ANKARA — A Turkish company commissioned to develop an engine for the country’s future tank has signed a deal with an Austrian company for technical support.
The privately owned Turkish engine maker TUMOSAN said it signed an agreement with AVL List, GmbH, an Austrian firm, to get technical support for the power unit of the Turkish tank, the Altay, and its integration to the tank.
Procurement officials said they did not object to any deal involving foreign technical support for what Turkey aims to make an indigenous tank as long as foreign support did not cause licensing problems.
"TUMOSAN, like other companies, should feel free to get technical support from abroad, but it should finally have the intellectual property rights and export licenses for each engine part," said one official.
In March, TUMOSAN signed a €190 million (US $206.35 million) contract with the Turkish government to design an engine for the Altay, now under development.
The program involves the indigenous design, development, prototype production, testing and qualification of an engine for the Altay. TUMOSAN also will design and develop a transmission for the tank and produce critical parts for its engine, including the diesel pump, electronic control unit and injector.
TUMOSAN says it aims to conclude the program within 54 months and "with maximum possible local content."
The critical engine deal came as Turkey's procurement authorities prepare to officially launch a multibillion-dollar competition for the serial production of the Altay. The contract may eventually involve 1,000 tanks to be acquired in batches of 250.
Turkey and South Korea have signed a letter of intent by which two Korean companies will supply engines and transmission mechanisms for the Altay, Turkey’s indigenous next-generation tank in the making.