Turkish defense industry company, Aselsan, has manufactured Turkey’s first domestic sonar system capable of ‘jamming’ incoming topedos.
Aselsan’s underwater sonar system, “Kulac”, has the “jammer” technology aiming at eliminating torpedo threat. Moreover, it can be used to measure sea depth, as well as distance, direction and speed of enemy submarines, defense experts told AA on Wednesday.
Kulac, which can work in two different frequencies based on various depths, can perceive sound reflections coming from a 1,000 m distance, experts also said.
Earlier in May, Aselsan has introduced several other torpedo seeker sonar systems at the IDEF’11 international defense industry fair in Istanbul.
Turkey, thanks to Aselsan’s contribution, is one of the top 10 countries in the world which design their own electronic war equipment.
Aselsan started operating with the aim of creating a self-sufficient industry primarily for defense requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces. Today, the company has become a high technology, multi-product defense electronics company by introducing state-of-the-art equipment and systems solutions for both military and professional applications.
Aselsan’s main fields of activity are Communication and Information Technologies; Defense Systems Technologies; Radar, Electronic Warfare and Intelligence Systems; and Microelectronics, Guidance, and Electro-Optics.
Turkey’s largest defense company is beginning to flight-test the country’s first indigenous advanced targeting and reconnaissance pod.
The tests mark the end of the initial phase of an ambitious program by military electronics specialist Aselsan. It is not publicly known how long Aselsan has been working on the once-classified project, but the company says it has so far spent $50 million to design and develop the Aselpod.
Built to track up to four targets simultaneously in infrared (IR) and day video, the pod contains a zoomable, third-generation IR camera with a 640×512 mid-wave detector and three fields of view. Both IR and video cameras can automatically track objects on the ground and in the air, and inertial trackers help keep the cameras on target even when the line of sight is momentarily obscured.
For stability, the cameras pivot on a four-axis gimbal in the sensor head. Solid-state recorders bring the information back home for debriefing. A laser pointer enables the pod to designate targets for other weapons, and a laser spot tracker allows the pod to lock onto targets illuminated by others.
Military and company officials declined to discuss further details about the pod and its development.
The tests are proceeding at an air base in Eskisehir, 220 kilometers northwest of here. The Turkish Air Force plans to install the first Aselpod to an F-4E 2020 before the end of 2011.
The second phase of the program calls for the production of 16 pods, to be installed on F-16 Block 50 fighter jets.
Procurement officials said the Aselpod, when fully operational, will replace the U.S. made LANTIRN, a combined navigation and targeting pod system for use on the U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter aircraft – the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Block 40/42 C and D models.
Last year, Lockheed Martin signed a foreign military sales contract to deliver Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) and LANTIRN Enhanced Resolution (ER) navigation pods to the Turkish Air Force. Valued at $118 million, the contract will provide Sniper ATP and LANTIRN ER navigation pods to equip Turkish Air Force F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 Peace Onyx aircraft.
A Turkish defense official said the military hopes the Aselpod eventually will replace the LANTIRN.
“The program reflects a strategic choice to end our dependency on foreign [U.S.] systems for targeting equipment,” he said.
But analysts were dubious about official claims about the Aselpod.
An Ankara-based defense analyst said that although Aselsan has invested much time and resources into the Aselpod program, the end result may fall short of the Turkish ambitions.
“No doubt, the Turkish system will work this way or another, within this time frame or another,” he said. “But how much the Aselpod may deviate from the existing technology and costings is yet to be seen.”
A London-based Turkey specialist said the Aselpod may be another example of Turkish ambition to go local.
“Indigenous programs often make the Turks proud. But success in terms of desired capabilities and costs is something else,” he said.
In recent years, Turkey’s procurement planners have strongly encouraged local design, development and production of systems including UAVs, armored vehicles, helicopters, trainer aircraft, naval platforms and several defense electronic, avionic and software systems.
Aselsan is a public company owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Support Foundation. Turkey’s top five defense companies are all owned by the same foundation.
Aselsan reported $792 million in sales in 2010. It aims at $850 million this year and $1 billion in 2013. The company exports products to 37 countries.
Turkish Air Force (TurAF) has revealed two indigenously developed missile systems during the 100th year celebrations at the Cigli airbase in Turkey’s western province of Izmir, TR Defence sources reported on Saturday. Celebrations consisted of public shows by the world’s leading air acrobatics teams, including the USAF Thunderbirds and Turkey’s own Turkish Stars, as well as various other events both on the ground and in the air.
Developed by TUBITAK-SAGE as a result of an ambitious project started in 2006, Turkey’s first indigenous stand-off missile is designed for destroying both fixed and large moving targets at a range of over 180 kilometers. Currently referred to by the TurAF as SOM, it can be used as a precision strike weapon against both land or sea targets. TUBITAK-SAGE officials who spoke to TR Defence at the Cigli airshow said that the initial demonstartion flights of the prototypes were completed successfully at undisclosed locations and the delivery of a first batch of missiles to TurAF would take place by the end of 2011 following more vigorous live firing tests scheduled for the rest of the year.
SOM missile uses GPS (Global Positioning System) as its primary mode of guidance complemented by an advanced intertial navigation system and a radar-based terrain contour matching system, dubbed TERCOM, allowing the missile to ‘hug’ the terrain during its flight as to avoid detection by radar. SOM also features improved geometry and aerodynamics over similar missile systems, as well as lightweight composite components that minimize the radar cross-section of the missile and turning it stealth. A terminal stage infrared imager recognizes the individual target by matching its signature with a pre-loaded database of similar targets and allows for precision homing and strike.
SOM can currently be installed and used aboard TurAF F-4 Phantom and F-16 aircraft.
“Certification work is in progress to enable the missile for use aboard the F-35,” a TUBITAK-SAGE official told TR Defence on condition of anonymity. Turkey plans to procure an initial batch of 120 F-35 planes to replace its aging fleet of F-4 Phantoms and the older F-16 Block 30s.
Bunker Penetrating Munition
TUBITAK-SAGE also unveiled its latest high-precision ‘bunker buster’ bomb at the airshow in Izmir, dubbed NEB (Nufuz Edici Bomba) or Penetrating Bomb.
NEB is a 870 kg bomb system that consists of two warheads placed in a tandem configuration. First warhead is a tip-mounted shaped charge that creates a critical shockwave and intense heat upon impact. This allows the second warhead to penetrate through a reinforced concrete structure and explode on the inside. Second warhead is a larger explosive package housed in a thicker, slimmer steel-alloy casing that is designed to go through the walls of the bunker as it’s weaked by the shock and heat of the first first warhead’s impact. Wired with a proximity fuze to detonate approximately one second after the first warhead, the second warhead delivers a large and extremely lethal explosion to destroy the enemy bunker from inside out.
NEB is laser guided and can be dropped from all TurAF combat aircraft with target designators.
FNSS of Turkey, a joint venture between BAE Systems, Inc. and Nurol Holding of Turkey, has received and signed a $559 million letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) from DEFTECH of Malaysia for the design, development and manufacture of 257 DEFTECH AV-8 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles and Integrated Logistics Support for the Malaysian Armed Forces.
The vehicle, to be manufactured by DEFTECH in Malaysia, is based on the FNSS-designed PARS 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armored vehicle. The vehicle will be redesigned by FNSS and DEFTECH engineers specifically to meet the requirements of the Malaysian customer.
“This effort will not only benefit the Malaysian Army, but will also further develop the indigenous capability in Malaysia,” said John Kelly, vice president of exports and international business for BAE Systems’ Land & Armaments sector. “BAE Systems, Inc. actively looks to support FNSS in its ambition to market its land vehicle expertise globally.”
Malaysia’s AV-8 8×8 armoured wheeled vehicle program involves the local design, development and manufacture of the vehicle, as well as the integrated logistic support. FNSS will provide the technical assistance and technology transfer to enable DEFTECH to produce the vehicles in Malaysia. The AV-8 will be Malaysia’s first indigenous 8×8 armored wheeled vehicle family consisting of 12 variants, for use by the Malaysian Army.
“This project builds on the already successful industrial partnership with DEFTECH, our long term industrial partner in Malaysia. We look forward to supporting DEFTECH on this challenging program and making it another success story in Malaysia,” said Nail Kurt, General Manager and CEO of FNSS. “FNSS is committed to providing the means for DEFTECH to realize the goal of developing an 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle Family (AV8) to meet the Malaysia Armed Forces requirements. The project is based on putting in place the infrastructure to design, develop, produce and maintain a family of 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicles.”
FNSS and DEFTECH previously delivered 211 ADNAN Armored Combat Vehicles (ACV) and 8 120mm ACV Mortar Carriers to the Malaysian Army and are now about to complete the deliveries of 48 additional ADNAN ACVs under a separate contract.
FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.S. is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of armoured combat vehicles and weapon systems for the Turkish Armed Forces and Allied Armed Forces. FNSS is a Turkish based joint-venture company between Nurol Group of Turkey and BAE Systems, Inc.
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.