Turkey and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) signed a military cooperation agreement to provide a Korean-made engine for the Turkish Altay main battle tank program.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey tweeted Friday that the minister of the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Kang Eun-ho, informed him about the signing of the declaration of intent on the supply of Altay tank engines.
“It is an important step in the context of the project,” the message added.
Media reports said in March that Turkish land vehicles manufacturer BMC, the company that is undertaking the Altay project, agreed with two South Korean companies, Doosan Infracore Co. and S&T Dynamics Co., for the engine and transmission.
Turkey initially kicked off the MBT project in 2007, while the procurement of an engine has been a preventive step for a while as some European companies refused to sell the powering unit.
The prototype for the Altay was unveiled at a 2011 defense show in Istanbul.
According to Defense News, a multibillion-dollar Altay tank program is broken into two phases: T1 and T2. T1 covers the first 250 units, and T2 involves the advanced version of the Altay.
Under the original program, Turkey planned to eventually produce 1,000 Altays, to be followed by an unmanned version of the tank.