Alper ÇALIK / email@example.com
SEDEC Talks has successfully left behind its first online video conference, which had a theme of “The Future of Security, Defence and Aerospace”, on 18 May. The high-level representatives of the Turkish and foreign defence and aerospace companies revealed their companies’ expectations for the post-epidemic period. Speaking at the event were President- and Vice President-level executives of Türksat, Airbus, SpaceX, Turkish Aerospace, Leonardo and AQST, who drew a positive future picture for the post-epidemic period.
The event, which started with the opening remarks of Murat Çizgel, Head of the Department of Industrialisation Department of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), was moderated by Cenk Şen, CEO of Türksat.
While the Communication Sponsor of the event was Türksat, the Official Publication and Media Sponsor was MSI TDR, and Thermacool was also among the sponsors. The event, which was carried out through the XperMeet video conferencing software developed by BİTES, was broadcast live via Türksat Kablo TV and Türksat satellite channels broadcasting to 118 countries as well as SEDEC’s YouTube account.
Speaking at the beginning of the event, Hilal Ünal Türkan, Head of Organisation Committee of SEDEC, said: “We are going through unprecedented times with very rapid changes. During these periods, security and security-related industries have to continue their activities to ensure the security of their nations.”
In his opening remarks, Murat Çizgel, Head of the Department of Industrialisation Department of the SSB, provided a brief overview of the evolution of the Turkish defence and aerospace sector; mentioned about the international cooperation approach brought by the SSB; and started the discussions about the topics of the conference.
Türksat’s Vision on Satellite Technologies
Before directing questions to the participants as part of his role as the moderator of the event, Cenk Şen, CEO of Türksat, made a brief introduction to Türksat’s vision in the field of satellite technologies.
Emphasising that the operational environment is changing with the emerging technologies, Şen said: “Security and defence are very dynamic sectors. Their dimensions are changing and increasing as technology improves. The operational environment of Security and Defence has also been changing in the last few decades. Space and Cyberspace were added to operational environments because of the technological improvements achieved so far. Satellites have especially started to play an important role in the security and defence environment. Remote sensing satellites and communication satellites have been widely used for defence and security purposes like for strategic intelligence purposes and to support land, air and sea operations.”
Launchers are Also Improving
Şen, also spoke about the innovations in satellites and launchers: “Lately, satellites have gained extraordinary capabilities which have made them indispensable. Now satellites are smaller but have more capacity and a longer life span. For example, Low earth orbit satellites will be able to provide terabytes of data capacities with a little latency anywhere in the world. Remote sensing satellites can take photos with centimetre sensitive resolution. With flexible payloads, dynamic capacity and coverage management will be possible. We are witnessing game changing improvements not only in satellites but also in launchers/rockets too. Now launchers or rockets can carry more weight, multiple satellites at once, go higher, and they can even be reusable.”
Delivering the closing speech of the event, Şen underlined the synergies between defence and security sectors and satellite technologies: “Security and defence requirements and conditions are changing rapidly. The fast-changing environments create blurred areas which cause threats in the security and defence sectors. That’s why in the future, defence and security sectors will be more data-driven. They will be trying to accumulate data via different sensors and resources from the field or environment, and then they will process it to get decision support information. In order to have clear view of the environment, aerospace technology has been providing many tools. Because of their existent capabilities, satellites have taken on an important role in security and defence. They can be used by either as sensors -like remote sensing means- or communication infrastructure not only for sensors but also for streaming data.”
Disruptive Satellite Technologies
Şen went on to speak about disruptive new satellite technologies: “We have observed that the aerospace industry has been working on disruptive new technologies in order to get resilient communication. In the future new frequency bands, especially Q/V -higher than 30 Ghz- will be put into use; LEO constellations like Starlink and High Throughput satellites in GEO will provide a huge amount of bandwidth and mobility, and also will provide a resilient communication infrastructure for even IoTs. Flexible payloads will make satellites agile to respond to immediate requirements of defence and security sectors. Satellites’ size and manufacturing time are decreasing but their capacity is increasing and also launching technologies are improving and we can launch many satellites in a rocket within a short period. Because of these reasons, a decrease in unit service cost will be observed and satellite-based solutions will be really good alternatives for defence and security sectors. All of these improvements will make satellites and aerospace means indispensable in terms of the security and defence sector.”
Following the speech of Şen, conference participants explained the effects of the pandemic on their activities, the issues they have been working on recently, and their plans for the future, through the answers they gave to the questions asked by Şen.
Coronavirus Could Not Stop Leonardo
Camillo Pirozzi, International Marketing & Strategic Campaigns Vice President for Turkey and Central Asia of Leonardo, underlined that Leonardo continues its activities unabated, although there has been a slight slowdown because of the outbreak. He noted that they have always focused on the continuity of production by keeping the health and safety of people at the forefront.
Pirozzi first touched on Leonardo’s activities to support civilian authorities during the epidemic: “From the very first day, Leonardo has been at the side of both the institutions and all those operating in the front line, providing competencies, products and services:
– Secure communications, satellite services and cyber security to guarantee connectivity, information security and remote work,
– 3D printing of valves able to transform a particular model of snorkelling masks into respirators for sub-intensive therapies
– Leonardo put at disposal of the Italian Civil Protection helicopters configuration for the transportation of medical equipment, C-27J and ATR 72 special version aircraft for the transportation of medical material, together with our pilots and technical support staff.”
Pirozzi thanked Turkey for the support it gave during the pandemic process: “I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Turkish Government, which demonstrated solidarity by loaning us an aircraft, purchased from our Company and not yet delivered, for emergency support operations.”
Certifications Continued During Outbreak
Stating that Leonardo has always focused on the future throughout this process, Pirozzi gave details about their ongoing projects: “The M-345 new trainer aircraft just received the initial certification: it required more than 200 flight logged and a very tight collaboration with the Italian Air Force, but now the product is available for international market.
Moreover, our ATR 42MP operated by Italian Custom Police obtained the certification for transportation in bio-containment mode, in order to allow the safe transportation of COVID-19 patients. This new certification – which Leonardo is also implementing on the C-27J aircraft – represents a ‘plus’ available for present and future ATR customers.
We also defined – in collaboration with the European health and aeronautical authorities – an operational protocol for the safe transportation of COVID-19 patients on EMS helicopters. Our AW169 and AW139 machines have been the world’s first civil-certified EMS helicopters capable to transport a bio-containment litter. These models are also extensively used worldwide for aerial surveillance to make sure the new safety regulations on social distance and mobility restriction in cities and over coasts are enforced.
With regard to our helicopters, I would also like to mention one of our most successful products, the AW101, also used in Italy and UK for SAR missions and transportation of bio-containment modules. This model has paved the path for this kind of operations (as said, followed by the AW139 and AW169) because its tall and large cabin allowed comfortable and longer range transport for patients with medical attendants allowed to stand beside them, though isolate, for medical treatment.”
€3.4 Billion Euros Worth of New Orders in the First Quarter
Emphasizing that Leonardo continues their activities non-stop, Pirozzi gave the following information about the financial situation of the company: “We can look at the future relying on our solid fundamentals. As for the numbers, the results for the first quarter of 2020 were in line with expectations, excluding the COVID-19 effect: new orders of € 3.4 billion (+ 36%); order backlog of € 37 billion, which provides coverage for around 2.5 years, and results of the main businesses in line with expectations.
The company is putting in place mitigating actions and recovery plan addressing new market opportunities, increasing production efficiencies, reducing costs and investments
We are not able to quantify yet the COVID-19 impact in 2020 but we strongly believe in our solid fundamentals and remain fully focused on executing our Industrial Plan to create value for all our stakeholders. We are convinced that the ongoing emergency does not change our medium-long term prospects.”
The Sector Continues Its Works
The other speakers of the event and the topics they covered were as follows:
- – Jean-Marc Nasr, Executive Vice President Space Systems of Airbus Defence and Space, has stated that they do not expect any delay regarding the Türksat 5A satellite.
- gave information about the reusability of their rockets and summarized the current situation on the Starlink project.
- announced that they are aiming to start working at full capacity on 1 June.
- Gurvinder Chohan, CEO of AQST, has said that they are working on technologies such as hybrid satellites with RF and optics payloads, quantum encryption and artificial intelligence.
The event ended with the closing remarks of Cenk Şen, CEO of Türksat.
About SEDEC Talks
With the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting destruction of old habits, SEDEC Talks will shed light to technology-critical sectors, through the online events it will organise regularly. Aiming to fill the absence of events and fairs which have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, SEDEC Talks brings together decision makers, prime contractors and SMEs to address the industry’s problems and future goals.
Tackling sectoral issues, both with the significant players in Turkey and with the representatives of the leading global companies that have close relations with Turkey, based on this perspective, SEDEC Talks was designed as an extension of SEDEC that remained true to the main theme of SEDEC, and as a platform where all security-related critical technologies are discussed. SEDEC on the other hand was held in 2018 as Turkey’s first and only event that successfully handled the issues of homeland security, border security, internal security and defence systems under one roof.
For detailed information: https://sedectalks.com/