National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Friday that mass production of the domestic tank will begin in the first quarter of 2019.
A senior official, who had previously spoken to Bloomberg in November, said that the bid documents submitted by three companies for the Altay tank consisted of about 12 boxes, noting that the evaluation of the documents would take time and the bidding would be concluded within a maximum of three months.
In the Altay tank project, which received three proposals in the bidding for the mass production of 500 units, 250 of which are optional, Turkey aims to complete the contracting within a maximum of three months.
Underlining that Turkey has no worries with regard to the tank's engine, the senior official said the perception that they cannot find an engine for the Altay tank is not right, adding that if a negative response is received from Germany, alternatives will be evaluated and "a different engine will be found and put into the tank."
In late November, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) announced that it received requests for proposals from five companies for the Powertrain Development Project for the Altay main battle tank. Accordingly, BMC Automotive Industry and Trade Inc., Figes Physics and Geometry Computer Simulation Service Trade Inc., Istanbul Maritime Shipbuilding Industry and Trade Inc., Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Engine Industry Inc. and TÜMOSAN Engine and Tractor Industry Inc. were the companies that submitted proposals for the contract.
The Altay is a third-generation version of the main battle tank and Turkey's first domestic tank development program. The tank was named after Army Gen. Fahrettin Altay, who commanded the 5th Cavalry Corps during the Turkish War of Independence.