Home INTERVIEWS C. Utku ARAL, General Manager of SYS: “CANİK TP9 Sub Elite CAS emerged out of our firm understanding of user needs, R&D capabilities, and close contact with accessory manufacturers.”

C. Utku ARAL, General Manager of SYS: “CANİK TP9 Sub Elite CAS emerged out of our firm understanding of user needs, R&D capabilities, and close contact with accessory manufacturers.”

by MSI-stajyer

Ümit BAYRAKTAR / ubayraktar@milscint.com
Alper ÇALIK / a.calik@milscint.com

Developing new products in the field of light weapons with innovative approaches, Samsun Yurt Savunma (SYS) has recently added to its wide product range the TP9 Sub Elite CAS produced under the CANİK brand. This handgun, which can be used by security forces for close protection missions or by civilians for self-defence, stands out with its smooth design allowing it to be drawn without snagging to clothes and special trigger, as well as the optical sight embedded into the slide, known as the CANİK Advanced Sight System (CAS), which allows effective shooting even in night conditions. C. Utku Aral, General Manager of SYS informed us about the technical features of the weapon, the advantages it provides, and the R&D studies behind it.

MSI TDR: Mr. Aral, how did the idea of developing a weapon as TP9 Sub Elite CAS arise?

C. Utku ARAL: Staying in close contact with security forces and civilian users around the world is a principle we have adopted that allows us to track their needs closely, and to take them into account in our works. The TP9 Sub Elite CAS has emerged as a result of this approach. We identified a need for a handgun that could be used for close protection as well as for undercover missions and self-defence, while maintaining a smooth and quick draw ability without snagging to daily clothes, accurate fire at close range, and a special trigger design. This handgun needed to be lightweight, small, agile, quick and accurate, while at the same time having no protrusions. After defining the requirements of the gun, we started our R&D studies.

Due to its mission profile, this pistol also had to be optimised for use at night, and so one of the most critical issues was the sight system. A few years back, we had tried to integrate the Meprolight FT Bullseye sight into our pistol, but because the design of the sight at the time, it was only suitable for daytime use, and so we asked the manufacturer to develop a version suitable for night use. The manufacturer subsequently produced the sight as we wanted, and by integrating it into our TP9 Sub Elite handgun, we came up with the TP9 Sub Elite CAS handgun.

MSI TDR: Can you explain the development process behind the handgun?

C. Utku ARAL: While realising the CAS version, we made serious modifications to the original TP9 Sub Elite model, the most important of which was the installation of the FT Bullseye optic to the slide. This was a very intricate process, as the existing dimensions and angles on the slide needed to be left untouched, otherwise, the new model would not fit the custom holsters and accessories already in use in the market. This was not acceptable to us, as we consider each of our weapons to be a platform rather than just a handgun. This led us quite literally to bury the optics inside the gun.

At this point, we considered that some users may want to use the classic iron sights along with the optical sight, and so we designed the gun accordingly. In doing so, we moved the gun’s original rear sight to a position in front of the optics, with the aim being for the user to see the optic sight first as soon as they point the gun at the target. All of these resulted in a handgun that has both types of sights, allowing them to be used together, placing it among the firsts in the world.

We identified a need for a handgun that could be used for close protection as well as for undercover missions and self-defence, while maintaining a smooth and quick draw ability without snagging to daily clothes, accurate fire at close range, and a special trigger design. This handgun needed to be lightweight, small, agile, quick and accurate, while at the same time having no protrusions.

Speed and Agility Ensure Operational Success

MSI TDR: How does the placement of the optic inside the slide help the user?

C. Utku ARAL: First of all, the user gets a smooth gun with no protrusions. In particular, the gun is carried not in a waist holster, but in an armpit holster or in an inside the waistband (IWB) holster, especially in tasks conducted in suits, such as close protection or undercover missions in which casual clothing is worn. Civilian users also prefer this pistol for self or home defence, as they can carry it under their clothes or in their handbags. The TP9 Sub Elite CAS has no protrusions such as rear or front sights or sharp edges of the optical sights. As such, the handgun can be drawn quickly without snagging on clothing or other covers.

Another advantage of the handgun surfaced by moving the optical sight to a lower level on the slide, closer to the shooter’s hand is that the user can acquire the correct sight picture very quickly, even when they instinctively point their gun at the target. This provides a significant advantage at close range.

In CAS models, the sight is integrated into a specially designed slide, which allows the weapon to be drawn quickly without snagging on clothes, making it more effective.

MSI TDR: Have the modifications you mention had any negative impact on the gun?

C. Utku ARAL: Actually, the issue should be examined in terms of the suitability of the weapon for the task. Just as there is no single type of fighter aircraft that can perfectly perform every mission, there is no single gun type suitable for every mission. In this respect, we have focused on engagements in close proximity and created the TP9 Sub Elite CAS, an ideal platform for close protection and undercover missions and for self-defence. On the other hand, since this weapon is designed both as a service pistol and self-defence handgun in the sub-compact class, it will be the first choice not only for close-range shooters. When we look at this issue in terms of suitability for the purpose, the TP9 Sub Elite CAS is a superior handgun as a service pistol and for self-defence in terms of its technologies and ease of use.

Sensitive Trigger Makes a Difference

MSI TDR: You mentioned that the TP9 Sub Elite CAS has a special trigger design. Can you elaborate on this?

C. Utku ARAL: When we consider the missions performed at close range, engagement times are much shorter and the margin of error is much smaller compared to regular missions. That’s why the sensitivity and rapidness of the trigger makes a significant difference in close proximity tasks. This is what we had in mind when designing the trigger of the TP9 Sub Elite CAS, which will be used particularly for close proximity missions, and developed a trigger that can break at 90 degrees; that is to say, a trigger that allows for firing at a 90-degree angle. In other words, we’ve created a trigger that fires the handgun at an earlier point. Furthermore, the diamond-cut style on the surface of the safety lever enhances the grip on this aluminium trigger, and in this way, we have ensured that the finger makes a firm connection with the trigger in emergencies, even if the user has not achieved a decent grip.

The CAS sight system, which doesn’t require power, allows users to engage their target very quickly and accurately in light or dark environments.

Battery-Free Night Sight

MSI TDR: You mentioned that the accessory manufacturer has redesigned the FT Bullseye sight according to the requirements you defined and made it usable at night. Can you explain this process?

C. Utku ARAL: Considerable engineering was required for this sight to fulfil the functions we wanted. The strength of our CANİK brand and the size of our market share undoubtedly incentivised Meprolight to undertake this work. Here we chimed in with important R&D contributions, and the sight emerged as a result.

The following points necessitated this level of engineering: This sight can illuminate itself at night without the need for a battery thanks to the tritium it contains. Tritium has been used for illumination in the firearm and watch sectors for many years. However, to come up with a solution that could provide the illumination we required at dark, we needed to put approximately 40 times the normal amount of tritium into the sight. This modification, made solely on our request, necessitated a considerable change to the design of the product, and the tritium had to be confined within the sight very precisely. For this reason, we sat down with the company that produced the technology, carried out a study, and created a sight that was also visible at night.

The CANİK TP9 Sub Elite CAS, a very special gun for special missions, is a result of our understanding of user needs, R&D capabilities, and close contact with accessory manufacturers.

The diamond-cut style on the surface of the safety lever enhances the grip on this aluminium trigger, and in this way, we have ensured that the finger makes a firm connection with the trigger in emergencies, even if the user has not achieved a decent grip.

MSI TDR: Does the CAS technology developed by SYS have any counterparts in the world? If so, what features make CAS stand out among them?

C. Utku ARAL: In fact, a similar handgun was built by an American company when the FT Bullseye sight first came onto the market. At that time, however, we chose not to use that sight, as it was only suitable for daytime use. Later, when the company produced a sight in line with our requirements, the situation changed. Our approach to this issue, we believe, paved the way for the sight manufacturer. As a result, we pioneered the use of this technology as a night sight integrated into sub-compact duty handguns, but we believe other handgun companies will soon be making similar requests to the manufacturer.

MSI TDR: We have discussed the benefits to security forces, but what advantages does this handgun offer to civilian users?

C. Utku ARAL: Close protection and undercover missions are very similar to self-defence in terms of weapon requirements, including such features as quick and smooth drawing without snagging to clothes, usability at night, efficiency at close range, and a sensitive trigger. As an example, civilians who prefer this type of handgun for self-defence want to conceal the handgun, and so it should not get snagged in the handbag or on clothing while being drawn. In a similar vein, self-defence situations often arise at night, when people are more vulnerable. For example, consider an individual who is leaving the workplace at the end of the shift and is walking towards his/her car. In such cases, people with malicious intent are more likely to appear suddenly at close range for an attack. Likewise, an agent on undercover duty wearing casual clothes and carrying a low-profile handgun must be ready for engagement day or night, and especially in confined spaces. This requires the handgun to have a more effective sight system than its close-range counterparts, and a sensitive trigger that can be squeezed rapidly. In this respect, the TP9 Sub Elite CAS is just as suitable for those with self-defence needs – such as attorneys, judges, lawyers, and late shift workers – as security forces engaged in special missions.

The aluminium trigger of the TP9 Sub Elite CAS breaks at an angle of 90°, allowing rapid shooting. The diamond-cut surface of the trigger safety prevents finger slippage, even without a decent grip.

MSI TDR: Could you share your predictions and plans about the export potential of the TP9 Sub Elite CAS model?

C. Utku ARAL: The TP9 Sub Elite CAS is a very special product that appeals to a very niche market, with features that have almost no competition in the market. In this respect, we believe our handgun will be successful in all countries where we can offer it for sale. That said, this gun contains tritium, and unfortunately, not all of our target countries have appropriate legislation regarding its use in terms of inspection, the amount permitted in various products and its storage and disposal, although it is also used in self-illuminating watches. Aside from Turkey and the United States, such legislation is in effect in many Asian and African countries, while in various European countries, such as the Netherlands and France, there is still no such legislation. We believe, however, that the TP9 Sub Elite CAS will be successful in any country we offer for sale.

TP9 Sub Elite CAS is just as suitable for those with self-defence needs – such as attorneys, judges, lawyers, and late shift workers – as security forces engaged in special missions.

MSI TDR: Does SYS plan to apply CAS technologies to the other weapons in its product range, and to develop CAS derivatives also of these weapons?

C. Utku ARAL: This technology can be applied to other guns in our range, but the decisive factor here is customer demand. At this point, we are considering assessing the need in the market for a while and will take our next steps based on user demands.

In addition to the FT Bullseye sight, the TP9 Sub Elite CAS can also be used with the classic iron sight set.

Boutique Solutions for Niche Markets

MSI TDR: CAS emerged as an innovative product. In this context, what is SYS’ approach to innovation?

C. Utku ARAL: SYS is a company that thinks outside the box, is open to innovation, listens to user needs, and develops new products and solutions accordingly. In this context, we follow the trends in the world and constantly expand our product range in line with user needs, as we believe a separate handgun model should exist for every purpose and every type of mission. We carry small and light sub-compact weapons on us to protect ourselves but prefer a larger weapon to get the most of it when going to the shooting range for recreation. Based on this understanding, we add new models to the TP series and METE series every year, and in doing so, we develop boutique solutions that take into account the needs of the user to the finest detail. The secret to our success in niche markets lies in these special products.

Sometimes, we increase the functionality of our products by developing new accessories, such as trigger mechanisms, sights, or magwells, for our existing products. Consequently, our CANİK Official Accessory Program, which we launched at the beginning of this year for this purpose, has attracted great interest in the market. We plan to bring this program to Turkey in the recent future that is already launched in the United States.

As a company, we are indeed open to innovation, and we are the sectoral leader in Turkey in this regard, being the first to introduce many innovations to the domestic market. For example, the CoolFire training system we have developed in cooperation with CoolFire Trainer for our TP9 is unique in Turkey, and we provide many more innovative solutions like this. Following this approach, we will continue to introduce new products to the market.

On behalf of our readers, we would like to thank C. Utku ARAL, General Manager of Samsun Yurt Savunma, for taking the time to answer our questions and for providing us with such valuable information.

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