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4th Land Systems Seminar Held in Ankara

The Land Systems Seminar, organized for the fourth time this year, took place at the METU Culture and Congress Center in Ankara between 5-6 November 2018 with the support of the Presidency of Defence Industries, AFCEA, METU-BİLTİR and TSS News Group. In the event that brought together defence industry professionals and military officials, presentations were held in parallel sessions in 2 different halls over the 2 days. 

A total of 1,100 professionals registered for the event which held a total of 31 presentations. The organizer of the event, Zafer BETONER made the opening speech of the event, attended by senior officials from the Presidency Defence Industries and the Turkish Armed Forces. BETONER, stated that they started these kinds of seminars with the Sea Systems Seminar as the first one. “We first started these activities in 2008 and there are two things that I have been pointing out since then. First, consuming without producing and creating efficiency always brings disasters. The second one is, we cannot say that countries that do not have their own defence industry products are free and independent. That’s why we are making efforts here and continue to produce together. I hope we could produce productive and creative ideas for our sector within these two days.”

The Presidency of Defence Industries Department Head of Land Platforms, Ahmet Raci YALÇIN emphasized that there is a general increase in turnover and orders received in the Turkish Land Platforms Sector and said: “When we look at the general situation of the sector in terms of turnover and received orders, except for a reduction in the priorities of our Presidency in 2017, we can say that the orders increased as turnover. Land Platforms Sector with US$2,362 million dollars is one of the driving sectors, followed by air platforms, weapons & ammunition, and civil aviation. When we look at foreign sales, our priority is the United States and Europe followed by other countries.”

SSB Department Head of Land Platforms, Ahmet Raci YALÇIN: “We aim to launch significant projects for Unmanned Land Vehicles.”

YALÇIN stated that the importance of asymmetrical warfare, as a reality of today and our country, is increasing every day: “The biggest problems we encountered in Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch should be divided into three categories; these are VBIEDs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices), underground and tunnel systems and IR-Guided Man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS).

Among these issues, the active protection system is a priority. As a Presidency, we started some studies and frankly, I think we are one of the leading countries on this topic. However, we still have a long way to go, and we know it. We have to conduct studies on ballistics and we need to focus on material technologies. We evaluate that there is a need for mine-resistant ambush protected, armored personnel carriers, unmanned land vehicles on the battlefield. We are planning to launch significant projects in the near future for unmanned land vehicles after ALTAY project. The infrastructure of these projects has been completed.”

YALÇIN: “In the Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle Program, we will be testing the prototypes.”

YALÇIN stated that in the next evaluation process, especially for the needs of the Land Forces Command, instead of deciding on paper, they will switch to a new method and test the prototypes in the field. “The Turkish Armed Forces have great needs. When we put them into service, we consider that it is most ideal to carry out the processes with user feedback. In this sense, in our future processes, we will take the prototypes from the companies that develop them, test the vehicles, and then we will evaluate them on paper. We are planning to race prototypes of new generation armored vehicles. On the other hand, we will also provide the logistic support of all armored vehicles we will add to the inventory. In this context, we initiated this process with the ALTAY project, we completed the necessary preparations and organized the contracts. We aim to transfer the perception of life cycle logistics support to the sector for the other tracked and wheeled vehicles that we will supply in the future.”

YALÇIN said that the contracts of the ALTAY project are ready for signature and they are waiting for further instructions. “With the signing of the ALTAY project, we aim to create a concept that will meet the needs of our country for the next 5-10 years. We will determine which systems we will change at which time and which systems are mandatory. Our approach to this project is not only procure 250 MBTs. We will also supply two platforms developed as ALTAY T1 and ALTAY T2. With serial production, we aim to create a tank technology center in Turkey. To achieve this, we have determined what areas should be studied and we have met with competent companies in this field. We have created a model to make it possible for the lowest levels, SMEs and their subsystems. With the ALTAY project, we have developed a mechanism that can locally provide the Life Cycle Logistics Support Package.

Head of Defence Planning and Project Management of the Turkish Land Forces Command, Brigadier General Mehmet ÖZAYDIN said that having land system technologies that aim at the battlefield of the future and shape the battlefield by going one step further will make a country stronger in the military field as well as in the economic sense. “Tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, especially the semi-autonomous, unmanned turreted or even fully autonomous unmanned land vehicles are improving every day. In parallel with this, we consider that increasing barrel diameter and armor protection level, improving long-distance reaction and response with the active protection system, the optimization of power to weight ratio, the optimization of material technologies and material, increasing situational awareness and long-range & precision-guidance capability will become prominent. In the next 20 years, remote autonomous and robotic systems, that can process the large amount data produced in the operational area via artificial intelligence or even provide intelligence through deep learning and produce meaningful results, together with their decision support systems, will make a difference on the battlefield. The geographical threat environment and historical experience of our country are a vital factor in the acquisition of these capabilities by domestic and national resources. Therefore, we believe that it is important for our defence industry to raise the bar, think and produce non-existent technologies and bring new capabilities to the Turkish Armed Forces, in addition to being able to nationally and domestically produce existing technological systems in the world. We also believe that for the development of our defence industry and national security we need to be in a bilateral interaction beyond the requiring authority hence, we attach importance to the fact that the industry and academia should offer technical solutions by keeping up the technology.

Following the opening speeches, HB Strategy General Manager Haluk BULUCU (The rights and wrongs of the Turkish Defence Industry) and FNSS Business Development Manager Haldun OLGUN made their presentations.

During the second half of the day, parallel sessions took place. In the Kemal Kurdaş conference hall, Lieutenant Colonel, Chief Engineer Resul USLU “New Generation Armored Fighting Vehicles”, Aselsan Land Systems Program Director Murat Faik YAREN “Aselsan System Solutions for Battlefield”, Onur Engineering Network-Enabled Capabilities Project Manager Ozan YALÇIN “Network-Enabled Capability Applications for Land Elements” and General Manager of Ankaef ALİ ERHAN BİNİCİ “Identification Technologies” made their presentations.

At the same time, in conference hall A, presentations were made by Turkish Land Forces Command Lieutenant Colonel, Engineer Niyazi Kerem ÇELİK “Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)”, STM Command Control Systems Group Manager Nurşen AYAYDIN ASLAN “Situational awareness and interoperability in the area of communication”, Roketsan Structural Analysis and Testing Leader Ali YETGİN “Modeling the dynamic behavior of a weapon system platform in road conditions and verification by testing”, and Aselsan Active Protection Systems Project Manager Kadir KARSLI on the topic of “Pulat and AKKOR Active Protection Systems.” 

On the second day of the event a variety of speakers shared their presentations with the participants in various sessions: Retired Colonel, Engineer Mahmut BAYRAK “The Development of Military Land Platforms”, SSB Land Platforms Department Security Vehicles and Special Vehicle Projects Manager Tansu Cenk ERBAY, FNSS Technology Development and R & D Project Management Unit Manager Kıvılcım ERSOY “Development of Armored Fighting Vehicle Capability in Global Scale”, Aselsan Leading Engineer Ömer ÇUBUKLU “FIRAT-M60T Project; Power Multiplier in Cross-Border Operations”, TARGET Project Manager Seyfettin SÜNGER “How can DDC’s Smart Power Management solutions help our power architecture design?”, Turkish Land Forces Command Colonel, Infantry Aydın KARAGÖNEN “Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Systems”, İzge Software project manager Dilek KOÇAK “The future of Defence projects; Hybrid Project Management”, Meteksan Defence Business Development Manager Tolga ÇELİK “Retinar Radar System Against Drone and Land Threats”, Altınay Business Development Manager Murat KOÇ “Unmanned Land Systems”, Atılım University Director of Metal Forming Center of Excellence Dr. Bilgin KAFTANOĞLU “Importance of Boron Nitride Coating Technologies for Defence Industry” and AY Software Assistant General Manager HAKAN AYCENK on the topic of “The Importance of Vetronics for Mobile Platforms” 

The fifth of the Land Systems Seminar is expected to take place in 2-3th November, 2020 in Ankara.