Altay National Main Battle Tank of Turkey - Design
The 3+ generation ALTAY MBT has a conventional layout with the driver at the front, the turret and fighting compartment in the center and the diesel power pack at rear. Contrary to K2 Black Panther of ADD/Rotem, the ALTAY MBT would not have an automatic loader and its running gear would consist of seven dual rubber-tire road wheels (thereare six on K2). It would be operated by a crew of four, consisting of a commander,gunner, loader and driver. The commander is seated on the right side of the turret, withthe gunner forward and below his position and the loader on the left side of the turret. The commander's panoramic periscope is mounted in front of the loader's hatch.
The ALTAY MBT is operated by a crew of four, consisting of a commander, gunner, loader and driver. The commander is seated on the right side of the turret, with the gunner forward and below his position and the loader on the left side of the turret. The commander’s panoramic periscope mounted in front of the loader’s hatch. The tank’s main weapon is a 120mm 55-calibre smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve; fume extractor and a muzzle reference system. Ready to use 120mm ammunition is be stowed in the turret bustle with blow out panels in the roof. The loader’s hatch has a ring mount for a 7,62mm machine gun, and Aselsan’s SARP Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), armed with .50-calibre (12,7mm) machine gun, is mounted on the left side of the turret roof (behind the loader’s hatch), for operation by the commander. The ALTAY MBT measures 10,85m in length, 3,68m in width and 3,32m in height, with a combat weight of 63,5 tons. Thanks to its powerful EuroPowerpack, ALTAY MBT accelerates from 0 to 32km/h (0 to 20mph) in 6 seconds and attains a maximum speed of 65,5km/h, the speed and agility also helps to improve survivability. The ALTAY MBT can cruise at 450km with internal fuel.
The ALTAY MBT would be equipped with a Wind Sensor, anAuxiliary Power Unit (behind the turret and under armor protection), Aselsan's Laser Warning Receivers, a Battlefield Target Identification (IFF) System and an ActiveProtection System (APS). Equipped with hydro pneumatic suspension system, the ALTAY MBT is expected to weight between 61 to 65 tons, falling into the Military Loading Class (MLC) of 70 tonnes.
Under the program Aselsan would provide an indigenous Fire Control System and the communications equipment, while MKEK would provide the 120mm 55-calibre smoothbore main gun for the ALTAY MBT and Roketsan would be responsible for the local production of the Modular Armor Package of the MBTs under Hyundai Rotem license.
The T1 variant, which would have similar features with the PV-1 and PV-2 prototypes developed and manufactured by Otokar but would feature the AKKOR Active Protection System (APS) and an improved add-on armor package from Roketsan (including slat armor at the rear of the turret and the hull, thicker ERA elements at the side skirts of the hull and an add-on armor kit over the turret) is scheduled to be in service with the Turkish Land Forces 24 months following contract effectivity and deliveries shall be completed in 2021 or in 2022 (depending contract effectivity date).
By 2018, allegedly, BMC had been conducting activities in order to develop a new engine with a power capacity of 1,600hp that is based on the Fiat/Iveco MTCA V12 diesel engine with 1,270hp (950kW) power capacity and 25.8lt volume utilized in the Ariete MBT with the support of Fiat. Allegedly Fiat Company would provide support to the activities and benefit from the data acquired during the development process, and at the end of this cooperation two different engines would be revealed. The Italians would design a supercharged engine with a 1,500hp power capacity. The engine that BMC would utilize in the ALTAY MBT would feature a turbocharger for the higher power requirement.
The ALTAY MBT T2 configuration would feature an increased armor system, increased protection with the isolation of ammunitions from the hull, laser guided tank ammo firing capability (for this Fire Control System should be upgraded), crew training mode and mobile camouflage net. The T2 variant is expected to begin deliveries shortly after the T1 configuration of ALTAY MBTs have been handed over. Only one ALTAY MBT prototype would be produced in T3 configuration, which would feature an unmanned turret with a bustle-mounted autoloader. The ALTAY MBT T3 configuration is scheduled for qualification in 2024, and it is understood to be intended for use in further trials and technical evaluations rather than for service with the Turkish Land Forces.
The ALTAY MBT Serial Production Phase contract also includes lifecycle logistics support service and the establishment and operation of a Tank Systems Technology Center. There is also a plan for the procurement of 60 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) and 50 Mine Clearance variants of the ALTAY MBT, which would be based on the T1 configuration’s chassis. On 12 March 2019 Vice Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ali Ihsan YAVUZ disclosed that in accordance with the agreement, Qatar would buy up to 100 ALTAY MBTs from Turkey and 40 of them would be delivered to the Gulf country in the first phase. However, speaking to Defence Turkey during the IDEF ‘19 Fair a BMC official disclosed that there is no formal contract for this purchase yet.
At the IDEF ‘19 Fair, the ALTAY MBT T1 Demonstrator was displayed on the BMC’s TUGRA TTV at BMC stand. Prepared within 2 months by the BMC staff at the 1st Main Maintenance Factory Directorate in Arifiye, Adapazari, the ALTAY MBT T1 Demonstrator was based on the ALTAY PV2 prototype and featured several dummy subsystems due to the fact that their development processes were not yet completed.
There are four Aselsan AKKOR APS radars deployed at the corners of the tank turret, moreover there are many electronic units within the tank for AKKOR APS, therefore the back of the turret is slightly expanded. Manual utilization of the AKKOR APS is not considered since it is a system reacting in a duration measured with milliseconds. The tank commander switches the system on and off via the user interface (control panel) and receives data on whether the launchers (two launchers each with two cells) are full or empty. The weight of the ALTAY MBT PV2 prototype is 63.5 tons and 25 tons of this is the weight of the turret. With the installation of Roketsan’s new add-on armor and AKKOR APS on the turret and hull the combat weight of ALTAY T1 would be increased. In response to our question on whether the increase in the tank’s weight due to the additional armor package in the T1 version would affect the performance of the power pack or not, BMC representatives stated that extra changes were not necessary since the weight of the T1 configuration remained within the weight limits they projected. AKKOR APS would also be deployed in the 210 T2 model to be manufactured after the 40 T1s, but a completely different armor package would be used in this version.
BMC representatives underlined that a significant amount of weight change would be faced as the main armor of the tank would also be different and added, “We cannot state a figure yet but the first 40 tanks are T1, so we have a long time before the T2 schedule. We will proceed step by step, upon the approval of the SSB”. The same power pack will be utilized in some of ALTAY T2 MBTs but according to the current plan indigenous powerpack will start to be deployed in the ALTAY MBT starting from T2 configuration. According to BMC officials, in order to compensate for the increase in weight, an indigenous diesel engine being developed by BMC Power for the ALTAY T2 MBT will be more powerful and will offer better performance than the existing 1,5000hp EuroPowerpack.
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