A New Era In Turkish DefenceIndustry by a New Logistics Strategy

Defence Turkey: Mr. Undersecretary, first, would you please give us information about the position, running and the present situation of the logistics in our defence industry?

To gain to provide the logistics support for our defence industry and providing those services to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in this field is fairly a new topic. As well known, the first priority during the establishment and the development phases of our defence industry have always been on providing the defence systems support for TAF from the domestic sources as much as possible. At that point, no special effort has been exercised how to provide support to those systems, rather it has been considered that this might have been solved in the TAF existing logistics system. When looked through the historical perspective, the sustainment support responsibility has been on the TAF in consequence of the defence systems acquisition has been made in on-the-self procurements from external sources for long years thus, gaining to provide the logistics support has been a must in the TAF. As known, TAF has been running that responsibility with great sacrifice and success for long time. The initiative to own national systems started in the last 30 to 40 years and gained acceleration in the last 15 years, has caused a great change in the TAF inventory system. Finally, the national systems which have been introduced into the inventory under the domestic development projects have been used by TAF and the variety and the number of those systems have been increasing rapidly. This change has caused a new paradigm to appear from the sustainment point of the national systems. Yet, the companies which design and manufacture the defence systems have been operating in the country both with their infrastructure capabilities and the technical knowledge and management expertise. Well, those are our companies and they have an important place in providing TAF modernization requirements. To me, the following initiative would be that our defence industry to have functions in providing the sustainment support for those systems. Besides, the examples on the sustainment and operation which has been done by the domestic production companies has been increased. The important point here is to do this job in a long term planning process and in a discipline upon which an agreement has been made. From now on, our country has been reached at that point where the requirements determination, design, development, production and operation-sustainment support could be handled as a whole in the view of life cycle concept.


Defence Turkey: Logistics Working Group has been established under the Systems Projects and Deputy Undersecretary for Logistics last year. In this respect, how the infrastructure and the organization have been realized What are the missions of those units

The starting point of our initiatives to organize in the logistics field is a letter sent from Turkish General Staff (TGS) dated 29th December 2010. With that letter having quite comprehensive and deep analysis, TGS has pointed out that the main roots of the problems during the operating-sustainment phase of the defence systems have been the break-off the links between the systems and the producer after the end of the guarantee period. Again in the same letter, it has been stated that transferring into the life-cycle management for the systems which to be introduced into TAF inventory by domestic development projects is a must. By considering the TGS designations and the missions of the Undersecretariat (SSM) on life-cycle support, Systems Projects and Deputy Undersecretary for Logistics has been established to provide life-cycle support to the systems domestically developed and fielded after the approval letter of the Defence Ministry dated 05 September 2011.

Well, the Logistics Working Group, this group has been established to determine the basis of our work on the future phases and to vitalize the infrastructure needed in that regard. The priority target is to prepare a new Logistics Road Map in order to provide the logistics support to the defence systems introduced by domestic development projects during operating-sustainment phases by the contribution of TAF, defence industry companies and the R&D institutions. The Working Group forms the core team to prepare the road map. A comprehensive report will be prepared this year and a road map based on this report will be formed. Another important study to be prepared by the Working Group is Logistics Support Standards Agreements. This study has been started with main frame and the detailed study will be finalized with the contribution of all stakeholders this year.

Additionally, to gather the information about the planning and execution of the existing logistics system at first hand, site visits to 18 commandants in Ankara, stanbul, zmir, Eskiehir, zmit, Kayseri, Afyon, Nide and Balkesir have been finalized by the Working Group with the coordination of TGS Logistics Department. During those visits to those logistics commandants, the detailed information about the logistics planning has been gathered while gathering information about the execution on logistics during the visits to Heavy Maintenance Centers and Air Supply and Maintenance Centers.

Defence Turkey:The life-cycle supportability of many domestic defence products introduced into the TAF inventory in the near term has been gathering more importance. What is the road map and the strategies of SSM

In the near term, the UAVs like ANKA, ÇALDIRAN and KARAYEL, attack helicopter ATAK, ships like MILGEM, LCT, LST, MEHSIM, HELSIM, ALTAY for different purposes, MRAPVs (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected Vehicles), antitank weapon systems OMTAS and UMTAS, mobile floatable attack bridges will be fielded under the domestic development projects. By this time, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and A400M transport aircraft under the multinational projects will be introduced into the inventory. From the logistics perspective, this means that those defence systems should be kept in combat-readiness condition with the minimum cost but without compromising their operational effectiveness for almost 30 years. We estimate that the acquisition costs would be 50 billion USD while sustainment support costs for those systems might be 100 billion USD in coming 30 years.
Our perspective in this regard is that the logistics support of the national systems would be provided by the national production companies as long as this support could be applicable and cost effective.

Defence Turkey:How the responsibilities of the user, producer and the supplier would be executed in the light of logistics strategies

The important point here is to start the planning of the system logistics support in parallel when a decision for the acquisition of the defence systems to provide TAF the capabilities required or to extend TAF existing abilities. Well, of course, there are two important points here. First; the studies on the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) which would directly affect the systems design, configuration and the operation-sustainment. Our basic expectation on the ILS at macro level is to establish the logistics support concepts to support our defence systems with national capabilities and to take measures to minimize the life-cycle cost without compromising the system performance. The second point is; who will provide the sustainment support when the systems are fielded after the acquisition process has been finalized.
The ideal here is to create a model in which the companies which design and manufacture those defence systems to be kept responsible as their main engagement to provide this performance during the system-fielded phase by considering firstly the ready-to-use and dependability criteria and all the tactical and technical requirements related to the system performance mentioned in the acquisition agreements. As it might be estimated, this is not a model to be applicable to all acquisition projects in the short term. But, our aim is to determine a transition period with the methods to get us closer to this ideal system as much as possible and to apply those methods first in the logistics support agreements. After this transition period, we aim to make agreements in which the life-cycle support is considered in the mid and the long term. Thus, preparing maintenance and repair agreements or performance-based logistics agreements with the contractors after the guarantee period for the existing systems in the inventory or for the systems newly introduced into the inventory in the short term.

Defence Turkey:Within the supply chain management idea, how the main contractors and the small business industry could work with maintaining the strategic cooperation, information flow and the common working culture

As it is known, SSM has put a wide perspective on including the subcontractors and the small business industry in the acquisition projects. The industry contribution and the off-set procedures have been set permanently with our directives. I think that the cooperative work and result-based production culture which have been introduced with the models by the acquisition projects would continue during the operation-sustainment phases and the management of life-cycle support would be provided with the same understanding and same approaches.

Of course, it is required that the information technologies must be used to the maximum extent possible in modern acquisition projects. I can say that the information management applications will be an indispensible part of the life-cycle support management in the short term.

Additionally, to enlarge and to extend the cooperative work culture, the establishment of a sustainable at national level Defence Industry Platform on Life-Cycle Management which accumulates all stakeholders like TAF, acquisition offices, contractors and R&D institutions is also in our targets. The work on this issue has been started with the main contractors in April-May 2011. With this platform under the coordination of SSM, it is firstly aimed to provide effective communication among the stakeholders and to close the gap on the training and information gathering.

Defence Turkey:Performance Based Logistics is one of the main dynamics of the present logistics understanding. Under this understanding, how do you foresee a plan, program and modeling for the defence industry companies to establish the organization for shouldering the supply chain management and developing the mission of required small business to prepare to adapt themselves into this transformation What is your work towards the infrastructure for training, software and hardware

Even it is still disputable, the main elements of the Performance Based Logistics (PBL) concept of which the applications are increasing and results of those applications are generally satisfactory, are the fast improvement in the technology, the increase of the complexity of the defence systems and the more increase of the costs of sustainability than expected. Now, the

use of the organic maintenance abilities which to be gained by the users in the sustainment of the defence systems has lost its effectiveness. The PBL concept at this period is based on the procurement of the logistics support as performance packages. The main aim is to meet the performance targets which the user needs. In this regard, the differences between the PBL and the classic logistics system is to procure an activity percentage in advance instead of procuring spare parts and service support; making the payments in relation to the performance expected from the system instead of payments for individual spare parts procurement or service support; the ownership and the risks related to that belongs to the contractor instead of the user; for the logistics management, one sole main contractor is responsible to the public authority for the sustainment and operation instead of more than one public authorities are responsible at different levels.

It is estimated that the PBL concept can be used in long term logistics support agreements in which the performance criteria and the levels can be evaluated realistically.

As I mentioned before, the information infrastructure is to be strengthen and the companies are to invest additionally in that field in order to establish the supply chain and to procure the required materials and the services with appropriate specifications and acceptable costs in time. This anyhow is the investment of the companies who prepare themselves for the future.

Defence Turkey: Do you foresee the programs towards the specialization by the certificated training programs on the application of those models

I think it is useful to start certificate programs on the systems engineering, logistics engineering and logistics management for the defence industry products especially at the universities or to extend the contents of those programs and enlarge those training programs if there are and if it is done so. In parallel to the supply chain training which have important place in the business, the training activities such as life-cycle cost estimates and the exact calculations which have important place in the defence industry field also have to be included in that regard. I estimate that the requirement for such certificate programs will increase in the future term.

Defence Turkey:How do you estimate the contribution of the new Performance Based Logistics (PBL) concept effects into and the export of the Turkish defence industry products and capabilities

I should clearly say that providing sustainment and keeping the superiority in the competition depends on the logistics support that our companies could provide for the systems they manufacture. In the short term, even if they are foreign or domestic, all the customers will require the logistics support to be provided for all the systems they acquire. The companies which invest and develop themselves in this field will be at the furthest point much more than the others in the export arena.

Defence Turkey:Are there plans for common studies with the universities, institutions and R&D centers on the logistics performance analysis and measurement

According to a plan at SSM, the studies have been going about the establishment of the intellectual infrastructure required for the management of life-cycle support and to maintain those studies on the scientific base.

The initial study in that area is the Acquisition Logistics Workshop with the contribution of defence industry companies on 26 June 2009. Later on, two more evaluation studies on the acquisition logistics have been realized with the contribution of the expert personnel from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and TAF on 30 September and 02 November 2009. After those studies, SSM 1st Acquisition Logistics Congress with the theme of Thinking the Latest at the Beginning was held with large contribution on 13 November 2009. During this congress, introducing the supportability criteria into the design phase correctly and without lacking anything at the very beginning and the development of the necessary infrastructure of the main contractors to provide logistics support to the systems during the life-cycle phase have been studied in every detail.

At last, during the SSM 2nd Acquisition Logistics Congress with the theme of Sustainable Industrialization and Supportable Systems on 28 February 2012, the importance have been given on how the main contractors might provide the logistics support for the systems they manufacture by pointing out directly the systems names themselves. The universities, institutes and R&D organizations have showed great interest in that congress. The shared understanding has been reached in order to continue the common studies on the logistics supportability of the defence systems.

Defence Turkey:Mr. Undersecretary, would you like to extend any message to the readers of Defence Turkey, please

I would like to point out some cases in our 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. Four strategic aims at top level have been determined. First; to become the architect of the Sustainable and competitive defence industry. One of our goals under this strategic aim is to have an effective role in the whole life-cycle phase ranging from the product design to the logistics support. At this point, I would like to mention that SSM is ready to take the roles in from cradle-to-grave life-cycle phase of the defence systems with its huge experience in the management of the acquisition projects.