Home IDEF 2021 - Special Issue Turn-key Solutions from YOL-BAK for Weapon System Integration

Turn-key Solutions from YOL-BAK for Weapon System Integration

by Buse Köse

With an extensive experience in the production and modification of the hulls of tactical wheeled vehicles, YOL-BAK also offers solutions for the integration of heavy weapons on vehicles. The projects that are completed by the company so far in this field include the integration of 155 mm howitzers and air defence missiles launchers on 6×6 trucks. YOL-BAK is able to offer these solutions to international users with different business models from direct delivery to technology transfer and joint production.

Providing turnkey solutions for integration of weapon systems, YOL-BAK is able to manage the entire process from definition of user requirements to qualification and firing tests.

As part of the YAVUZ Project, YOL-BAK integrated 155 mm howitzers onto 6×6 tactical truck as a sub-contractor to Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation (MKE).

The Process Begins with the Selection of the Vehicle

YOL-BAK starts these types of projects by defining the geographical and climatic conditions of the country where the final product shall be used. Using these data, the company defines the technical characteristics of the vehicle onto which the weapon system shall be integrated, followed by a vehicle selection phase. At this process, the circumstances including the restrictions and load factors of the roads and bridges, topographical features of the terrain and the requirements for airborne transportation are also taken into consideration. At this stage, two alternatives offered for the selection of the vehicle that meets the defined technical requirements; either by YOL-BAK or by the end user. Open to both business models, the company have the flexibility to follow the user’s preference.

A Platform Independent of Export Restrictions

Doğukan Doğanay, Member of the Board of YOL-BAK

Following the finalization of the vehicle type, YOL-BAK starts the modifications to be performed on the vehicle before the integration process. Depending on the requirements of the project, these modifications may include the complete replacement of the vehicle’s power pack or strengthening of the vehicle chassis. The designing efforts of the electro-mechanical and hydraulic components for the integration of the weapon system (howitzer or missiles) to the vehicle, begins after the modifications. In the design process, various factors are taken into account to create a system that allows the transfer of all the recoil forces caused by a heavy weapon such as a 155 mm howitzer while firing with different shell types and charges, without adversely affecting the firing performance and the vehicle.

The company also designs automatic levelling systems, if required in the project. The next stage is the production and assembly of these systems. The company manufactures some of these components through its own manufacturing capabilities and others are outsourced to the local companies in its ecosystem in Turkey. This process results in a platform that is independent of export restrictions and that enables the installation of the specified weapon system within a few hours.

Then, YOL-BAK prepares all of the electrical and mechanical interfaces required for the sub-systems such as fire control systems, radars and generators defined in the project thus enabling easy installation of these sub-systems on the vehicle, right out of the box. At the final stage of the project, the weapon system is integrated to the vehicle.

The company has undertaken weapon integration projects on tactical wheeled vehicles and has integrated low and medium-altitude missile launching ramps to be used in air defence missile systems.

Secret of Success: Detailed Engineering and Analysis Works

YOL-BAK carries out all the engineering works required in the project through its own infrastructure and personnel performing very detailed engineering analyses. The loads to which the howitzer shall be exposed while firing and the protection level of any armour solutions to be added on the vehicle, if applicable, are simulated on the computers. Thus, the performance of the weapon system is verified by iterations performed in a virtual environment, without requiring to visit the test site. Thanks to these works, the testing time on the field is reduced and the performance of the weapon system is improved. As a result, a weapon system that can always perform its mission successfully under the climatic and geographical conditions specified in the requirements is achieved.

Alternative Business Models from Technology Transfer to Joint Production

YOL-BAK adopts an approach that is open to different business models for the weapon system integration projects it shall undertake for its international customers. Doğukan Doğanay, Member of the Board of YOL-BAK, summarizes their approach as follows: “As YOL-BAK, we are able to offer turnkey solutions in such projects by undertaking everything from the selection of the vehicle to the tests of the fully integrated weapon system. Moreover, we may also transfer technology to the relevant countries by undertaking the design and engineering tasks only as per the demands. Also, we are open to models such as joint production for projects with a mass production.

Numerous Military Projects Completed

YOL-BAK’s capabilities in the field of defence industry are not limited to the integration of weapon systems. Established in 1995, the company has successfully taken part in many design and manufacturing projects so far.

The first project undertaken by the company was the design and production of 1,200 superstructures for 4×4 and 6×6 tactical wheeled trucks of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) to be used for personnel transportation. The company has also designed and manufactured machine gun mounts for the similar vehicles in the inventory of the same user.

YOL-BAK manufactured and delivered the armour-steel-hulls of mine-resistant and ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles as a sub-contractor, hundreds of which are available in the inventory of the TAF. The company has undertaken weapon integration projects on tactical wheeled vehicles and has integrated low and medium-altitude missile launching ramps to be used in air defence missile systems.

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