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SNT Dynamics inks automatic transmission deal with Turkey's BMC for tanks

Feb. 3, 2023 - 16:02 By Kim So-yeon
A picture of SNT Dynamics' six-speed automatic transmission unit for tanks. (SNT Dynamics)

South Korean auto parts manufacturer SNT Dynamics said Monday it signed an export deal with Turkish commercial and military vehicle manufacturer BMC to supply automatic transmissions to produce tanks for the Turkish government.

BMC is the firm in charge of delivering 1,000 Altays, a Turkish battle tank, to the government starting from this year under a Turkish-Qatari partnership.

The Altay project, pushed forward by the Turkish government, has faced supply issues in the past. BMC has been seeking to buy automatic transmission units from suppliers to power Altay engines.

A deal was settled to export 1,500-horsepower automatic transmission units to be mounted on the Altay tanks. SNT’s export contracts showed the deal to be worth a total of 200 million euros ($218 million).

SNT first plans to supply 68.9 million euros' worth of domestically produced automatic transmission units for Altay's main tank to BMC from this year to 2027.

The contract also reportedly includes additional option purchase contracts for SNT Dynamics' automatic transmission units worth 139.9 million from 2028 to 2030.

The Korean firm's automatic transmission units proved their excellent performance by passing applicability test evaluations, including durability driving tests conducted in Turkey, the company said.

SNT Dynamics successfully completed localizations of key technology components such as the Transmission Control Unit, Range Pack, Hydraulic Steering Unit, and Fluid Decelerator after developing the world's first 1,500 horsepower automatic transmission for six-speed and three-speed trains in 2014.

The deal is the Korean defense industry’s first export contract of the year, and the first case of overseas exports through independent development of core defense parts for high-cost tanks.

"We expect there will be a significant backward linkage effect in new overseas export markets such as the US, Europe and the Middle East, as well as for the fields of maintenance, repair and overhauls as well," an official from SNT Dynamics said. "We would like to thank Korean government officials for their support and will continue to work harder to improve the Korean defense industry's core technology development capabilities."