The bidding process for the contract for the mass production of Altay tanks has begun. Defense and civil industry firm Otokar FNSS Defense Systems, a leading land combat systems company and BMC, a military vehicle manufacturer, have been invited to place bids for the mass production contract for Altay tanks. According to Defense News, the contract, for which three domestic companies will put forth their proposals for, involves the production of 250 tanks in the first stage and is expected to cost over $10 billion. Turkey plans to produce 1,000 Altay tanks in total.
In June, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) did not accept Otokar's proposal, announcing instead that the company to undertake the mass production will be selected with a bidding process. Defense Minister Fikri Işık said in early July that bidding for mass production of the Altay tanks would be held soon. Earlier reports indicated that six companies would participate in the bidding. After failing to reach an agreement wiht Otokar, the bidding process began and the SSM took steps to follow different methods in order to prevent controversies during the contracting process. It has been revealed that six companies can bid for the contract but it is not yet clear whether Otokar will participate or not. The SSM established a commission of specialists, enabling it to perform a technical survey.
The commission will decide on the competence of firms interested in the contract. The companies considered suitable will be able to participate. In June, Otokar issued a statement regarding the reason for the SSM rejecting its best and final offer. The statement said: "The SSM has informed our company today that the bid has been assessed in all administrative, financial and technical aspects but the bid was considered inappropriate due to its failure to agree on contract terms; specifically pricing, leading to the decision for contractual bidding." The same statement revealed that in the event that Otokar decides to participate in the bidding process in adherance with the SSM's statements regarding the process, the necessary explanations will be made in accordance with the relevant regulations.
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