Tank forces of Turkey are very perceptible history. In the ranks of the armored forces of the country for their existence has always had time to visit the French, German, English and, of course, Russian tanks and tanks of the United States.
Turkey's first steel tanks French light tank "Renault FT», several of these tanks to Istanbul, Turkey acquired Infantry School in 1928. Again the French tanks purchased this country in 1940, they were also light tanks "Reno" series of R-35.
In the coming since 1930, the Turks began to buy war machines in the UK, according to available data in the period from 1930 to 1934, the country received: wedgies British Vickers Carden Loyd (more than 30), amphibious tanks Vickers Carden Loyd M1931, light tanks Vickers 6ton Mark E (more than 10), Vickers Mk VI b (13 pieces).
In 1935, Turkey purchased from the Soviet Union 67 light tanks T-26 and 60 series of medium armored cars BA, and that's when it was formed and the first combat-ready armored formation Turkish army. Purchased from the Union of Russian tanks went on the formation of the 1st Tank Battalion in Lüleburgaz. These fighting vehicles manufactured in the Soviet Union remained in service with the Turkish army until 1942.
First, the 40-ies. XX century, the main Turkish arms purchases, including tanks, were aimed at the 3rd Reich. For example, in 1943 the Turkish army had adopted the German military machine Pz. III (53 units) and Pz. IV G (15 units).
This coming right up to the present day Turks and preferred to buy German tanks, a bit later, they added the South American. Germans have purchased in the main leopards, the U.S. average at first tank M48, M60 later in different versions modifications and upgrades.
M60-T Sabra Turkish army on parade in Ankara
M60A3 TTS Turkish army on maneuvers
Leopard 1 Turkish army on maneuvers
It is easy to see the basic structure of armored forces Turkey presented in the main foreign combat vehicles. All these machines are upgraded versions of old times is enough models of tanks and M48 at the present time are derived from the linear compounds (except for 287 units M48A5T1/T2 Cyprus).
In the near future, Turkey decides comfortable enough measures: intensity is upgrading the existing armed with tanks Leopard 1 and M60, and disposal of obsolete models of tanks. On its territory Turks tested several models of tanks, among which was the Ukrainian tank "Scimitar", made on the basis of a diesel version of the T-80 (the main difference — it is a NATO caliber gun and automatic loader zabashenny guns.). In general, "Scimitar" showed well, but the Turks have preferred the German "Leopard 2", and the party which acquired later. Besides the Turks are developing extensively advertised, principled project to create their own self-MBT last generation — the tank «Altay».
Leopard 2A4 Turkish army on the street in Ankara
"Scimitar" on ispytaniyahv Turkey
Back in 1996, the Turkish administration has decided to adopt the latest generation of tanks. In the initial plans came purchase a license for the establishment of the 1st of zabugornyh tanks, but a bit later, in 2004, the Turkish military has concluded that the development of their own self-tank will cost the country a lot cheaper. In 2005, a tender for the creation of a new, Turkish, tank. In 2007, determined the favorite, it was the company Otokar.
And at the end of July 2008, the Secretariat of the defense industry in Turkey has concluded a contract with the company Otokar cost 400 million dollars. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Koc Holding Defence Industry and Other Automotive Group Kudrete Onena also management firm Otokar, and the Sangha Lee, Minister of National Defence Republic of Korea — a country that will produce technological support for the project. In addition, at the signing was attended by representatives of subcontracting companies on the main fronts: the Turkish Aselsan, MKEK, Roketsan and Korean main contractor Hyundai-Rotem.
Otokar company will conduct all research and development activities, also responsible for the ready reference and test the most experienced and the upcoming batch creation and support of the Turkish MBT «Altay». The presence of Koreans explained by the fact that the basic foundation for the development of the tank «Altay» became a South Korean tank of the latest generation XK-2 Black Panther, which in turn was created on the basis of another Korean K-1 tank (Type 88 ROKIT), which served as the layout for the South American M1 Abrams.
XK-2 Black Panther
K-1 (Type 88 ROKIT)
The company Otokar 45 years has been producing auto production. In the past 25 years, the c
ompany also fortunate enough to work in the field of light armored vehicles.
Otokar Management emphasizes that MBT «Altay» is the only Turkish project. For it will create quite a number of new systems and components, design and brand-new third-generation tank. The same claim, and representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Turkey, adding also that all rights to the new tank will belong to Turkey.
Title «Altay» («Altai") new Turkish tank was not a symbol of cooperation between Russia and NATO, and not as the ancestral home of the Altai Turks considered as write some online publications. His title Turkish MBT was named after General Fahrettin Altay, parts of which during the war of independence liberated the city of Izmir (the third most populous city in Turkey and the second largest port in the country after Istanbul) from the Greek invaders.
In the first step of the project is scheduled for 7 years to build and test the four most experienced reference, the first of which is meant to be to begin testing in 2015. After the test is expected to receive an order for a batch creation of the first batch of 250 units, the number of upcoming planned to reach thousands of replacing their outdated South American and German cars.
Because tank «Altay» will be created on the basis of the Korean XK-2 Black Panther, accordingly he will inherit all the gadgets and the "bells and whistles" of his Korean "parent."
XK-2 Black Panther equip a 120-mm smoothbore gun with automatic loader. The main feature of this gun is its highest rate of -15 shots per minute, which is an absolute record for tank guns. XK-2 Black Panther can keep fire on the move, including guided missiles. Tank equip complex of active protection, the foundation of which was the Russian complex "Arena". This system allows to hit anti-tank rockets, missiles, fired from grenade launchers still on approach.
All this, except the automatic loader, and will be located on the Turkish car. Also apparently Turkish MBT inherit another feature XK-2 — exceptional high cost: one copy XK-2 Black Panther worth 8.5 million dollars and is the most expensive tank in the world.
Preliminary performance characteristics of Turkish MBT «Altay»:
Diesel engine — 1500 hp
Weight 55 — 65 tons
Length — 7735 mm
Width — 3972 mm
Height — 2640 mm
Smoothbore gun — 120mm
12.7 mm coaxial machine gun
Ammunition — 57 +10 units
Speed — 70 km / h roads
Walking in store — 500 km
But it should be noted that the Turkish tank builders working on the creation of MBT «Altay», may face a formidable enough neuvvyazkami. Not so long ago, in some zabugornyh media reported that South Korean designers in the process of testing XK-2 faced severe structural weaknesses. Details are unknown, reported only that, if you remove these prepyadstviya not, then next year's funding for this program can generally finish. That, accordingly, may thus affect the bad old Turkish plans. Dream of Turkey's state-MBT may fail.