Turkey's National Main Battle Tank Project (ALTAY) Started with the Ceremony Held at OTOKAR Factory

  • 12:00 AM, September 15, 2008
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The Undersecretariat for the Defence Industries of Turkey (SSM) has contracted Otokar with the designing of first National Main Battle Tank of Turkey. The signing ceremony for the ALTAY Project was realised at Otokar plant. A Koç Group company Otokar, is contracted as prime contractor for ALTAY Project, conducted by SSM. The Company shall be the exclusively responsible party to SSM regarding the design, development, integration, prototype production, testing, qualification of the first Turkish National Main Battle Tank (ALTAY Tank) and all activities contained in the Project. Prime Minister Erdoğan attended the ceremony. The signing ceremony was held with the attendance of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish Prime Minister, M. Vecdi Gönül, the Turkish Minister of National Defence, Mustafa Koç, chairman of the Koç Holding, Kudret Önen, President of Koç Holding Defence Industry and Other Automotive Group and Chairman of Otokar, and Serdar Görgüç, General Manager of Otokar. Sanghee Lee, the Minister of National Defence, representing the Republic of Korea, the country to provide technical support and assistance for the Project and the upper management representatives of Aselsan, Hyundai-Rotem, Makine ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu and Roketsan were also present at the ceremony. Mr Kudret Önen, President of Koç Holding Defence Industry and Other Automotive Group and Chairman of Otokar, stated that backed with its engineering power, R&D facilities, experiences and technical facilities, Otokar is ready to design new generation tank which will fully meet the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces, and said: “We pride ourselves on being charged for such a large-scale national project of strategic importance. As it was always the case, we will work hard to deserve this confidence in our Company, in order to attain the result befitting our country. “For 45 years, we have introduced many firsts to the automotive industry. We have designed the first military armoured vehicle and we realised export of armoured vehicles for the first time. Since 21 years we are operating in the defence industry. 25 thousand military vehicles we produced are being used by Armed Forces of more than 15 countries, primarily by the Turkish Armed Forces, and UN duty units in several regions of the world. With ALTAY Project, we will break new ground”. Mr Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of Koç Holding, stated that he is pleased that an affiliate of the Koç Holding is preferred for the completion of ALTAY Project, which is of utmost importance for Turkey’s national defence industry strategy, and said: “It is certain that this Project will bring enormous acceleration to the land platform development and production field of the defence industry. In order to become leader in its region, Turkey requires stable government, growing economy and strong armed forces. onsidering the prevailing threats and contemporary battle area conditions, it becomes evident that modern equipment, tools and devices which of hi-tech products and capable to dispose of potential threats must be available further to manpower in order to have contemporary and strong armed forces. “We have to develop its own resources and capabilities and to develop our own technology also in this field. Only in this way we can cope with the modern era and attain sustainable growth in the national industry. Our national defence industry will have great contributions to and responsibilities for enabling us to reach the targeted point, regarding the development of their competence and capacity. Long-term approach, vision and leadership are factors required to attain success. We, as the Koç Group of Companies, make great efforts and use large resources for the defence industry for a long time and consequently we accomplish very successful projects. With our companies Otokar, RMK Marine, Koç Bilgi and Defence Technologies we aim to be able to export our products to the geographical region in the long term, as part of the international competition, beyond being able to meet the requirements of the national defence industry.”
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