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The Altug Is A New Wheeled APC From Turkey

September 29, 2021
Via BMC.

The manufacturer BMC is pushing its own wheeled armored fighting vehicle for the Turkish military’s eventual rebuilding from the bottom up, a process that’s been underway for a few year’s now. The 8×8 APC branded as the “Altug” conforms to a familiar layout with a spacious troop compartment furnished with individual seats and the engine installed at the front of the hull beside the driver. The Altug seats a total of 11 people and mounts different remote controlled weapon stations according to the end user’s requirements.

The Altug was previously unveiled in the beginning of 2021 at a demonstration organized by BMC for the defense ministry and armed forces. The event from January also featured a demonstrator for the Altay main battle tank, which has yet to commence low rate production and enter service with the army. The Altug was displayed indoors for the IDEF 2021 arms show in August where it received extra media attention. The Altug is the third model of 8×8 APC manufactured in Turkey. Its immediate rivals are the Otokar Arma and the very successful FNSS PARS; the latter has been exported to Malaysia and Oman. BMC’s current reputation as the primary supplier of the army’s tactical vehicles puts in a very good light and might influence the Altug’s prospects.

The crucial details of armored fighting vehicles always focus on their armaments, mobility, and protection level. But the Altug’s engine type and its performance are unknown and the exact level of its armor hasn’t been revealed. It’s apparent, however, that its protective features are robust. The monocoque hull is put together with aluminum panels and composites. A v-shaped bottom is formed to make the vehicle survivable against roadside bombs and land mines. This also explains the Altug’s noticeable height–it easily towers over most tracked APCs and even tanks.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turkish-bmc-altug-8x8-apc-trail.jpg
Via BMC.

So far the vehicle’s protection is made up of different features like add-on panels on the hull’s flanks and passive sensors perched on its roof. The turret for its large caliber main armament supports two rows of smoke grenade dischargers and mounts a hard-kill active protection system on a pivoting stand and a gunshot detector. For maximum situational awareness the Altug has front and back cameras for the driver and cameras included in the pivoting EO/IR sights on the turret. A particular drawback of the Altug is its manufacturer hasn’t clarified if it’s supposed to be amphibious or not. The local rivals Arma and the PARS each have propellers under their hulls.

BMC didn’t hold back when it came to combat optimization. So far the Altug supports two weapon stations. Pictured above is a turret for a 35mm cannon networked with its own subsystems. (Concealed launchers for anti-tank missiles are noticeably absent.) It’s also possible to have a smaller remote controlled .50 caliber machine gun on the vehicle’s roof. What makes Turkish armored vehicles so competitive is their foreign end users or operators may add weaponry of their own choosing. For example, the UAE developed the Rabdan IFV using the Otokar Arma but installed the turret of the Kurganmashzavod BMP-3, and there are many varieties of Turkish vehicles adapted for armaments sourced elsewhere.

How Turkey’s army and internal security apparatus will shape their forces this decade is difficult to imagine. Older NATO equipment remain predominant such as “legacy platforms” like the M113 APC and Leopard tanks. But in the span of a single decade the government agency SSB has overseen a historic blossoming of Turkish military technology thanks to a sizable manufacturing sector and inputs from NATO allies and other partners. Arriving more than a decade after the current 8×8 APCs among NATO armies the Altug looks to be very competitive and an appealing choice for militaries oriented toward high tech land warfare.

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