEK was selected as the subcontractor for the 120 mm primary weapon, while Roketsan was tasked with the job of providing the armor.
The tank will be operated by four personnel and is expected to weigh about 60 tons.
The mock-up of the first Altay tank was introduced to the Turkish public at the IDEF-2011 fair in Istanbul last May.