Qatar signed a deal for Turkey’s first indigenously-made main battle tank, the Altay, on Tuesday.
“According to the agreement, Qatar will buy up to 100 tanks from Turkey and 40 of them will be delivered to the Gulf country in the first phase,” Ali İhsan Yavuz, Vice Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) told Daily Sabah.
The financial value of the contract was not revealed.
The Altay tanks are currently powered by German firm MTU Friedrichshafen’s 1,500 hp diesel engines. Turkey plans to replace the German engines with domestically-made engines after the first batch is delivered to Qatar, Yavuz said, revealing future plans of tank’s indigenization.
The contract for the mass production of the “third-generation advanced” battle tank was signed between Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and the domestic armored vehicle manufacturer BMC in November 2018.
Local defense contractors such as Roketsan, Aselsan, Havelsan, and the Machinery and Chemical Industry Institute (MKEK) are among the stakeholders of the Altay project.
The Altay will have a 120 mm 55-caliber smoothbore gun as its main weapon. Its next-generation fire control system will allow the user to shoot targets in motion with a good accuracy rate. The tank will also feature a 12.7 mm remote-controlled turret and a 7.62 mm tower-mounted firearm for residential areas and fire support.
It will also feature a composite armor to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets, missiles or shells, protecting its crew from enemy fire.
A life support system, an additional mine protection kit, auxiliary power group, a laser warning system and a 360-degree situational awareness system are among the other important elements of the Altay.