Home EDITORIAL COMMENT Defence and Aerospace Sector Saves Lives Also in the Fight against COVID-19

Defence and Aerospace Sector Saves Lives Also in the Fight against COVID-19

by MSI

Ümit BAYRAKTAR / ubayraktar@savunmahaber.com
Executive Editor of MSI Turkish Defence Review

The outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to reveal how quickly the concept of security has changed and developed. Awareness of the fact that public health is among the things that should be defended in order to ensure security at the highest level has peaked all over the world.

We are closely following developments showing how quickly the capabilities of the defence and aerospace sector can be transferred to other areas, particularly health. During this process, we are also witnessing what kind of tasks can be undertaken by the various platforms produced by the international defence and aerospace industry, especially transportation aircraft, to protect human health, in addition to their regular task of providing defence in the classical sense. The roles assumed by platforms such as A400M and C27J transport aircraft, which are normally procured for military purposes, in the intercontinental transport of all kinds of medicines and materials needed for the common struggle of humanity against the COVID-19 threat are very important.

In this context, the capabilities of the Turkish defence and aerospace sector have stepped in to protect human health, particularly in the production of respirators. The respiratory devices produced in a very short time with the involvement of ASELSAN and Baykar, among the leading companies in our sector, have already started to save lives. The BIOSENS product, developed by NANObiz, has been adapted to suit COVID-19, and a new product called the LAMP4U molecular diagnostic kit has been developed, again in a very short time. The Field Mechanical Respirator developed by the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Company (MKEK) has also served as an important example of the sector’s capabilities in this area.

Furthermore, the pandemic has brought studies in the field of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence to the top of the agenda, having previously been underestimated, as it was probably believed that it was too early to focus on the issue.

Activities and Investments of the Sector, as well as Investment Support, Continue

In such an environment, it is important that the industry continues its operations without interruption. In order to prevent interruptions to the activities of the sector, which is of great strategic importance, the facilities operating under the Ministry of National Defence (MND) and under the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), as well as their suppliers, factories, institutions and organisations offering strategic products and services in this field, were listed among the businesses, enterprises and institutions that were exempt from the curfew.

This critical period has also witnessed Nero Industries’ ₺1.6 billion investments supporting the production of semiconductor sensors being deemed appropriate for the application of project-based incentives with a decree dated 20 April and numbered 2443, published with the signature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The semiconductor sensors to be produced as a result of these investments will be used in such high-technology products as CBRN Filtration Systems, Explosion Suppression Systems, and Laser and Radar Warning Systems, all of which are of great importance to the defence and aerospace sector.

The Rise of Online Activities

While the organisers of sectoral events such as exhibitions and conferences are looking forward to the days when the outbreak is over and things start to return to normal, online events bringing together interested parties in a digital environment have started to increase rapidly.

The main factors behind this increase in online events are that their concept can successfully respond to the needs that arise during the epidemic, and the fact that organising online events is relatively easier than organising traditional events in conference halls.

However, in the following days, online events will inevitably share the same fate as the sectoral events that have been criticised for being too many in numbers, as a matter of controversy. Moreover, it will be necessary to monitor to what extent Turkey and its defence and aerospace sector, which is fairly set in its ways, has benefited from online events.

Stating that the online events that have managed to provide the targeted benefits will lead in this race, let’s take a look at the featured online events that have been organised recently.

Military Medical Webex, which set out with the ambition to be the first online sectoral exhibition and to introduce many firsts, attracted attention at first glance with its unique concept at a time when international events are being cancelled, one after another.

In this new period, when old habits are being destroyed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, SEDEC Talks is preparing to offer innovative opportunities to the fields of promotion and business development in the defence, aviation, space and security sectors, through the online activities it will organise regularly.

Dijital Gündem, on the other hand, both organises events and operates in the field of publishing. In the field of publishing, its focus is on informatics, telecommunication, cyber security, personal data protection, defence and satellite technologies, while in the field of events, it organises video conferences where these issues are discussed on a regular basis.

MSI TDR, which is a reference publication for the sector, also addresses a broad target audience through its website and social media accounts. Before we conclude our words, we would like to mention that MSI TDR, whichis preparing to expand its activities on the Internet with msidergisi.com, which will soon go online, in addition to the existing savunmahaber.com, has been cooperating with the organisers of these three outstanding events since their planning phase, and has been appointed as the official publication and press sponsor.

We hope to see you again next month in our June issue, in which we will be sharing the most important and noteworthy developments from the month of May.

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