ANKARA, Turkey —The Turkish company that designed and produced prototypes for what will become Turkey’s first indigenous new generation battle tank, the Altay, has said that it submitted a bid to the Ankara government for the tank’s serial production.

Armored vehicles maker Otokar said that it submitted its serial production proposal to Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), in January.

Otokar's bid involves the production of an initial batch of 250 tanks and integrated logistical support for the program.

The company said it completed the production of Altay prototypes, which and that the prototypes are now going through system qualification and acceptance tests.

Procurement officials say said that the serial production of the Altay would begin in 2017.

SSM is expected this year to announce a bidding for the Altay's serial production.

Potential bidders are three local armored vehicle makers: Otokar, BMC and FNSS.

Turkish officials have said that a number of countries Turkey views as "allies" are interested in buying the Altay.

They say said Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf countries were showing a large interest in the Altay.

Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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