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ALTAY Software’s Innovative Vision Gaining Momentum in the Defence Industry

by Cem AKALIN

Established in 1957 in Turkey by Nezih Mete DURAL, ALTAY Group is one of the first companies in Turkey that provides consultancy services and domain expertise. With extensive experience spanning sixty years, ALTAY Group has had a presence in the Turkish market and notably the Turkish Defence Industry. ALTAY Software Company was founded in 1998 with the vision of developing the software industry in Turkey. The company provides solutions for military and civil information technologies in compliance with international standards. The company has become a brand in this area having transformed into a technology center and became a corporate entity apart from the collective company structure.

A breakfast was organized for defence correspondents on September 19. Participants gathered together with the company’ CEO and Executive Board Member of the company Baki ŞENSOY, Business Development Manager Atilla ÖZDÖL, Corporate Communications Manager Özgür ÇİL at the breakfast in order to share updated information about the company and to closely acquaint participants with ALTAY Software. The company is steadily becoming one of Turkey’s leading technology companies with their domain expertise in tactical data link systems, command control systems, simulation systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, test systems and Industry 4.0 implementations.   

During the press briefing, the well-recognized name in the Turkish Defence Industry - ALTAY Software -CEO and Executive Board Member Baki ŞENSOY conveyed detailed information to media representatives on the company’s innovative projects in software area, the export achievements that they accomplished and their projections for the future.

Stating that upon the approval for the R&D center granted by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology (presently the Ministry of Industry and Technology) on June 19, they had been conducting their activities based in Ankara, ŞENSOY said, “After we received the R&D center approval, we are having almost all our projects approved within the scope of R&D and they get support. As of today, we are proceeding with controlled growth with our 107 employees.”

Underlining that ALTAY Software was the first company to export defence software in Turkey in 2003, ŞENSOY stated that as a result of the successful projects they have accomplished at that time with the Norwegian company Kongsberg they built the HAWK XXI (HAWK AMRAAM) Air Defence System Modules software (LINK-1 Radar Simulator, Communication Planning Device, Field Test System, CompassView Test Device) and turned it into a product and therefore realized the first software export in this area and added that they sold various software to 16 different countries (United States, Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Greece, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, South Korea, Oman, Indonesia, Philippines). He shared that currently their software was running on various platforms and systems in such countries. 

Baki ŞENSOY: “We are Assuming a Critical Responsibility in the Tactical Data Link Project”

Noting that since 2004, the software they developed was running in many projects in our country and in the world regarding command control areas, enterprise systems and tactical systems areas, ŞENSOY continued, “Our product range extended over the years. There are certain areas in which ALTAY chose to study and we became successful in those areas. The first of these areas is in Tactical Systems, the products we developed are either being used in various weapon systems and platforms or were used throughout their design. We also bring our capabilities into the forefront in quite interesting areas such as the ANKA UAV, Air Defence Systems or in Electric Buses. Among the Command Control Systems, there is the Tactical Data Link Project of which we have currently approached the time of delivery. This project will become a part of a wide command control system. Within the scope of the activities we conduct here, a unique product will be utilized for the fulfilment of all criteria set by our Armed Forces for the first time in Turkey. We are executing this project as Havelsan’s sub-contractor. On the other hand, we are teaming up with Aselsan to reveal a new product which will cover a critical requirement as part of the infrastructure of the command control systems. There are also projects we are conducting with Roketsan. We are offering certain infrastructures that are similar to each other in terms of their qualities to Roketsan in this project and they utilize them in their existing systems. They started to use these products in the field which we delivered for the launcher management system. Regarding the enterprise systems, quite different institutions such as E-Government, Ministry of National Defence, National Security Council and TOBB (Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey) have various requirements. Subjects related with military confidentiality and information security are the basics of these requirements, and by transferring the technologies we acquired in this area, we are realizing these projects.” 

Elaborating upon the projects which they have been conducting in Turkey and abroad since 2004, ŞENSOY continued, “As you may have noticed in the presentation, we have exported software to Norway in 2004, as part of the HAWK XXI program. Then we executed a critical activity within the scope of the Norwegian Naval Forces’ classified projects (Norwegian Naval Forces Mine Counter Measures and ULA Class Submarines Sonar Modernization Project) upon receiving the project enforceability approval and accreditation. The Norwegian Naval Forces approved us, so to speak, they granted us approval, accreditation. This is not an easy an achievement. This permission is approved by the Norwegian Naval Forces as a result of the previous accomplished projects and as a sequel to the ongoing projects. Within the scope of these projects, we moved beyond the B2B level. The products we delivered were uneventfully installed on the systems and were run. Highly critical contributions of a determined and devoted team lie at the heart of this achievement.” 

ALTAY Software – Assumes Crucial Responsibilities in Classified Projects for the Norwegian Naval  

Assuming the software of the HAWK XXI (HAWK AMRAAM) Air Defence  System Modules for the Norwegian Armed Forces in 2004, in its Counter Mine Measures Modernization project that was launched as part of the modernization requirements of the Norwegian Naval Forces in 2009, in light of the achievements reached in this program,  ALTAY Software developed the Lead Through, Sweep Performance, Contact Manager, MCM Monitoring and MCM Evaluation software and was involved in the ULA Class Submarines Sonar Modernization project for the Norwegian Naval Forces in the same year. Within the scope of this project, ALTAY Software played a critical role in the development of the software of Active Navigation and Mine Counter Measure Sonars Modernization, Multi Beam Echo Sounder Systems’ modernization modules and System Condition Monitoring Components.

ŞENSOY: “Our E-Government applications running over the Information System of the Ministry of National Defence were clicked on over 20 million times in 2016 and awarded recognition”

In addition to the foreign projects, ALTAY Software assumed a critical role in web based enterprise software the Ministry of National Defence’s (MSB) Information System for the automation of activities conducted at the MSB Headquarters and affiliated units which it started to develop in 2009 for the MSB, regarding Recruitment, which is the most popular E-Government application, Mobilization, Human Resources, Document Management Roll Call and Incident Report Center operations running over the Pardus system. Stating that currently a team of ten employees are working for the maintenance and updating of the e-government applications at the MSB, ŞENSOY added that they were awarded as the most popular e-government software in Turkey as well. ŞENSOY said, “We received an award with this module running as an e-government interface. The Recruitment process was recognized with 20 million clicks in 2016.”

The National Security Council Requirements Criteria Automation System, which began development in 2010, became a very critical project over the years. ŞENSOY added, “The state of mobilization, readiness and resource management are legally registered issues, but various difficulties arise over the years in these areas. This project became even more important over the years. And currently we are about to complete the second phase of the project.  By the end of this year, we will launch the acceptance test procedures for the delivery. This is our first project; the National Security Council Requirements Criteria Automation System, then with the Mobilization Resource Management System a further step was taken. In 2010, we executed an activity as part of the NATO Collaborative Electronic Support Measures Operations (CESMO) program. In 2013, the Hand-Held Computer Hand Firing Based Calculation Software (ELA) running over the hand-held computers actively took part in the system built by Roketsan and was admired. Trust was built as this successful product proved itself in the field too. One of our critical units is still working on this project at Roketsan. We accomplished the ‘Target Motion Analysis Test Software’ project, ‘Multiple Sensor Integration for the Naval Platforms’ which is a project we executed again abroad for submarine platforms (Kongsberg), the ‘Anti-Submarine Warfare DSH-RAS Rocket Launching System Weapon Control Interface’ project in which Roketsan and Aselsan assigned our company as a sub-contractor at home. Since 2014, apart from the high-level software, real-time embedded software and firmware have emerged. This capability emerging since 2014 has been carried a step forward. This capability is software capable of conducting automatic tests, this infrastructure product we delivered enables you to test the software you built automatically. We developed an automatic software capability that runs over the software built by our major companies such as Aselsan, Turkish Aerospace and Roketsan and that is capable of executing these tests that may reduce the time-consuming monthlong test process to one day.  We offer these real-time embedded software tests to our customers as a specific business area.”

ŞENSOY noted that in Turkey, in the past, the priority of the companies and institutions was the timely and completely delivery of products to the Turkish Armed Forces and added that in time maintenance and management stood out as part of logistics as a critical cost item. ŞENSOY continued: “Logistics and Maintenance will gain further importance in the upcoming period.  As we continue to deliver our unique systems, and as these products are used by the Turkish Armed Forces, a logistical cost item will occur. We needed to find ways of solving this problem in the most convenient manner and therefore we decided to place some part of our capabilities here in 2015 and to this end we started to develop the ‘Virtual Maintenance and Operator Training Assistant’ system. We are developing this product and offering it to our customers at this time. We made our bids to major projects as well. The virtual maintenance and operator training assistant is a sub product page within the logistics package. But there is a philosophy behind it. This gives us the opportunity to provide on-site training to maintainers that you do not know before or bear certain costs or develop a cost-efficient solution. Presently we built a prototype for Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. in order to solve issues in a cost-efficient manner and for the preventive maintenance of all their equipment across the country. This allowed us to cover a significant distance in a logistical sense. Since it is an area which we attach importance to we invest in it and open new R&D projects regarding this.”

Software of the Command Communication Computers of Kasırga (+) Project Developed by ALTAY Software

Expressing that they developed the ‘Land Forces Information Exchange Model’ in 2017, ŞENSOY continued, “We are speaking of our Land Forces’ interface software in which the NATO standards were combined with national standards. During the operations, one needs to smoothly transmit and receive data in the operation field. This software is being used actively. We are updating it and offer training upon request as well. On the other hand, there is the Electrical Bus software that is utilized by ,Electrical bus manufactured jointly by Aselsan and Temsa which is being head out it is presently being used in one of our university campuses (Hacettepe University). We have software revealing the advantages of the electrical bus; it compares it with diesel or gas and displays the advantages to be gained in the long term depending upon the area of utilization. Moreover, we have software which will run in the command communication computer that will be used in the command control vehicle developed by Roketsan. This project was accomplished for the KASIRGA (+) project. Similarly, the software of the modules in the Launcher Management Computer used in the KASIRGA project and the System Management Computer Simulator was also accomplished by ALTAY Software.” 

The simulators of all EW and ED devices were developed so that they can operate in an integrated manner to be used for the Naval Forces in 2018.  Stating that the software enabling the control of all these simulators for the ‘Electronic Warfare Operator Training Simulator’ assume a very critical responsibility ŞENSOY added, “A simulator of each of the electronic warfare devices of the Naval Forces will be built, a training environment will be prepared and we will present the scenarios that are used by both the trainers and the trainees for training themselves properly, for the utilization of the procurement authority as a whole. This is one of the issues to which Naval Forces attaches great importance and consequently they requested a cutting-edge solution from our company. This is one of our most assertive projects on the system side and we are currently working on this project. The first sub samples of the system will be revealed soon, and we are going to see the whole system next year.” 

Concluding his presentation by talking about the activities they conducted regarding the Industry 4.0, in other words, digital transformation, ŞENSOY said, “Could we be a part of Industry 4.0, namely digital transformation? We currently possess a product dubbed ‘the production management system’ and our aim is to extend this product to markets at home and abroad. What is the aim of this technology? It enables the real-time and effective monitoring of the production of SME scale companies. We have a broad vision. Machine learning, Machine to Machine Communication (M2M), revealing the factors increasing the efficiency of machines, these points will continue to expand and grow as parts of this product in the future. The production management system actually features an interoperability infrastructure, we built that. The software of the machine in a factory is able to communicate with the software of machines or devices in another factory. It was designed and built accordingly. It was established upon a vision for the future where each small factory is in communication with each other. In the upcoming period, our major companies will start to team up with the SMEs with robust infrastructures and generate real-time data. Thus, the production efficiency will enhance. We regard this technology as an area that needs to be developed and we must invest accordingly.”

Offering tactical systems, command control systems, simulation systems, enterprise resource planning systems, test systems and Industry 4.0 implementations to customers in successfully executed projects since 2004, ALTAY Software has already defined its projections and has moved forward to that end. The company is increasing its competencies day by day in critical areas that will gain more importance in the next period such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Neural Network, ILoT, Robotics, Data Mining, Big Data, Data Analytics, Augmented Reality, Business Intelligence and Industry 4.0. 

With its organizational memory and innovative perspective, ALTAY Software already signals that its visibility will be increasing both in the domestic market and in foreign markets in the upcoming period, with it’s know-how and experience