Alper ÇALIK / email@example.com
On 11 January, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) announced the sector’s 2021 goals with accompanying promotional videos, as well as details of the sectors scorecard since the COVID-19 outbreak with a series of videos listing the important developments of 2020. According to the information given, this year the sector will be busy with long-awaited deliveries in many projects, having successfully emerged from 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic. 2021 will also witness the start of a number of new projects.
The goals listed by SSB in the videos for 2021 as follows:
- First deliveries of the AKINCI Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
- Continued mass production of the AKSUNGUR Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
- Implementation of projects for swarm missions incorporating Mini-, Tactical-, Operative- and Strategic-Class UAVs and armed UAVs.
- Launch of deliveries of the Phase-2 version of ATAK helicopter.
- Continued structural upgrade of the F-16s in the inventory of Turkish Air Force (TurAF).
- Delivery to Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) of two Maritime Patrol Aircraft and one Naval General Purpose Aircraft built under the MELTEM III project.
- Delivery of two C130 E/B transport aircraft after undergoing avionics modernisation in the Erciyes Project.
- Continued design activities and wind tunnel tests on the National Combat Aircraft (TF-X), and the launch of the design process for the subsystems.
Air Defence Systems, Weapons and Ammunition:
- HİSAR-A+ Low-Altitude Air Defence Missile System to enter the inventory of Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).
- Completion of tests of HİSAR-O+ Medium-Altitude Air Defence Missile System, after which it will be ready to be delivered.
- Completion of detailed subsystem and subsystem component design in the Long-Range Air and Missile Defence System SİPER Project – a cooperative effort of ASELSAN, Roketsan and TÜBİTAK SAGE.
- First deliveries of the first national anti-ship missile ATMACA.
- First deliveries of the indigenous and national torpedo AKYA.
- First deliveries of the KARAOK Man Portable Short-Range Fire-And-Forget Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
- Completion of air launched firing tests of the short- and medium/long-range BOZDOĞAN and GÖKDOĞAN air-to-air missiles, developed to provide air superiority to TurAF.
- Launch of deliveries of the first national 7.62 mm machine guns developed to be integrated to platforms in the PMT 7.62 project.
- Launch of deliveries of locally developed systems to replace imported modular artillery propelling charges.
- Delivery of the first modernised mortars in a project to increase their efficiency.
- Launch of the Laser Weapon System Project for the Turkish National Police (TNP).
- Continued production at the Roketsan Explosive Raw Material Production Facility, thus reducing the foreign dependency for explosives used in rocket and missile systems.
- Delivery of Multipurpose Amphibious Assault Ship ANADOLU.
- Delivery of the Test and Training Ship UFUK
- Delivery of the first ship in the Logistics Support Ship (LSS) Project.
- Launch of İSTANBUL, the fifth ship in the MiLGEM Project, and the first of the İ-class frigates.
- Launch of the first and docking of the second submarine in the New Type Submarine Project.
- Launch of new projects for unmanned surface and underwater vehicles.
Land Vehicle Projects:
- Prototype production of the Heavy Class Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).
- Delivery of the first vehicles in the Medium-Class UGV 2nd Level project, and signing of the contract for the 1st Level.
- Delivery of the first products in the Light-Class UGV 3rd Level project.
- First deliveries of PARS 6×6 Mine-Resistant Vehicles.
- Signing of contracts in the Tank Transporter, Wheeled Container Carrier and Wheeled Rescue Vehicle Projects.
Electronic Systems and Engine Projects:
- First delivery of the KTJ3200 turbojet engine to be used on SOM and ATMACA missiles.
- First ignition of the prototype BATU tank engine, developed for the ALTAY tank.
- First ignition of the prototype UTKU power pack (engine and transmission) developed for New Generation Light Armoured Vehicles.
- Delivery of the first system in the High Frequency Electronic Attack (HF ET-MILKAR-4A2) Project.
- First delivery of the Early Warning Radar System (EWRS) that will replace foreign systems of TurAF.
- Delivery of the first mass-produced Radar EA Systems in the Radar Electronic Support (ES) / Electronic Attack (EA) Systems Project.
- Continued mass production of the CATS cameras used in UCAVs. Launch of the design phase of the ASELFLIR-F500C project – as the advanced version of CATS – and the launch of the ASELFLIR-600 project.
Busy 2020 for the Sector
The SSB also shared videos charting the most notable activities in 2020 under the following headings:
- Baykar prepared AKINCI UCAV for mass production with the first flight of the second prototype and launched works on the third prototype.
- Serial production of the AKSUNGUR UCAV began.
- The first indigenous probe rocket was launched under the Micro-Satellite Launching System Project (MSLS) – as the first Turkish vehicle to reach an altitude of 130 kilometres, and to cross the boundary into space.
- The first Maritime Patrol Aircraft built under the MELTEM III Project delivered to TNFC.
- Strike UAV KARGU-2 and Armed Mini UAV SONGAR entered into use.
- Under the F-16 Structural Upgrade Project, structural improvements to the first two F-16 Block-30 aircraft were completed, and the aircraft were delivered to TurAF.
- Design activities and wind tunnel tests of the National Combat Aircraft (TF-X) continued, and subsystems were selected.
Air Defence, Weapons and Ammunition:
- Final acceptance tests of the Low-Altitude Air Defence Missile System HİSAR-A + were carried out successfully, and the system was made ready to be delivered.
- The planned tests of the Medium Altitude Air Defence Missile System HİSAR-O + continued with success.
- The Sungur Portable Air Defence System, which can be integrated into land, air or sea platforms, reached the final stage prior to entry into the inventory of TAF.
- Onboard tests started for the short-range GÖKDOĞAN missile and the medium- and long-range BOZDOĞAN missile, developed for the TurAF’s combat aircraft.
- Tests were completed on Turkey’s first anti-ship missile ATMACA, and the processes to secure its entry into service were launched.
- With the integration of a laser seeker to the TRG-230 Missile, TRLG-230 Missile System was developed to hit targets marked by UAVs and UCAVs.
- The Portable Ammunition System, which provides uninterrupted firing to 7.62×51 mm and 5.56×45 mm machine guns, was made available to the security forces.
- The Explosive Raw Material Production Facility established by Roketsan was commissioned to reduce foreign dependence for the explosive raw materials needed for the warhead of missiles and rockets.
- Port acceptance tests were started for the Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship ANADOLU, which will be the largest ship in the TNFC.
- Construction of the Test and Training Ship UFUK was completed, and sea acceptance tests began.
- Two Emergency Diving Training Boats were delivered to the TNFC.
- TNFC took delivery of the second of its New SAT Boats.
Land Vehicle Projects:
- Qualification activities of the PULAT Active Protection System were completed, and tank integration began under the FIRAT M60T Project.
- In the Leopard 2A4 modernisation project, the installation of additional armour packages was launched.
- The first KIRAÇ vehicles produced under the New Generation Criminal Investigation Vehicle Project were delivered to the TNP.
- The first assembly of PARS 6×6 Mine Resistant Armoured Combat Vehicle was carried out.
- Modernisation of the first Armoured Combat Vehicle (ACV) was completed under the ACV Modernisation Project.
- National Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) System with Mod-5 capability was integrated onto F-16 aircraft of the TurAF.
- Launch of mass production of CATS – the reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system to be mounted on UCAVs. Project initiated for the more advanced ASELFLIR-F500C.
- KARAKULAK Direction Finding and Monitoring System entered the inventory of the TAF.
- New Generation Koral Electronic Warfare System Project initiated.
- Electronic Warfare Coordination Centre (SEHKOM) established and entered into operation.
- ROBOTİM project initiated, which will allow unmanned aerial and ground vehicles supported by AI to engage in autonomous swarm operations outside of GPS coverage.
- Contract signed for the National Screening System (MİLTAR) Project, under which vehicle and container X-ray screening systems will be developed through indigenous means. Only seven countries in the world are currently able to produce such systems.
- Deliveries made under the Electronic Concrete Monitoring System Project, initiated for the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation.
R&D, Cyber Security, Training, Support, Exports:
- In the R&D field, technology studies continued at various levels in the fields of additive manufacturing, materials, infrared, lasers and electromagnetics, electro-optics, artificial intelligence and autonomy, broadband mobile communications and combat systems, energetic materials, CBRN and RF technologies.
- Cyber Security Week held for the first time, where the importance of domestic and national cybersecurity products was emphasised at the highest levels.
- Platforms aimed at raising qualified human resources for the defence sector, such as Visionary Young, the Defence Industry Academy and ROBOİK, continued their activities to attract young people to the field.
- TEKNOFEST, with the SSB among its main stakeholders, helped raise the interest of young people in the defence and aerospace field.
- Training of vocational high school students and teachers continued, aimed at addressing the need of the sector for engineers and technical personnel.
- For the subsystems and materials required in defence systems, industrialisation workshops were held in 28 sub-sectors and road maps were created with sectoral companies.
- The Talent Inventory (YETEN) Portal entered into operation, which enables automatic analyses and evaluations of all kinds by amassing all the information on the human resources, inventory, products and infrastructure of the sector in one place.
- The Industrial Competence Evaluation and Support Program (EYDEP) continued to evaluate and increase the competence of the companies in the sector.
- Seven companies from Turkey entered the list prepared by Defence News ranking the 100 defence companies around the world with the highest turnovers.
Combating the COVID-19 Outbreak:
- The Turkish defence and aerospace sector applied its experience to the healthcare sector. New R&D projects have been initiated as required, and existing projects have been accelerated.
- The sector’s efforts in the healthcare sector have been focused around four main topics: patient care, examination and remote treatment; disinfection and antiviral implementations; data analytics and modelling; and diagnosis and follow-up.
- An indigenous ventilator was developed through the collaborative efforts of Arçelik, ASELSAN, Baykar and Biosys.
- Efforts to develop the first domestic MRI device, mobile digital x-ray device, indigenous heart and lung pump, and automatic external defibrillator (a device for restarting hearts through the electroshock method) were intensified.
- Members of the Turkish Cyber Security Cluster developed video conferencing software to address the increasing video communication needs with local solutions.