By Emre Ayvaz, Onur Orhan and Ugur Subasi
Defense Minister Fikri Isik has said Turkey will start mass production of its main battle tank in May this year.
Speaking at an opening ceremony of a hospital in northwestern Sakarya province Tuesday, Isik said the Altay battle tank had passed all its tests successfully by the end of February.
“We will push the button on mass production in May. We will have a decision about Altay tank's mass production in May if nothing goes wrong," he said.
Referring to the Turkey-made helicopter Atak, the minister said: "We gave the 20th Atak helicopter to the Turkish Armed Forces in central Konya province.
“The weapons on the helicopter are also largely made in the country. We have watched it shooting", adding the ability to manufacture your own helicopters is a source of pride for Turkey.
Isik said Turkey is also producing its own infantry rifle that had passed NATO's 42 tests successfully. He added that Turkey makes its own drones, ships and satellites, and the country will maintain its path to progress.