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8th Asian / Australian Rotorcraft Forum Hosted by Turkish Aerospace

The 8th Asian / Australian Rotorcraft Forum (Asia / Australian Helicopter Society Forum 2019-arf2019), one of the most comprehensive conference series where technological advances in the helicopter industry were discussed and forecasts for the future of the helicopter industry were made, was held with the support of the Presidency of Defense Industries and the main sponsorship of Turkish Aerospace, on October 30-November 2, 2019 in Ankara, with nearly 400 participants from 12 countries and with 102 conference papers published.

Issue 96

In the Forum organized to increase cooperation and interaction between industry, academic and public sector representatives, the recent developments in new helicopter technologies were discussed, including manned and unmanned systems.

The opening speeches of the event, where the future of air vehicles with rotating wings and vertical landing and take-off features were discussed, were delivered by President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR and Turkish Aerospace Chairman of the Board Prof. Oğuz BORAT.

Underlining the importance of the helicopter industry and technological investments, TA Chairman of the Board Prof. Oğuz BORAT said, “Turkish Aerospace has become a global player especially in design and production. Our helicopter design and production journey started with the Turkish Land Forces Command’s kuT129 ATAK. We are expanding and we continue to expand our helicopter spectrum through domestic and national facilities. As you remember, GÖKBEY which was designed and produced with domestic and national resources performed its maiden flight successfully in September of last year. In addition, we have recently started to work toward our Heavy Class Attack Helicopter.”

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR: “Organizing this conference here is a step that reinforces the ambition of Turkey in the helicopter industry. The issues to be discussed and the ideas to be generated here will contribute to the technology and advancement in the field. Introducing our projects gives us the opportunity to present the level we have reached to people from both industry and academic field who are interested in this subject, across the globe. Thus, our values, which are probably not known very well from a distance, will draw attention here, to Turkey, and we will arouse the interest of more academicians and business people who make efforts  in international cooperation and in this field. The conference will also create an environment that will encourage academicians and researchers in the country to come together with colleagues from abroad and collaborate in various fields. Turkey is a country that uses helicopters significantly. As in other fields, we have made significant investments in aviation and helicopter projects in Turkey. We are also very pleased to see the outcomes of our investments. This year, the GÖKBEY helicopter successfully performed its maiden flight. Flight tests have started, and it is undergoing certificate studies. Another project was the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter with Turkish Aerospace. We also support the international defense industry in addition to our Turkish defense industry. Turkey proves that it will be a strong global player with the products it designs and produces.”

Making a statement to press members also on Turkey’s position in the F-35 program and the progress in S-400 air defense system procurement, Prof. İsmail DEMİR said, “What we have always said about the F-35 program is that we are a partner in this program and we are a country that has fulfilled its obligations within the framework of this partnership. We had no hesitation and all of our obligations have been thoroughly fulfilled. We have no hesitation in being a program partner on our side. We listen to the statements coming from the other side and see the activity, but from our point of view, we have no hesitation about our F-35 program partnership and our loyalty to what we put our signature under. Therefore, we still want to continue to be an ambitious partner, and in this sense, if the next steps and efforts from the opposite side are positive, we will never be in a negative position. On the S-400 procurement, our President and Minister of National Defense told us about the milestones. They said that in 2020 the system would be active and ready for us to use in April. There's nothing more I will add on this.”

Touching also upon the possible offer on a new Patriot air defense system, DEMİR said that Turkey would be open to offers and that the possible offers could be evaluated.

At the four-day event organized under the sponsorship of Turkish Aerospace, leading experts in the aviation industry gave discerning presentations and facilitated workshops on helicopter simulation and modeling of composite materials .