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Turkish lawmakers criticise government for delays in Altay MBT

Opposition lawmakers criticized the Turkish government for the delay in the production of Altay main battle tanks (MBTs) during a debate on the Ministry of National Defence’s budget in the parliament’s plan and the budget committee on 16 November.

Özgür Ceylan and Polat Şaroğlu, deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), recalled that Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) said that Altay deliveries to the army would begin within 18 months of the 9 November 2018 contract signature with Turkish-Qatari joint venture BMC.

Since then, the delivery dates have been continually changed and there is still no tank, they complained.

They also repeated CHP’s long-standing criticism of the transfer of the right to operate Turkey’s national tank and pallet factory to BMC for 25 years.

The Altay is to be produced at the factory in Sakarya in the Marmara region, where Fırtına self-propelled howitzers are produced and which conducts military equipment maintenance.

Ahat Andican from the opposition Good Party dismissed the possibility of powering the Altay with engines and transmissions developed in South Korea as technical problems have precluded their use on the K2 Black Panther MBT.

Turkey and South Korea signed a letter of intent for Korean engines for Altay tanks, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted on 22 October. Under the deal, South Korea’s Doosan Group and S&T Dynamics will initially transfer a limited number of engines and transmissions for testing on Altay prototypes.

Source: Janes

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