Turkey to opt for competition instead of single manufacturer for Altay tank program

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, several industry sources stated that the Turkish government will opt for competition to choose a manufacturer for the Turkish Altay tank program. This came after Turkish defense manufacturer, Otokar, submitted their final and best offer to produce 250 tanks last month. Otokar’s first offer was initially submitted in January, however it was revised in September.

At first, the decision was to choose one producer without competition, most likely Otokar, had their offer been satisfactory. However, it has been stated that Otokar’s offer was surprisingly high, and the bureaucracy was not content. 

It is now believed that the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) will use its legal rights to launch a competition for the serial production of the Altay, something that might slow down the program. 

The decision comes at a time when the SSM is reshuffling its own organization and defense procurement is not the top priority for a government that faced a coup attempt on July 15. More than 10 SSM personnel have been suspended after the failed coup. On September 26, several department heads were also suspended.

SSM’s decision on whether to go with Otokar or open competition will shape the Altay and its future sales, both to the Turkish army and potentially to foreign armies.