9th Naval Systems Seminar: Sean & Heard

The 9th Naval Systems Seminar was held on October 14-15, 2019, with the support of the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries, Turkish Naval Forces, ODTU-BİLTİR, TSS News Group, and AFCEA-TR, at the Middle East Technical University (METU) Culture and Convention Center. The Naval Systems Seminars was held every year between 2008-2012 and then every two years from 2013 onward. The 10th Maritime Systems Seminar, which is coordinated by Navy Captain (Ret.) A. Zafer BETONER, is planned to be held on October 7-8, 2021.

Issue 96

Aselsan, Havelsan, and STM were the Main Sponsors of the Seminar, which was organized to increase knowledge on naval systems, to develop cooperation, to raise awareness about the capabilities of universities/research institutions and companies, and to share the strategies created by the SSB for the design and production of indigenous naval systems.

During the event, a total of 43 presentations were made by local and foreign companies, and around 30 companies, including Armelsan, Aselsan, AYESAŞ, FNSS, Havelsan, Jotun, Karel, Nova Power Solutions, ONUR Engineering, Roketsan, TÜBİTAK-MAM, and YALTES presented their solutions in the exhibition hall. The event took place with the participation of the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Adnan ÖZBAL, senior officials of the TNFC, Bulgaria Air, and Naval Forces Military Attaché Colonel Doychin DOCHEV, and Greece Naval Forces Military Attaché Eleftherios ZERVAS. Navy Captain (Ret.) A. Zafer BETONER, Turkish Naval Forces Naval Technical Commander Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Dr. Ramis AKIN, Head of the SSB Naval Platforms Department Alper KÖSE, and Ministry of National Defense (MSB) Shipyard's Deputy Director-General Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Mehmet SARI, and on behalf of the Organizing Committee Dr. Lect. Dinçer BAYER from Piri Reis University Maritime Higher Vocational School made a presentation during the seminar, which was held in two different sessions in the morning and afternoon in three different halls with domestic and foreign participants from the sector.

In his speech, Dr. Dinçer BAYER pointed out that approximately 1,300 people from Turkey and abroad participated in the seminar, where 43 presentations and 28 different promotional activities took place. “The 9th Naval Systems Seminar is organized with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, Aselsan, Havelsan, and STM. The 10th Naval Systems Seminar is planned to be held in early October 2021.” 

Navy Captain (Ret.) A. Zafer BETONER started his speech by expressing his gratitude to the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Adnan ÖZBAL for his support to the Naval Systems Seminar and to his wife, Mrs. Hülya BETONER for her patience. “There are two issues we had emphasized since 2008 when we started the first Naval Systems Seminar. Firstly, it is disastrous to consume without producing and innovating, and secondly, countries that do not have a domestic defense industry cannot preserve their freedom and independence. That is the reason for all the sacrifices and efforts that we made. We will continue to work together and support our industry. The Naval Shipbuilding Sector has achieved great success both in Turkey and abroad, and its contribution to our exports is enormous. Therefore, our Naval Shipbuilding Sector deserves all kinds of support at the highest level.”

Turkish Naval Forces Naval Technical Commander Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Dr. Ramis AKIN delivered a speech on the vision and the capabilities of the Naval Technical Command established in Pendik, Istanbul in 2017. “The Turkish Naval Research Center Command (ARMERKOM), the Design Project Office (DPO), and the Project Control Office (PKO) were united under the Naval Technical Command in Pendik, Istanbul. Its vision is to design, produce and develop modern, national, domestic, and indigenous platforms and systems for the Turkish Naval Forces and to provide all the necessary support by developing all the required capabilities to ensure that they are in a constant state of combat readiness. Currently, the Project Control Office (PKO) is in close coordination with the SSB and private shipyards for the construction of several important ships such as the TCG ANADOLU Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship and the UFUK Test and Training Ship in accordance with the requirements of the TNFC. On the other hand, the Design Project Office (DPO), formerly known as the MİLGEM Project Office, continues with great dedication in producing all kinds of detail design and technical drawings for the construction of İSTİF-Class (İ-Class) Frigate TCG ISTANBUL, as well as for the contract level design of the TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare (ADW) Destroyer. Meanwhile, ARMERKOM carries out intensive R&D activities on the critical technologies used in the ADVENT Combat Management System (CMS), electronic warfare systems, acoustic systems, and cannon and guided missile fire control systems.”

Underlining the importance of the new production line approach, Rear Admiral (Lower Half) AKIN touched upon the role of the Turkish Naval Forces Command in these projects. “Both in both shipbuilding and combat systems, we are trying to establish the appropriate infrastructure that will enable us to proceed with a product line logic, as is the case for ADVENT, and we are increasing our efforts in this direction. I want to emphasize once again that developing off-the-shelf subsystems with critical technologies, such as radars, sonars, E/O sensors, guided munitions, lasers, electromagnetic rail guns, as well as Fire Control Systems and Combat Management systems, requires greater importance than developing the platforms which will use these systems. We believe that building the first ships in military shipyards then constructing the follow-up ships in private shipyards under the responsibility of the Turkish Naval Forces and improving the experience gained from this process will be the most effective solution in terms of ensuring the sustainability of shipbuilding capability and maximizing the use of national resources. Furthermore, I would like to point out that it is essential to develop a comprehensive R&D inventory and a detailed master plan to avoid repeated efforts in R&D activities carried out for the defense projects.”

Pointing out that they started to carry out indigenous design activities after 2010, Head of the SSB Naval Platforms Department, Alper KÖSE said that they aim to become a leading country in the Defense Industry by developing advanced technologies in the coming years. “Our vision for 2017-2025 is to make our country a global player in the field of defense with indigenous designs and advanced technological capabilities, to manage the programs that will strengthen the security of our country and improve the capabilities of the defense industry with a holistic approach. Especially before 2000, we were highly dependent on foreign countries, but today, we can design and produce our own products. As the SSB, we aim to introduce competitive and superior designs to the international market by developing advanced technologies for a sustainable Naval Shipbuilding Sector. Moreover, we encourage domestic defense industry companies in the Naval Shipbuilding Sector to expand their production capabilities in order to provide systems, sub-systems, and materials required for the construction of military ships.” 

Department Head for Naval Platforms at the SSB, Alper KÖSE, shared information about the current state of the SSB’s projects related to naval platforms and subsystems. “As the SSB Naval Platforms Department, we carry out our projects under 4 different groups; these are Amphibious Ship Programs Group, Support Ship Programs Group, Warship Programs Group, and Patrol Ship Programs Group. We signed contracts for a total of 263 naval platforms (52 ships, 188 boats, 17 modernization, 6 submarines). We have delivered 132 naval platforms (46 ships, 77 boats, 9 modernization) so far. The construction of 131 naval platforms (6 ships, 111 boats, 8 modernization, 6 submarines) is still in progress. Turkish Private Shipyards have constructed a total of 195 naval platforms (175 boats, 13 ships, 3 wet docks, 3 submarine modernization, 1 design) for export to date. 153 of these have been delivered (143 boats, 6 ships, 3 wet docks, 1 design). 42 of these (32 boats, 7 ships, 3 submarine modernization) are still under construction and waiting for delivery. The SSB Amphibious Ship Programs Group currently carries out the LHD and Logistics Support Ships Projects. The LHD was planned to be delivered in 2021, but we are trying to bring the delivery date forward by one year. The main contractor of the Logistics Support Ship Project declared concordat due to financial problems. We terminated the contract, but we will continue with the Project. It is currently under construction at Sedef Shipyard. We are planning the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC/HAYÇA) Project for next year.” 

Continuing his speech, KÖSE said, “The SSB Support Ship Programs Group carries out the Fleet Replenishment Ship (DIMDEG) and Emergency Response and Diving Training Boat (ACMB) Projects. Sefine Shipyard is the main contractor of the DIMDEG Project, and DESAN is building the ACMB. We will launch two ships in November, and we are planning to deliver the ships in May of next year. We have received the bids for the Multi-Purpose Offshore Tugboat Project and published a Request for Information (RFI) for the Coastal Tugboat National Device Modification Project. The Research Vessel has been put on hold because it is not a high priority project. Under the Warship Programs Group, the New Type Submarine Project is being constructed at Gölcük Shipyard Command. A total of 6 submarines will be built. The PREVEZE Class Submarines MLU Project is in progress; we signed the contract. 4 submarines will be modernized. Similarly, 4 BARBAROS Class Frigates will be modernized by Aselsan and Havelsan. We have signed the contract of the 5th MİLGEM ship with STM, and its construction will continue at Istanbul Naval Shipyard. The MİLGEM Project Vertical Launching System Project has been signed with Roketsan.  We are waiting for the export license from Lockheed Martin. The Acoustics Decoy System for Submarines Project (Launcher) is being carried out by Aselsan. The TF-2000 Project is in the planning phase. The Test and Training Vessel Project (TVEG) is being carried out by STM under the SSB Patrol Ship Programs Group. New SAT Boat and Fast Patrol Craft Projects are carried out by Yonca-Onuk. Two boats will be delivered under the new SAT Boat Project. Six of the eight boats under the Fast Patrol Craft project have been delivered. The other two will be delivered this year. We have signed the contract for the Coast Guard Control Boat Procurement Project. We are also working with STM for the Turkish-Type Assault Boat Design Project. The reason for the delay in the New Type Submarine Project was that initially, there were some design errors. The negotiations with the main contractor took a while, but after a three-year delay, we agreed, and the Project is ongoing.” 

KÖSE also shared information about the TF-2000 project and the ongoing system indigenization activities. “Under the TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare (ADW) Destroyer Project, the SSB was authorized to determine the Project Model with the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) Decision dated September 20, 2013. Since the sub-systems that will constitute the ship, including ÇAFRAD, are expected to reach sufficient maturity, we are considering starting the Design Phase in the Project in 2020. During the design phase of the TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare (ADW) Destroyer Project, we aim to design a cost-effective platform by using the capabilities and knowledge of both the private sector and the TNFC. We are working on the National Vertical Launching System (MİDAS) to replace the MK-41 VLS. We're thinking about Roketsan, or maybe Aselsan. We will replace the Phalanx CIWS and SeaRam with Aselsan GÖKDENİZ CIWS. We will also use the HİSAR Air Defense Missile System in our new projects. Harpoon Guided missiles will be replaced with Atmaca Missiles.  The AKREP Fire Control Radar will be used in the BARBAROS MLU Project. We will use the Aselsan AKYA torpedos and Aselsan’s DAKA Torpedo Counter Measure System in our submarines. We have SEDA and MÜREN as Submarine Combat Management Systems. TÜBİTAK MÜREN will be used in the BARBAROS MLU Project, and Havelsan SEDA was exported to Pakistan and will be used in Agosta Class Submarines. YALTES and AYESAŞ have command and control console solutions. We can design and develop our propellers. We used our own propeller shaft systems in the DESAN Emergency Response and Diving Training Boat (ACMB) Project. We achieved significant progress on the Pump-Jet propulsion systems within the scope of the Control Boat Project. We are working on Lithium-Ion Batteries. We also carry out studies on Air Independent Propulsion Systems, Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles, Underwater Sensors, and Small Submarines. There is a significant need for a Ship Main Gun alternative. There are some studies on diesel engines, but it is still in the early stages.”

In the last part of the speech, KÖSE shared information about the ongoing projects for naval platforms under Technology Acquisition Obligation (TKY) Projects, a method used by the SSB to finance R&D projects. “The Cavitation Tunnel (BARBAROS MLU and LST) is being built at ITU and is supported by Anadolu Shipyard and Aselsan. Hopefully, it will be completed in March or May 2020. The Augmented Reality Supported Mobile Virtual Maintenance System, a project carried out by BİTES, has been completed. Within the scope of the LHD Project, Mine-hunting Sonar is being developed with support from Armelsan. Additionally, the Multi-Purpose Mini Submarine Development Project (SAT Submarine [SATDEN]) will be carried out by ITU. The external construction of the Cavitation Tunnel is completed.”

Emphasizing that Turkey is rapidly moving from being a regional power to become a global power, the Ministry of National Defense (MSB) Shipyard's Deputy Director-General Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Mehmet SARI, stressed that General Directorate of Naval Shipyards is one of the driving forces behind this development. In his speech, Rear Admiral Mehmet SARI also shared information about the ongoing projects. “One of the activities that started with MİLGEM is the National Electronic Warfare Suite (MEHS) project that was developed for YAVUZ Class frigates. It now includes the Electronic Countermeasure (ECM) on top of the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) capability. There are also IR (Search and Tracking) and Laser Warning Systems, so there has been an incredible capability increase. The experience and capabilities gained from these projects allowed additional National Systems to be used in the BARBAROS Mid-Life Upgrade Program. We can say the same for the HİSAR Project. I want to thank Aselsan and Roketsan for the HİSAR-A and HİSAR-O systems. These will be used by the National Vertical Launching System (MIDAS). We are hoping you can work together at this point as well. Because some projects are carried out by SAGE and some by Roketsan and Aselsan. We also provide support for the Submarine Propulsion Component projects. Let's speed up the engine and battery development in the National Submarine (MİLDEN) program. I want to emphasize that there is also demand from abroad, especially for Lead Oxide Batteries and Lithium-Ion Batteries. In the MÜREN Project, we want to see further domestic and national contributions. We don't want to buy the systems that we can produce in Turkey, what is more we want to sell these systems to third countries. The Multi-functional Phased Array Radar can easily be turned into a Ballistic Missile Early Detection Radar by increasing its antenna units from 1000 to 4000. T0 for the İSTİF-Class (İ-Class) Frigates has started. We hope that we will not experience any delays in this project. Unlike the previous ships, İstif-Class will be equipped with a Vertical Launching System (VLS) and national missiles. We also want Aselsan and Roketsan to develop a light-weight torpedo. Previously, we had to find even the torpedo tubes from somewhere else and use them on our ships. We don't want to experience this anymore”