ANKARA, Turkey – A Turkish-Qatari armored vehicle manufacturer has unveiled a hybrid tank that combines the hull of a German Leopard 2A4 with a turret made in Turkey to win a serial production contract.
The tank was displayed by BMC on January 23rd to a high-level delegation that included Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and senior military officials.
A BMC official said the company hopes to win a serial production / upgrade contract for the hybrid tank from the Turkish government. He added that serial production would include more than 300 leopard tanks that would receive the hybrid upgrade.
“If the military command decides to order mass production, we will start work immediately,” he said.
BMC hopes the hybrid model will be battle tested once it enters the Turkish military’s inventory. “This will pave the way for similar upgrades in hundreds of leopards in different parts of the world,” the company official said. “The export potential is greater than the Turkish treaty.”
The hybrid leopard is equipped with Turkish active protection, fire protection and laser warning systems. It combines the chassis of the legendary German tank with the turret of the locally developed Altai, which contains a 120mm smoothbore cannon.
A source familiar with the hybrid program told Defense News that the order was valued at “several hundred million dollars.”
The tank will not be a replacement for the multi-billion dollar Altai program. As part of this effort, Turkey plans to build 1,000 units of the new generation main battle tank. BMC won the serial production contract for the Altay, but the program has struggled in recent years as Turkey continues its search for an imported powerhouse (engine and transmission system).
Most recently, BMC started negotiations with the South Korean company Hyundai-Rotem about a powerhouse for the Altai after talks with German suppliers and a number of other companies failed.