At a time when Germany has announced that it has stopped exporting arms to Turkey, an alternative partnership offer for the Altay tank engine has come from British Caterpillar. The company has proposed a new generation CV12 type engine, according to a report by Turkish daily Habertürk.
The German MTU engine was used in the prototype production of the Altay tank. The use of the MTU engine was also planned for mass production. However, when Germany's threatening attitudes toward Turkey led to question marks, an alternative search for tank engines began.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has initiated talks with the British Caterpillar firm. The first contact between SSM and Caterpillar was held in Ankara and the second at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fair in the U.K. It is stated that the British company proposed a new generation "CV12" type engine for use in the Altay tank. The British authorities also noted that they regard the production of this engine in Turkey positively. The same engine is also used in the Challenger tanks produced for the British army.
Some 250 Altay tanks are foreseen to be produced for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in the first package. It is aimed to produce a total of 1,000 tanks in the long run. The prototype production of the Altay tank was realized by OTOKAR affiliated with Koç Group. However, no contract has been signed with OTOKAR for mass production. In the mass production tender, OTOKAR competes with German-partnered RBSS consortium, which also includes BMC, and Turkish-British partnership FNSS.
Turkey has been cooperating with Germany for many years in the power group production of projects such as national ships, national submarines and national tanks. Diplomatic developments led to the opening of a new window with the U.K. this time, which later paved the way for cooperation with the said country in engine technology. Turkey and the U.K. are also collaborating on Turkey's national fighter jet project "TF-X," whose engine will be developed by receiving technology support from the U.K.