ANKARA — A South Korean manufacturer, SNT Dynamics, said this week it will supply transmissions for the engines that will power the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous tank.
The subsidiary of SNT Holding announced it has signed a deal with BMC, a Turkish-Qatari partnership that builds the Altay, to supply the EST15K, a 1,500-horsepower automatic transmission. The South Korean company said the export deal includes $74.9 million of supply until 2027 and has an option for further sourcing priced at $141 million between 2028 and 2030.
SNT said the deal was signed after field tests and assessment, including an endurance driving test last year.
“It is a valuable achievement through a harsh test evaluation, such as completing a night-based driving of about 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) a day even in the local rough terrain and environment,” the company said.
The first phase of Altay tanks will be equipped with a Korean power group consisting of a Hyundai Doosan production DV27K diesel engine and SNT Dynamics production EST15K gearbox.
BMC expects to deliver the first two tanks to the Turkish government in May 2023. Field tests are expected to continue until 2025, both by the Turkish Armed Forces and by contractors.
Mehmet Karaaslan, general manager of the company, said BMC is slated to turn over eight units a month for an initial batch of 100 units.
BMC won the multibillion-dollar Altay contract in 2018. That contract provides for a first lot of 250 tanks, life-cycle logistical support and the establishment and operation by the contractor of a tank systems technology center.
The Altay program is broken into two phases: T1 and T2. T1 covers the first 250 units, and T2 involves the advanced version of the tank. The second phase of Altay production will be powered by BMC’s indigenous power group, known as Batu.
Turkey plans to eventually produce 1,000 Altays, to be followed by an unmanned version.
Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.
Tayfun Ozberk is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News.