National Defense Minister Fikri Işık told national broadcaster TRT News that an open tender for the Altay battle tank will be held soon, adding that the decision regarding its mass production will be made in the near future, as well.
Earlier reports had indicated that six companies will participate in the tender.
After failing to reach an agreement with Otokar, the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSM) took steps to follow different methods in order to prevent competition-induced controversy when the tender process kicks off. It was learned that six firms will participate in the bidding, while it remains unclear whether Otokar will participate or not. The SSM has set up a commission of specialists and has provided them with the authority to conduct technical reviews.
Accordingly, the commission will decide on the competence of firms interested in participating in the tender and those qualified companies will be allowed to participate. Amid aims to produce 15 units by 2020 and 20 units by 2022, the SSM plans to complete the contract in 2017, with 30 percent of all line qualification tests for production of the first tank to be completed by 2018 with the entire process being completed by 2019.