Havelsan has developed a mission planning system for small rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and intends to evolve this into a package for a range of UAVs, both fixed- and rotary-wing.
Baris Dinç, systems engineering group manager for air command control and management information systems at Havelsan, told Jane’s that the company had used a commercially available rotary-wing UAV in the first instance and modified its software to meet their needs, including the addition of an autonomous flight capability.
The planning package has been developed to enable the user to task a UAV to undertake a range of missions based on predefined parameters, however, Dinç explained that the system incorporates a high degree of automation, enabling the UAV to alter its tasking and react to events as they unfold.
Typically the user would define an area of operations for the UAV and instruct it to conduct tasks in that space. For example, a search and rescue mission could see the platform tasked to fly in a set pattern at certain altitudes and notify the operator when an object of interest is detected.
While the system can be used to create a rigid framework for the UAV to follow, Dinç pointed to the automated aspect of operations as being the most advanced and promising. In a surveillance mission a UAV could be instructed to observe an area and photograph set targets, however, if permitted to do so the platform could break from its tasking and follow a target of interest.
If multiple platforms are in operation or available the system can also inform the user of the most suitable platform and payloads to conduct a mission set, likewise, if these have been manually selected by the user it can indicate if they are not suitable for the task.
A further feature of the planning system is its ability to identify any areas where a UAV will not be able to communicate with its operator. A post-mission analysis tool enables the user to observe if the UAV followed its tasking and what may have caused any discrepancies to have occurred; the imagery and data collected by the payloads can also be selected and displayed.
Beyond military roles such as surveillance, Dinç said that civilian applications may include the monitoring and inspection of power lines and oil pipelines.
Three Turkish shipyards have responded to a request for tender (RfT) to design and build an amphibious landing platform dock (LPD) vessel for the Turkish Naval Forces.
Desan Shipyard, RMK Marine and SEDEF submitted their rival proposals to the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) on 16 May. Çelik Tekne and Dearsan Shipyard, which had until recently been expected to compete, did not submit responses; the ADIK and Istanbul Denizcilik yards had already advised the SSM of their intention not to bid.
The LPD requirement calls for a logistically self-sustaining amphibious vessel able to transport, sustain and land a battalion-size force in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea operating areas. The ship will also have a secondary humanitarian relief role.
It is understood that the RfT specified a vessel with at least four helicopter landing spots, hangar space for four helicopters and a stern dock for two landing craft air cushion or four landing craft mechanised.
These characteristics, together with accommodation and vehicle/cargo storage for the embarked military force, have driven through-deck LHD-type designs of more than 25,000 tons displacement. This will make the LPD the largest naval vessel ever built in Turkey.
The SSM issued its RfT in February 2010, with bids originally due for return by the end of 2010.
However, the deadline was extended to mid-May 2011 to allow interested shipyards to decide their LPD bid strategy and finalise their design.
While the SSM mandated an indigenous prime contractor for the LPD programme, it has allowed Turkish shipbuilders to partner with overseas shipyards and design houses. SEDEF teamed with Spain’s Navantia to bid a variant of the latter’s Juan Carlos I strategic projection ship, while Desan’s design is believed to have been developed in conjunction with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.
Meanwhile, RMK Marine developed its LPD design in-house. However, it has used UK-based BMT Defence Services as a consultant for aspects of its solution.
The SSM anticipates that the bid evaluation process will take up to 12 months. Contract negotiations with a preferred bidder and the need for the selected shipbuilder to secure a financing package mean a final contract award is unlikely before late 2012.
The LPD project represents the largest single element of an ambitious plan to recapitalise the Turkish Naval Forces’ amphibious and logistics fleet. Eight 79 m fast landing craft tank are currently being built by ADIK and the same yard was in May 2011 contracted to build two 138 m landing ship tank vessels.
Senior procurement official have said that the Turkish government is now drafting for their road map on publicizing the Turkish Aerospace Industries on the stock exchange which is the 2nd largest defense company in Turkey.
They are hoping that TAI will be gaining better posture in the corporate world once part of their shares will be going public in Istanbul. When it is enlisted, TAI will then be the third defense company of Turkey that will be listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB). The other two are Aselsan which is a military electronics firm and the other one is Otokar which is a private manufacturer of armored vehicles.
They are also planning on consolidating their Turkish Aerospace Industries on the corporate level. A procurement official also said that smaller companies may be merged with the two top defense manufacturers’ independent corporate identities which are Aselsan and TAI that are both Ankara-based.
Aselsan is owned by the TAF Support Foundation and is a public owned company. All the other top 5 defense companies are also owned by TAF Support Foundation. They reported to have $792 million sales last year and they aim to reach $850 million this year and $1 billion next year.
TAI created in the 1980s and is also owned by TAF Support Foundation and it was created to carry out their partial production of F-16 and also with its assembly. They also assembled CN-235 Spanish made light aircraft in their first few years and they also assembled some utility choppers.
TAI is currently building 60 of the T-129 attack choppers developed by Agusta Westland, an Italian Firm, designated for the Turkish Army. They are also selected to be the prime contractor for the co production of at least 109 of the T-170 utility choppers which is a Turkish version of S-70i Black Hawk Int’l aircraft from Sikorsky, a U.S. firm.
TAI is also co producing the KT-1 which is a basic trainer aircraft together with South Korea. They are also developing their own basic trainer aircraft along with building medium altitude and long endurance remote controlled aerial vehicle called the Anka, which is Turkey’s first of its kind.
The idea is to keep Aselsan & TAI independent while reinforcing other local companies for mergers & acquisitions. No further details were added by the official reporting because of corporate secrecy.
The largest information technology (IT) complex in Turkey, dubbed Teknopark Istanbul, is set to open next year on the Asian side of the country’s economic capitol Istanbul.
Supported by Turkey’s powerful Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), the humongous 2.5 million square meter complex will host over 1,000 companies and research institutes operating in the information technology, advanced electronics, software, sensors, data security and related fields.
Teknopark Istanbul will create over 30,000 jobs for Turkey’s most qualified people in the information technology industry, and eventually generate an annual revenue of $7 billion, following a planned 15-year exponsion period with a net cost of $2 billion.
7 of Turkey’s select universities have already signed up to cooperate with the complex with anohter 44 from around the world waiting in line for the openning in 2012.
Teknopark Istanbul is expected to be at the forefront of technological development in Turkey and function as the country’s ‘silicon valley’, providing cutting edge solutions to Turkey’s growing industrial needs.
The launch of the first two operational satellites of the EU’s global navigation satellite system will take place on 20th October, the European Commission announced today.
This is just the first of a series of launches due to take off from Europe’s Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch of the Galileo satellites at an altitude of 23.600km will lead to the provision of initial satellite navigation services in 2014. Successive launches will complete the constellation by 2019.
Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “This launch is of historical importance. Europe is demonstrating that it has the capability to be at the forefront of technological innovation. Thousands of SMEs and innovators across Europe will be able to spot business opportunities and to create and develop their products based on the future Galileo infrastructure. Citizen will benefits from its services. Galileo is value for money and I count on Members States’ cooperation to find a solution for its financing.”
The Galileo programme is the EU’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The decision to fix the date of the first launch follows a detailed assessment review under the chairmanship of the European Space Agency. It concluded that the space and ground segment components as well as operational preparedness are progressing according to schedule.
Galileo will underpin many sectors of the European economy through its services: electricity grids, fleet management companies, financial transactions, shipping industry, rescue operations, peace-keeping missions, all depend heavily on satellite navigation technology.
In addition, Galileo will make Europe independent in a technology that is becoming critical, including for strategic areas such as electricity distribution and telecommunication networks. Galileo is expected to deliver €60 billion to the European economy over a period of 20 years in terms of additional revenues for the industry and in terms of public and social benefits, not counting the benefit of independence.
Galileo will provide three early services in 2014/2015 based on an initial constellation of 18 satellites: an initial Open Service, an initial Public Regulated Service and an initial Search-and-Rescue Service.
The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.
EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is Europe’s regional augmentation system for GPS signals. It is the precursor to Galileo. The EGNOS open service is operational since October 2009, and the Commission recently launched the EGNOS “Safety-of-Life” service for aviation.
Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) and Lockheed Martin unveiled the first of 30 new Turkish-built F-16s in ceremonies today at TAI’s facility near Ankara.
Turkish officials at the event included the nation’s Minister of National Defense, Vecdi Gonul; Undersecretary for Defense Industries Murad Bayar; Turkish Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Abidin Unal; General Manager of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation Lt. Gen. (Retired) Hayrettin Uzun; and the Chairman of the Board of TAI, Lt. Gen. (Retired) Mehmet Yalcin Kaya.
The U.S. government was represented by Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone, Jr.; Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs; and Maj. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation.
“Lockheed Martin values the partnerships we have established with the Turkish government, military and industry over the past quarter century,” said Ralph D. Heath, executive vice president of Aeronautics for Lockheed Martin. “We look forward to continuing those relationships as a partner with Turkey in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.”
TAI Chairman of the Board Yalçın Kaya expressed his excitement about the early delivery of the first F-16, the previous delivery date of which was July 2011, said; “This early delivery is the result of the great efforts of TAI’s engineers and technicians as well as the successful cooperation between TAI and Lockheed Martin. Main contractor Lockheed Martin and Turkish Air Force PCO worked in a great harmony and delivered the aircraft two months earlier than scheduled in order to display the aircraft in Turkish Air Forces 100th Anniversary activities. TAI, whose priority is customer satisfaction, aims to carry this relationship with Lockheed Martin beyond F-16 programs as well as to be a part of new international military projects with its infrastructure, experience, great effort and performance.”
The F-16 program has provided extensive industrial development and employment in Turkey over the past 25 years. The Turkish Air Force has more than 200 F-16 aircraft in its inventory presently and will take delivery of the 30 new, advanced Block 50 models between May 2011 and December 2012.
The F-16 is the choice of 25 nations. More than 4,400 aircraft have been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries. The F-16 program has been characterized by unprecedented international cooperation among governments, air forces and aerospace industries. Major upgrades to all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft’s long service life.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
With the Palestinians demonstrating and the International Monetary Fund in turmoil, it would seem odd to focus this week on something called the Visegrad Group. But this is not a frivolous choice. What the Visegrad Group decided to do last week will, I think, resonate for years, long after the alleged attempted rape by Dominique Strauss-Kahn is forgotten and long before the Israeli-Palestinian issue is resolved. The obscurity of the decision to most people outside the region should not be allowed to obscure its importance.
The region is Europe — more precisely, the states that had been dominated by the Soviet Union. The Visegrad Group, or V4, consists of four countries — Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary — and is named after two 14th century meetings held in Visegrad Castle in present-day Hungary of leaders of the medieval kingdoms of Poland, Hungary and Bohemia. The group was reconstituted in 1991 in post-Cold War Europe as the Visegrad Three (at that time, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were one). The goal was to create a regional framework after the fall of communism. This week the group took an interesting new turn.
On May 12, the Visegrad Group announced the formation of a “battlegroup” under the command of Poland. The battlegroup would be in place by 2016 as an independent force and would not be part of NATO command. In addition, starting in 2013, the four countries would begin military exercises together under the auspices of the NATO Response Force.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the primary focus of all of the Visegrad nations had been membership in the European Union and NATO. Their evaluation of their strategic position was threefold. First, they felt that the Russian threat had declined if not dissipated following the fall of the Soviet Union. Second, they felt that their economic future was with the European Union. Third, they believed that membership in NATO, with strong U.S. involvement, would protect their strategic interests. Of late, their analysis has clearly been shifting.
First, Russia has changed dramatically since the Yeltsin years. It has increased its power in the former Soviet sphere of influence substantially, and in 2008 it carried out an effective campaign against Georgia. Since then it has also extended its influence in other former Soviet states. The Visegrad members’ underlying fear of Russia, built on powerful historical recollection, has become more intense. They are both the front line to the former Soviet Union and the countries that have the least confidence that the Cold War is simply an old memory.
Second, the infatuation with Europe, while not gone, has frayed. The ongoing economic crisis, now focused again on Greece, has raised two questions: whether Europe as an entity is viable and whether the reforms proposed to stabilize Europe represent a solution for them or primarily for the Germans. It is not, by any means, that they have given up the desire to be Europeans, nor that they have completely lost faith in the European Union as an institution and an idea. Nevertheless, it would be unreasonable to expect that these countries would not be uneasy about the direction that Europe was taking. If one wants evidence, look no further than the unease with which Warsaw and Prague are deflecting questions about the eventual date of their entry into the eurozone. Both are the strongest economies in Central Europe, and neither is enthusiastic about the euro.
Finally, there are severe questions as to whether NATO provides a genuine umbrella of security to the region and its members. The NATO Strategic Concept, which was drawn up in November 2010, generated substantial concern on two scores. First, there was the question of the degree of American commitment to the region, considering that the document sought to expand the alliance’s role in non-European theaters of operation. For example, the Americans pledged a total of one brigade to the defense of Poland in the event of a conflict, far below what Poland thought necessary to protect the North European Plain. Second, the general weakness of European militaries meant that, willingness aside, the ability of the Europeans to participate in defending the region was questionable. Certainly, events in Libya, where NATO had neither a singular political will nor the military participation of most of its members, had to raise doubts. It was not so much the wisdom of going to war but the inability to create a coherent strategy and deploy adequate resources that raised questions of whether NATO would be any more effective in protecting the Visegrad nations.
There is another consideration. Germany’s commitment to both NATO and the EU has been fraying. The Germans and the French split on the Libya question, with Germany finally conceding politically but unwilling to send forces. Libya might well be remembered less for the fate of Moammar Gadhafi than for the fact that this was the first significant strategic break between Germany and France in decades. German national strategy has been to remain closely aligned with France in order to create European solidarity and to avoid Franco-German tensions that had roiled Europe since 1871. This had been a centerpiece of German foreign policy, and it was suspended, at least temporarily.
The Germans obviously are struggling to shore up the European Union and questioning precisely how far they are prepared to go in doing so. There are strong political forces in Germany questioning the value of the EU to Germany, and with every new wave of financial crises requiring German money, that sentiment becomes stronger. In the meantime, German relations with Russia have become more important to Germany. Apart from German dependence on Russian energy, Germany has investment opportunities in Russia. The relationship with Russia is becoming more attractive to Germany at the same time that the relationship to NATO and the EU has become more problematic.
For all of the Visegrad countries, any sense of a growing German alienation from Europe and of a growing German-Russian economic relationship generates warning bells. Before the Belarusian elections there was hope in Poland that pro-Western elements would defeat the least unreformed regime in the former Soviet Union. This didn’t happen. Moreover, pro-Western elements have done nothing to solidify in Moldova or break the now pro-Russian government in Ukraine. Uncertainty about European institutions and NATO, coupled with uncertainty about Germany’s attention, has caused a strategic reconsideration — not to abandon NATO or the EU, of course, nor to confront the Russians, but to prepare for all eventualities.
It is in this context that the decision to form a Visegradian battlegroup must be viewed. Such an independent force, a concept generated by the European Union as a European defense plan, has not generated much enthusiasm or been widely implemented. The only truly robust example of an effective battlegroup is the Nordic Battlegroup, but then that is not surprising. The Nordic countries share the same concerns as the Visegrad countries — the future course of Russian power, the cohesiveness of Europe and the commitment of the United States.
In the past, the Visegrad countries would have been loath to undertake anything that felt like a unilateral defense policy. Therefore, the decision to do this is significant in and of itself. It represents a sense of how these countries evaluate the status of NATO, the U.S. attention span, European coherence and Russian power. It is not the battlegroup itself that is significant but the strategic decision of these powers to form a sub-alliance, if you will, and begin taking responsibility for their own national security. It is not what they expected or wanted to do, but it is significant that they felt compelled to begin moving in this direction.
Just as significant is the willingness of Poland to lead this military formation and to take the lead in the grouping as a whole. Poland is the largest of these countries by far and in the least advantageous geographical position. The Poles are trapped between the Germans and the Russians. Historically, when Germany gets close to Russia, Poland tends to suffer. It is not at that extreme point yet, but the Poles do understand the possibilities. In July, the Poles will be assuming the EU presidency in one of the union’s six-month rotations. The Poles have made clear that one of their main priorities will be Europe’s military power. Obviously, little can happen in Europe in six months, but this clearly indicates where Poland’s focus is.
The militarization of the V4 runs counter to its original intent but is in keeping with the geopolitical trends in the region. Some will say this is over-reading on my part or an overreaction on the part of the V4, but it is neither. For the V4, the battlegroup is a modest response to emerging patterns in the region, which STRATFOR had outlined in its 2011 Annual Forecast. As for my reading, I regard the new patterns not as a minor diversion from the main pattern but as a definitive break in the patterns of the post-Cold War world. In my view, the post-Cold War world ended in 2008, with the financial crisis and the Russo-Georgian war. We are in a new era, as yet unnamed, and we are seeing the first breaks in the post-Cold War pattern.
I have argued in previous articles and books that there is a divergent interest between the European countries on the periphery of Russia and those farther west, particularly Germany. For the countries on the periphery, there is a perpetual sense of insecurity, generated not only by Russian power compared to their own but also by uncertainty as to whether the rest of Europe would be prepared to defend them in the event of Russian actions. The V4 and the other countries south of them are not as sanguine about Russian intentions as others farther away are. Perhaps they should be, but geopolitical realities drive consciousness and insecurity and distrust defines this region.
I had also argued that an alliance only of the four northernmost countries is insufficient. I used the concept “Intermarium,” which had first been raised after World War I by a Polish leader, Joseph Pilsudski, who understood that Germany and the Soviet Union would not be permanently weak and that Poland and the countries liberated from the Hapsburg Empire would have to be able to defend themselves and not have to rely on France or Britain.
Pilsudski proposed an alliance stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and encompassing the countries to the west of the Carpathians — Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In some formulations, this would include Yugoslavia, Finland and the Baltics. The point was that Poland had to have allies, that no one could predict German and Soviet strength and intentions, and that the French and English were too far away to help. The only help Poland could have would be an alliance of geography — countries with no choice.
It follows from this that the logical evolution here is the extension of the Visegrad coalition. At the May 12 defense ministers’ meeting, there was discussion of inviting Ukraine to join in. Twenty or even 10 years ago, that would have been a viable option. Ukraine had room to maneuver. But the very thing that makes the V4 battlegroup necessary — Russian power — limits what Ukraine can do. The Russians are prepared to give Ukraine substantial freedom to maneuver, but that does not include a military alliance with the Visegrad countries.
An alliance with Ukraine would provide significant strategic depth. It is unlikely to happen. That means that the alliance must stretch south, to include Romania and Bulgaria. The low-level tension between Hungary and Romania over the status of Hungarians in Romania makes that difficult, but if the Hungarians can live with the Slovaks, they can live with the Romanians. Ultimately, the interesting question is whether Turkey can be persuaded to participate in this, but that is a question far removed from Turkish thinking now. History will have to evolve quite a bit for this to take place. For now, the question is Romania and Bulgaria.
But the decision of the V4 to even propose a battlegroup commanded by Poles is one of those small events that I think will be regarded as a significant turning point. However we might try to trivialize it and place it in a familiar context, it doesn’t fit. It represents a new level of concern over an evolving reality — the power of Russia, the weakness of Europe and the fragmentation of NATO. This is the last thing the Visegrad countries wanted to do, but they have now done the last thing they wanted to do. That is what is significant.
Events in the Middle East and Europe’s economy are significant and of immediate importance. However, sometimes it is necessary to recognize things that are not significant yet but will be in 10 years. I believe this is one of those events. It is a punctuation mark in European history.
Along the 8,300 km coastline of the Turkish Republic the Turkish Navy ensures the safety of the country’s waterways and protects its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. Since the region is frequently struck by earthquakes, the Navy must also be prepared for humanitarian operations; and it also participating in numerous stabilisation and peacekeeping missions on an international scale, for example off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The Turkish fleet undergoes continuous modernisation so as to be ready for any eventuality.
(F-511) was launched on September 27, 2008 in Istanbul Naval Shipyard at a ceremony in which all eyes were focused on this remarkable ship. With her compact design and stealthy look, the corvette gives a good impression of what she will be able to achieve in operation. HEYBELİADA (F-511) is the lead ship of a class that has been designed, built and outfitted with maximum local content, and as such is the pride of the crew.
MİLGEM-Class Corvettes are designed for operation in littoral waters and are furnished with many signature-reducing measures, which make the vessel hard to detect. It is equipped with Turkey’s most sophisticated platform and combat systems, weapons and sensors, and as such is one of the most modern vessels in its class worldwide. Turkish PrimeMinister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insisted on launching the lead ship personally during a ceremony.
CODAG: More than 30,000 kW
The centrepiece of the vessel, with a specified top speed of 29 kts, is a CODAG type propulsion system (Combined Diesel and Gas Turbine) supplied by MTU. Two 16V 595 engines with a power output of 4,320 kW each (5,875 hp) and a 23,000 kW (31,280 hp) LM 2500 gas turbine provide power to two controllable-pitch (CPP) propellers via a Renk gearbox, ensuring the reliable operation of the corvette. While the two diesel engines provide power for cruising during regular patrols, the switch-in of the gas turbine enables the vessel to fulfil its high speed requirements. The CODAG propulsion system is controlled and monitored by an MTU Callosum MC automation system.
A long tradition of MTU Engines
Since the first German vessels with Maybach andMercedes-Benz engines were supplied to Turkey in 1967, a large proportion of the ships and submarines used by the Turkish Navy and other governmental authorities, such as the coast guard, have been equipped with MTU power systems. These include both mine layers and mine sweepers of the Aydın class (Lead ship “Alanya”), with two MTU 8V 396 TB84 diesel engines each; Kılıç patrol boats; and the new 1,700 tonne search and rescue vessels of the coastguard, which feature Series 1163 main propulsion systems.
Moreover, two MTU 16V 4000 M70 diesel engines, each with a total power output of 4,640 kW (6,310 hp), will be installed on the landing craft currently under construction at the Turkish ADİK shipyard in Istanbul, being built for the transportation of tanks and vehicles (LCT’s). These landing craft are destined to transport troops and technical equipment by sea to their operating site, to safeguard supplies, and to land tanks and other vehicles at inaccessible coastal areas. In support of humanitarian missions, they can also transport urgently needed supplies and equipment for clearance, such as excavators and bulldozers.
The technical training of the crew, and the maintenance and logistic support for the propulsion systems will be provided by MTU Turkey.
The Turkish defence sector has followed a path of steady but significant growth since 1985, the year of the foundation of the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), Turkey’s defence procurement agency. Established with the aim of modernising the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and nurturing the growth of a national defence sector, the SSM has successfully developed policies and carried out programmes to this end since its foundation.
Prior to the 1990s Turkey’s defence procurement model was based mainly on direct procurement (off-the-shelf purchases), however as a result of the SSM’s efforts and policies in support of local industries, the procurement model of Turkey underwent a gradual but significant change throughout the 1990s to co-production, and finally during the last decade to local production (i.e., developing its own designs) and system integration. Thanks to policies in support of local industries the number of Turkish companies operating in the defence sector has also witnessed a marked increase, especially since 2000.
In parallel to the development of the defence sector, the workforce of in Turkey’s defence companies is also increasing steadily, and every year more and more young and talented people are joining the pool. According to Defence Industrial Manufacturers Association (SaSaD) figures, as of November 2010 there were 718 (+ around 1,000 sub-industry companies) public corporations (military factories and government controlled companies), private companies and foreign partnerships in the country, employing some 41,000 staff (including 10,978 engineers and 6,689 technicians).
SaSaD’s Defence Industry Sector Report Figures
According to the Defence Industry Sector Report prepared by SaSaD through the evaluation of figures obtained from its member companies (SaSaD currently has 120 defence companies under its umbrella) and issued in April 2011, the Turkish defence sector achieved a US$2.7 Billion (TL4.1 Billion) turnover in 2010 (representing a 18% increase from 2009 in US$ figures). This figure covers only direct sales to TAF and other armed forces around the world, and does not include indirect sales by contractors. In 2009, revenue from the Turkish defence sector was US$2.3 Billion (TL 3.6 Billion), of which some 27% has been realised in the defence electronics sector; the aerospace sector and the weapons, ammunition, rocket and missile sector realising 18% each; 13% in the naval platforms sector, 12% in the land platforms sector and 12% from other defence-related activities.
Although the Turkish defence sector saw an 18% increase in revenues in US$ figures due to global financial crises, defence sales have decreased by 5% from 2009 (US$669 Million down to US$634 Million). However, since civil aviation exports achieved a 35% increase in 2010 and reached US$219 Million (US$169 Million in 2009) Turkey’s defence and aerospace sales in total witnessed a 16% increase in 2010 (US$732 Million in 2009). Breaking down the export figures, 31% was realised by the aerospace sector, 19% by the weapons, ammunition, rocket and missile sector, 19% by the land platforms sector, 13% by the defence electronics sector, 6% by the naval platforms sector, and 11% from other defence-related exports. According to SaSaD’s survey, the United States is the recipient of the majority (36%) of Turkish defence exports, followed by the Europe (26%), Middle East (19%), Far East (13%), Africa (4%) and South America (1%). According to the Ministry of National Defence (MoND), the share of domestic procurements has increased from 45.7% (in 2009) to an average of 52.1% in 2010. As indicated in the 2007–2011 Strategic Plan prepared by the SSM, defence and aviation exports should increased to US$1 Billion in 2011. The SSM has also targeted an increase in turnover per employee in the defence sector to US$250,000. All estimates show that the Turkish defence sector has grown further in 2010 and should achieve 2011 targets without any problem. In its 2011–2016 Strategic Plan the SSM has a target of increasing the existing defence export figure to US$2 billion by 2016.
Importance of R&D in the Expansion of the Indigenous Defence Product Portfolio
As a result of the efforts and policies implemented by the SSM, the last decade witnessed a dramatic transformation in Turkey’s approach to the modernisation of its armed forces and its domestic defence industrial capabilities, with R&D projects playing a crucial role in the rapid growth of the Turkish defence sector. The Turkish defence industry product portfolio currently contains over 250 different products and systems, mostly designed, developed and produced by Turkish companies through R&D programmes, and mainly funded by the MoND/SSM and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TüBiTAK). In order to reduce the defence sector’s external dependence on critical subsystems, components and technologies determined in line with the requirements of TAF, the SSM and MoND have allocated considerable financial resources (about US$50 million annually) for technology-intensive R&D activities to improve the country’s technological infrastructure. For this purpose the SSM has prepared and issued a Defence R&D Road Map for the optimisation of allocated resources and has determined and prioritised R&D projects in line with the needs and objectives of the main system projects that will involve collaborations among industries, universities and research organisations.
In line with a decision of the Supreme Council of Science and Technology to gradually increase the R&D/GNP ratio to the EU level of 2% by the end of 2013, significant funds from the national budget have been allocated to R&D activities, starting in 2005, to be used in coordination with TüBiTAK. R&D projects being realised with the aid of these funds help in the production and accumulation of technology, and consequently increasing the ratio of locally produced equipment to satisfy TAF’s needs. According to Undersecretary Murad BAYAR, as of June 2010 the total value of ongoing TüBiTAK-funded Defence and Aerospace R&D projects is US$ 242 million, and the total value of the 19 TüBiTAK R&D projects that have already been funded is US$157 million. The total value of DISF-funded defence R&D projects is US$ 85 million. MoND M. Vecdi GÖNÜLhas disclosed that during last two years 15 defence related R&D projects have been completed and currently a total of 77 R&D projects are being carried out. According to SaSaD’s 2010 Defence Industry Sector Report, in 2010 Turkish defence industries allocated a total of US$666 Million for their R&D programmes, US$113 Million of which was met from their own resources. Prof. Mehmet AYDIN, Turkish Minister of State in charge of Science, Technology and Information (also covering TüBiTAK), says that the Security Technologies Research Group (SAVTAG) of TüBiTAK had so far provided a total of TL561 million (around US$370 million) to support 47 R&D projects in the field of defence, and that 16 of them had already been completed, with the products entering into the service of TAF.
SSM Runs Defence Projects Valued at US$54 Billion
Accepted by many authorities as an emerging force in the global defence sector, Turkish defence industries have developed with remarkable progress in many areas over last decade, and Turkey is steadily increasing its efforts to become a self-reliant power when it comes to meeting the defence systems requirements of TAF. Today, Turkish defence industries are aiming to increase the existing defence export figure to US$ 1 billion in 2011 and US$ 2 billion by 2016, and are mature enough to meet most of the requirements of TAF, as well as those of its allies and friendly nations. Alongside R&D projects, the SSM is currently working on over 250 defence projects in the land, air, sea, electronic and rocket/missile areas. According to MoND M. Vecdi GÖNÜL the total value of defence projects that have already been contracted, most of which are about to be completed, is US$28 billion, while the total value of SSM projects, including those launched in recent months and the F-35 Lightning II JSF stands at over US$52 billion. Undersecretary Murad BAYAR has stated that 24% of the ongoing contracted defence projects are being realised domestically, 57% under joint production, 10% under direct procurement and 9% under consortium project models.
The Role of Offsets in Turkish Defence and Aerospace Exports
Two decades ago Turkey relied heavily on imports to satisfy its defence procurement needs, but over the last decade the Turkish defence sector has rapidly developed local capabilities to become a prime exporter as well. Turkish defence sector companies are now in a position to compete in international defence markets and have an impressive track record in orders from abroad for their state-of-the-art, NATO-standard and cost-effective products. The SSM has been able to sell internationally many of the Turkish defence sector developed and produced to meet TAF’s requirements.
Within the scope of defence projects, the transactions that will be executed to use the production potential and capabilities of local industry, to increase the competitiveness of the local industry in the international markets and to provide technological cooperation, investment and R&D opportunities, are defined as Industrial Participation/Offset. According to SSM documents, in 2009 58.4% of civil aviation exports and 41.3% of defence exports were generated under the offset obligations of foreign contractors. The share of offsets in civil aviation exports has been decreasing gradually since 2006, from 94.7% in 2006, 93.8% in 2007 and 60.7% in 2008, according to SSM figures. On the other hand, the share of offsets has been increasing in defence exports, up from 37% in 2006 to 45% in 2007 and 38.8% in 2008. According to the SSM figures (disclosed in October 2010) the total value of defence and aerospace exports so far generated under offset obligations is US$ 3 billion.
The recently announced figures show that foreign contractors have undertaken a total of US$13.3 Billion in offset commitments (covering both direct and indirect offsets) in projects executed between 1985 and 2010, of which US$5.3 Billion had been realised by the end of 2010. Further, there have been around US$8 billion-worth of offset credits for use only in the defence and aerospace fields. Offsets are one of the instruments used by the SSM to establish long-term and permanent cooperations between Turkish and foreign defence industry companies.
The Role of DISF in Turkish Defence Procurement
The majority of the SSM budget is being met from sources transferred from the Defence Industry Support Fund (DISF), which is totally independent from the MoND budget and is one of the most important financial resources for TAF projects. The DISF figures for 2010 have been recently disclosed by MoND M. Vecdi GÖNÜL, who states that during 2010, for the funding of defence projects carried out by the SSM, a total of US$1.8 Billion had been transferred from the DISF and over US$674 Million from the MoND budget. According to GÖNÜL, the DISF achieved US$138 Million in revenues in 2010 and has a total of US$3.96 Billion worth of assets from the Treasury.
New Export Strategy and Defence Industry Cooperation Offices
Since its foundation, one of the SSM’s goals has been to increase the levels of Turkey’s arms exports so as to raise its arms industrial base to a higher level. For the last four years, Turkey’s defence and aerospace exports have shown a continuous increase. According to SSM figures, the Turkish defence sector’s defence and aerospace exports totalled US$ 486.9 million in 2006, US$ 615.4 million in 2007, US$ 783.9 million in 2008 and US$ 830.8 Million in 2009. In parallel to the development of the Turkish defence sector and the expansion of the exportable indigenous product portfolio, starting from 2008 the SSM has revised its export strategy and taken new steps to boost exports and the performance of the local companies in international tenders. As part of its new export strategy the SSM has decided to open Defence Industry Cooperation Offices in the Middle East, North Africa, the Far East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, which have been selected as priority target areas for the export of Turkish defence products, to follow ongoing local defence tenders and inform relevant Turkish defence companies, and to act as a liaison office, arranging contacts between local authorities and Turkish companies. The SSM opened the first Defence Industry Cooperation Office in the United States in October 2010 inWashington DC; while the second office opened on 1 March, 2011 in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. During a Turkey-Saudi Arabia Industry Day event, held March 1–4, the official opening ceremony was attended by MoND Vecdi GÖNÜL, Undersecretary Murad BAYAR, Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) General Manager Lt. Gen. (Ret) Hayrettin UZUN and representatives from Turkish defence companies. The SSM has a plan to open similar offices also in Qatar (to follow the Middle East market), Malaysia/Indonesia (to follow the Far East market), Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan (to follow the Caucasian and Central Asian markets) and Brussels (to follow European and NATO-related projects) in the coming months.
The SSM attaches great importance to international cooperation and supports the participation of Turkish companies in joint or international procurement programmes. As a specialised department of the SSM, the International Cooperation Department (ICD) acts on behalf of the Undersecretariat in to boost collaborations in defence procurement programmes and industrial networking activities. As part of its strategy to encourage the Turkish defence sector to establish joint ventures and partnerships with foreign companies, the ICD has been organising numerous company visits for foreign delegations at all levels from many nations, and arranging government-to-government workshops to look at opportunities for cooperation between Turkish and foreign industries.
In this context, in cooperation with the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), SSM ICD organised a Turkish Naval Industry Inward Mission on 7–11 February, 2011 to explore opportunities for cooperation in the naval sector between Turkey and the United Kingdom. With attendance by representatives of companies located in Portsmouth, Bristol and London, the Turkish Naval Inward Mission event was attended by the SSM, Turkish Naval Forces Command, MoND and 17 representatives of Turkish defence and naval companies. On 10 February, UKTI DSO hosted a conference in London attended by 38 UK companies, including 23 SMEs. During Prime Minister David CAMERON’s visit to Ankara in July last year a Strategic Partnership Agreement, aiming to boost bilateral trade and defence was signed between the UK and Turkey. On March 1–4, in cooperation with SaSaD, the ICD organised a “Turkey-Saudi Arabia Industry Day” event at the Riyadh Radisson Hotel with the participation ofMoND GÖNÜL, Saudi Arabia’s Commerce and Industry Minister Dr. Abdullah Ahmed Zainal RIZA, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled Bin SULTAN, Undersecretary BAYAR and other high ranking officials from MoND and the SSM, as well as 58 representatives from 34 Turkish defence sector companies. In the course of the event, the capabilities and solutions of the Turkish defence companies were displayed in an exhibition hall at the Riyadh Radisson Hotel Convention Centre. During bilateral meetings, the parties expressed their willingness to go beyond the sale of of-the-shelf products and to establish joint ventures, and to cooperate in co-production and co-design programmes.
LAND PLATFORMS SECTOR
Turkish defence companies are prominent in the manufacture of wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, and are seeking new businesses that will double their current export figures, with the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Central Asia identified as privileged markets for locally produced armoured vehicles. The land platforms sector is the most successful in the Turkish defence market in terms of exports. Realising 12% of the turnover and 19% of the total defence exports in 2010. Turkey has traditionally looked to domestic suppliers to meet TAF’s land platforms requirements, enabling the sector to develop a comprehensive range of products that includes tactical wheeled vehicles (4×4, 6×6 and 6×4), tactical wheeled armoured vehicles (4×4, 6×6 and 8×8), armoured reconnaissance vehicles (tracked and wheeled), armoured internal security vehicles, mine-protected vehicles, a mobile floating assault bridge, riot control vehicles, an amphibious armoured combat earthmover, armoured combat vehicles and the ALTAY Main Battle Tank (MBT), as well as modernisation and upgrade solutions for APCs, ACVs and MBTs.
The backbone of the Turkish land platforms sector is formed by private companies such as Otokar, BMC, Nurol Makina and Hema Industries, as well as FNSS (a private company with a foreign partner), which also undertakes the lion’s share in turnover and exports. Military factories operated by the Turkish Land Forces, such as 1st Main Maintenance Centre in Adapazarı and the 2nd Main Maintenance Centre Command in Kayseri, are mainly taking a role in Main Battle Tank Modernisation projects such as the Leopard 1T and M60T programmes, and providing maintenance services for the tracked and wheeled vehicles in the service of the Turkish Land Forces (TLF).
The total value of the export contracts secured by leading companies FNSS and Otokar during last 6 months are valued at around US$ 1 billion, including a US$324 million M113 modernisation contract (to upgrade aging M113 vehicles into the M113A4/ACV350 APC configuration) signed between FNSS and Saudi Arabia in November 2010, and a US$600 million contract signed on February 22, 2011 between FNSS and DEFTECH of Malaysia at the FNSS facilities in Ankara for the design, development, production and logistical support of 257 wheeled armoured combat vehicles, to be based on the PARS 8×8 configuration, for the Malaysian Land Forces. Otokar, on the other hand, received a US$10.6 million contract from an undisclosed Gulf country in December 2010 for the delivery of an undisclosed number of ARMA 6×6 tactical armoured vehicles, to be armed with a 20mm cannon. Otokar also finalised its export sale negotiations with Azerbaijan in December and signed a US$30 million contract for the delivery of an undisclosed number of Cobra 4×4 wheeled armoured vehicles in four different configurations, includingWeapon Platform Vehicles, 4×4 Armoured Patrol Vehicles (APV) in ambulance and personnel carrier configurations and tactical vehicles in various configurations, including field workshop vehicles. The company has also secured a new export contract valued at US$9.3 million from an undisclosed country in early April 2011 for the delivery of an undisclosed number of 4×4 Armoured Patrol Vehicles (APV).
NAVAL PLATFORMS SECTOR
Having a strong heritage of ship building back in the days of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has been moving ahead with ambitious plans to develop its domestic naval industrial capabilities. The country has already built up a capability for naval construction in the state-owned naval shipyards, starting in the 1970s, and the Turkish military shipbuilding sector is now offering diverse solutions at system and subsystem levels to meet the operational requirements of the Turkish Navy and Coast Guard. Over the last decade the Turkish naval ship building sector has achieved considerable success and is now ready to compete in the international markets with its indigenous solutions such as MilGem, New Type Patrol Boat, LCT and MRTP Series Fast Intervention Boats. As a significant example of the successful cooperation and interaction between the Turkish Navy and Turkish defence industries, the MilGem (National Ship) Project represents a milestone in the development of Turkey’s indigenous capability to design, build and integrate naval vessels.
In parallel with the SSM’s efforts to restructure the Turkish naval sector by combining the existing know-how and expertise of the naval shipyards and the Turkish Navy with the capabilities and competency of the commercial private ship building sector, the country’s private shipyards are becoming more and more prominent. During the last couple of years the total value of contracts awarded to local private sector shipyards is about US$ 2 billion. Dearsan Shipyard, for example, received a Euro402 million contract for the construction of 16 New Type Patrol Boats (NTPBs) for the Turkish Navy; ADIK Shipyard secured a Euro 99.7 million contract to deliver eight Landing Craft Tank (LCT) vessels; RMK Marine Shipyard received a Euro352.5 million contract for the delivery of four corvette-size Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR)/Patrol vessels; Istanbul Shipyard received a Euro18.52 Million contract for the modernisation of four SAR-35 Class Coast Guard boats; and Yonca Onuk was awarded a Euro8.67 million contract to construct two (+two optional) SAT Boats for the Turkish Navy. Private sector shipyards will also take part in the ongoing multi-billion dollar major surface warship programmes, including those for the Landing Ship Tank (LST) (for the construction of two 7.125 tonne displacement vessels ADIK Shipyard has been selected, and contract negotiations are ongoing);, Landing Platform Dock (LPD), Mo-Ship/RaTShip (Istanbul Shipyard has been selected, and contract negotiations are ongoing), Fleet Replenishment Ship, Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), TF-2000 Air Defence Destroyer, TF-100 Multi-role Frigate, Turkish Type Assault Boats and Mine Hunting Vessels. Golcuk Naval Shipyard is and will remain as Turkey’s only shipyard with submarine construction capabilities, as the SSM does not envisage the transition of that particular expertise into private sector shipyards.
Starting in 2012, Golcuk Naval Shipyard will construct six Type 214TN Class AIP submarines and to carry out the modernisation of two Type 209 Class diesel-electric submarines (TCG Doğanay [S-351] and TCG Dolunay [S-352]) in TNF service. According to Serdar DEMIREL, Head of the Naval Platforms Department of the SSM, the Turkish naval sector amassed close to US$ 500 Million during the last period and the total contract volume of the 14 ongoing platform programmes soon with the signing of a formal contract. The total value of the sale is expected to be in the region of US$ 120 million.
The first vessels in the MilGem, NTPB, LCT and CG SAR/Patrol Vessel programmes, namely TCG Heybeliada (F-511), P1200 Tuzla, Ç-151 and TCSG Dost (701), have made their first appearance at the IDEF‘11 Exhibition in May.
Realizing 18% of the revenue and 31% of the total defence exports in 2010, the aerospace sector is the second largest contributor in the Turkish defence sector, having realized US$219 Million worth of civil aviation exports in 2010. Taking into consideration the global economic contraction in 2009 due to the financial crisis, it is impressive that the sector has seen renewed growth in 2010. Civil aviation sales and exports in the Turkish aerospace sector are expected to increase in 2011. The backbone of the Turkish Aerospace Sector is formed by state-owned (TAFF) companies TAI and TEI, which also contribute the lion’s share in turnover and export figures. According to figures disclosed by the companies, in 2010 TAI realised US$572 million revenues (with US$90 million operating profit) and US$ 220 million export sales, whereas TEI realised US$275 million worth of sales, of which US$155 million was from exports. However, opportunities are also emerging for private companies such as Alp Aviation (a joint venture between the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the Alpata Group of Turkey), KaleKalıp/Kale Aero, Baykar Makina and Vestel Defence Industry. Military factories of the Turkish Air Force (TuAF), such as 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Centre Command in Eskisehir, and 2nd Air Supply and Maintenance Centre Command in Kayseri are mainly taking roles in modernisation projects such as the F-16C/D, F-4E 2020, F-5 2000, F-4E/TM (SIMSEK), RF-4E/TM (ISIK), T-38M (ARI) and C-130B/E (ERCIYES) programmes, and is providing maintenance/overhaul services to the fighter/bomber and transport aircraft. On the other hand, 3rd Air Supply and Maintenance Command, located in Ankara, provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services to avionics and the land-based radar and missile systems in TuAF’s service.
The initiative to establish an aerospace industry in Turkey is almost as old as the Republic itself, however these initiatives have had limited success in the past. Many authorities accept that the foundation of TAI in May 1984 to manufacture and assemble F-16C/D aircraft in Turkey and TEI in December 1984, to manufacture and assemble General Electric F-110-GE-100/129 jet engines, was an important milestone in the development of Turkey’s indigenous capability to design, build and integrate military aircraft and engines. TAI and TEI have developed their capabilities over the years, and have now begun participating in international military and civilian aerospace projects as well as their respective engine programmes, including F-35 JSF, F136, A400M, TP400, Boeing 747-8, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, GEnx and Airbus A350 XWB. TEI now carries out parts production and the assembly of jet engines for military aircraft operated by TAF and NATO, working in collaboration with the TuAF’s Air Supply and Maintenance Centres. Aiming to be an OEM-approved MRO centre for F110 engines with the support of its partner and shareholder General Electric, TEI is currently focusing on the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of F110 engines in the regional countries. In this context, the company follows closely the regional F110 engine users and is in negotiation with several of them, including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
TAI currently performs modernisation, modification and systems integration programmes and after sales support of both the fixed- and rotary-wing military and commercial aircraft in the inventory of Turkey and its friendly countries. In this context, TAI has been selected as the Prime Contractor for the avionic modernisation programmes of the C-130B/E transport aircraft (dubbed ERCIYES) and the T-38M jet training aircraft (dubbed ARI) in the inventory of TuAF. The major modernisation programmes include the Glass Cockpit modification of the Turkish Black Hawk helicopters; the electronic warfare retrofit and structural modifications to TuAF’s F-16s; Falcon Star and Mid-Life Upgrade modifications of the F-16s in the inventory of the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) and the Pakistani Air Force (PAF); the structural modification of CN-235 platforms for MPA/MSA missions for the Turkish Navy and Coast Guard; the structural modification ofATR-72 platforms for the Turkish Navy; as well as structural modification and systems integration activities required for the conversion of B737-700 aircraft into AEW&C aircraft. The company also participates as a partner in the global-scale F-35 andA400M design and development programmes. In this context TAI has been selected by Northrop Grumman as a second source for the manufacture of Air Inlet Ducts and Centre Fuselages for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Under the programme TAI will manufacture 400 complete Centre Fuselages in Turkey, while deliveries of the TAI-produced Air Inlet Ducts have been launched in March 2011 and the Centre Fuselages are scheduled to begin in 2013 as part the F-35’s LRIP-5 phase. Aside from TAI and TEI, the Alp Aviation and KaleKalıp/Kale Aero companies are also taking part in F-35 programme, producing parts for both the aircraft and the F135 engine. Being a shareholder in Airbus Military SL as the National Industrial Institution, TAI has been participating in the design and development activities of the A400M with leading European aerospace companies. Under the A400M programme, TAI is delivering the Forward Centre Fuselage of the aircraft and has completed delivery of first of three units, and shipped them to the assembly line in Bremen onboard an Airbus Beluga aircraft in January.
The Turkish aviation sector has achieved remarkable progress, especially in the last decade, and as Turkey’s top decision making body on defence industrial procurement, the Defence Industry Executive Committee (DIEC), believing that the company is mature enough to develop an indigenous fighter and trainer aircraft, tasked the SSM in December 2010 with opening negotiations with TAI for the indigenous development of an new generation fighter/interceptor (T-X) with stealth features and state-of-the-art avionics to replace TuAF’s existing F-4Es and F-16 Block 30 aircraft, and a jet trainer (T-X) to replace the existing T-38 and F-5 2000 aircraft by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. Under the T-X and F-X Programmes, TAI will be awarded a contract by SSM in the coming days for the Conceptual Development Phase. TAI has also been tasked by DIEC to develop an indigenous avionic suit solution for the F-16C/D Block 30 aircraft in the inventory of TuAF, which will include locally developed Mission Computers, OFP software and avionics. In this context, TuAF will be sending one F-16 Block 30 aircraft to TAI during next few months, on which TAI will perform the modifications as a prototype. The first flight is scheduled for 2014, and delivery in 2015. If the prototype passes the tests then TAI will perform, in cooperation with 1st ASMC, the modernisation of the remaining 36 Block 30 F-16s by 2019. Along with these recently launched programmes, TAI, as a Prime Contractor, is also developing the Anka (Phoenix) MALE UAV, a Turkish Light Utility Helicopter, the GökTürk II EO Satellite, the Simsek (Lightning) Jet-Powered Target Drone and the Sivrisinek (Mosquito) Rotary Wing UAV. The company is also carrying out the local production and system integration of T129 attack helicopters for the Turkish Land Forces under an AgustaWestland license. TAI will also perform parts manufacturing and assembly of 109 T70 Black Hawk (Sikorsky Aircraft), an 8-tonne, twin-engine medium class utility helicopter, selected under the US$3.5 Billion valued Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme in April 2011. The total number of the helicopters to be manufactured/assembled at TAI facilities are expected to reach 600 during the next 20 years.
According to SSM figures, the Fixed Wing Aircraft Department and the Helicopter Department have been working on 35 projects, including 11 helicopter projects, valued at over US$ 30 billion, covering both domestic and foreign procurements. According to SSM figures, the total value of the currently contracted 31 air platform projects, including large-scale helicopter programmes such as the T129 Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance, CH-47F Chinook Heavy Lift and S-70B SeaHawk Naval Helicopter projects, is around TL 19.3 billion (around US$13 Billion, and excluding TUHP project cost). The SSM is expected to finalise the ongoing multi-billion dollar fixed- and rotary-wing air platform projects in the coming years, including the F-35A Lightning II (expected to cost around US$ 16 Billion) programme.
One of the newest marvels of Turkey’s rapidly growing defence industry as demonstrated at the IDEF 2011 in Istanbul was Aselsan’s ACAR Land Surveillance Radar.
Built on the foundations of battle-proven and widely used (deployed over various terrain profiles in several countries) land radar system ARS-2000, ACAR features the accumulation of the most cutting-edge radar technologies and the latest detection and tracking algorithms of the past decade.
ACAR is capable of operating continuously day or night, and under adverse weather conditions, against both land and sea surface targets, as well as low flying aircraft. Automatic identification and classification of targets come standard as was the case with ARS-2000, except the effective detection range has been increased to 40 kilometers (25 miles). Kudos to its high resolution scan capabilities and a larger sensor, ACAR can identify and track a walking human being from a whopping 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) away.
Another advancement over the ARS-2000 is its new true LPI (low probability of intercept) feature, making it extremely difficult for detection by enemy ELINT/SIGINT and ECM units.
Flexible architecture allows the radar to be deployed by infantry ‘as is’ over a standard tripod, on an elevated surveillance pole or any type of land or naval vehicle, such as Otokar’s popular Cobra IFV.
Aselsan hopes ACAR will be as highly sought after as the ARS-2000, again going beyond supplying the Turkish Armed Forces and exporting it to the far reaches of the world.