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Ares Shipyard- World’s Greatest Composite Hull Ship Manufacturer- Early Delivers the Multi-Role Patrol Crafts to Qatari Coast Guard Command

Within the scope of Turkey’s greatest military vessel export contract so far, the off-shore patrol vessel and fast patrol boat project, 48m length Ares 150 Hercules (QC901) and 34m length Ares 110 Hercules (QC812) were delivered to the representatives of the Qatari Ministry of Interior at the handover ceremony held at the Ares Shipyard’s premises in Antalya. The contract was signed in 2014 and procured by the Coast Guard Command of Qatar which is under the Qatari Ministry of Interior

Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Mr. Ahmet Arslan, Mayor of Antalya Mr. Münir Kaloğlu, Qatar’s Deputy Minister of Interior Major General Al-Khulaifi, Commander of Qatar’s Coast Guard Brigadier General Al-Mannai, Ares Shipyard’s Chairman Mr. Kerim Kalafatoğlu, Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Industries Mr. Serdar Demirel and many invitees attended the handover ceremony taking place at Ares Shipyard’s premises at the Antalya Free Zone. Accompanied by the Qatar’s state representatives, the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Mr. Ahmet Arslan and the accompanying delegation examined both the off-shore patrol vessel and the fast patrol boat before the ceremony. Following the examinations, Minister Mr. Arslan and the accompanying delegation headed to the location of the handover ceremony.

Taking the floor for the opening remarks and addressing participants, Deputy General Manager for Business Development at Ares Shipyard Mr. Utku Alanç mentioned that Ares Shipyard commenced its operations in 2006 with manufacturing small pleasure crafts and leisure boats, and with the experiences they gained in aluminum builds, steel and composite hull ships they specialized in building military, paramilitary and workboats. Underlining that with this decision of strategic change they adopted, they aimed to become an international defense industry company owing to the their human resources, organization management, integrated logistical support, quality management and developed production technologies, Mr. Alanç added, “The investments we made produced results within a short time. Mostly exports, we accomplished sales of over 100 boats to Naval Forces Commands, Coast Guard Commands, Maritime Police, Port Security and Customs Enforcement Directorates of various countries. Throughout this period, being accredited by the Ministry of Defense as a NATO Reference Supplier and National Secret Level Security Clearance, military vessel production permit and ISO-9001 14001 and 18001 quality management system certificates, our Shipyard continued to support the Turkish Armed Forces and Coast Guard Commands in national military projects as well. In line with this strategy, our number of staff increased each day and reached 300. Moreover, we launched internal design and R&D departments at our Shipyard. Presently, we are conducting our services in Antalya at 4 air-conditioned production facilities with approximately 22.000m² of indoor area, metal composite and carpentry workshops, paint drying ovens, training classrooms and modern office areas. We aim to increase our indoor manufacturing area to 30.000m² with the infrastructure investments planned for 2018”.

Ares Deputy General Manager Mr. Utku Alanç: “According to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Exchange Commodities’ country wide assessment, Ares Shipyard became Turkey’s fastest growing company in the year 2017”

Emphasizing on Ares Shipyard’s investments and export achievements Mr. Alanç said, “So far, in addition to the requirements of the Coast Guard Commands of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Georgia, Tanzania and Turkmenistan are amongst the countries we export military and paramilitary vessels to. As a result of these sales, that are mostly composed of exports; within the scope of the assessment made countrywide by the Turkish Union of Chambers of Exchange Commodities in January 2017, we became Turkey’s most rapidly growing company with a growth rate of over 4000%. We especially made our mark with the investments we made on infrastructure, personnel, R&D and production technologies and with the Ares Hercules series Patrol Boats project. We left many major worldwide shipyards behind in the international platform. Today, being Turkey’s greatest military vessel exporter, Ares is at the same time Europe’s greatest composite hull ship manufacturer and the world’s biggest composite hull patrol craft producer. We are the only shipyard with the capacity to build military vessels with full production fusion technology and epoxy resin utilization.”

Informing participants on the tender processes and the program model built as part of the requirement of the Qatar Ministry of Interior’s Coast Guard Command, Mr. Alanç continued, “In this tender we left 18 major worldwide companies behind. We built the most optimum solutions in three different sizes and configurations by mutually negotiating the customer’s tactical and operational requirements with the end user. As part of the project, five 24 m length, ten 34 m length fast patrol boats and two 48 m length off-shore patrol boats’ design and manufacturing decision was agreed and on 14 April 2014 the contract was signed by the parties. Following the completion of the project’s design stage, in order to verify the design prior to the production stage; the behavior analysis of the boats under various sea conditions and speeds through the scaled model tests was made and the output collected here were shared with the Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, thus the production was launched after becoming sure of all capabilities of the boats. Although the foreseen project schedule in accordance with the contract terms points to 4.5 years, our Shipyard is operating 1.5 years ahead of this duration.”

Chairman and Executive Director at Ares Mr. Kerim Kalafatoğlu: “We reached the competence to provide technology transfer in Advanced Composite and Aluminum Hull Ship production”

Ares Shipyard Chairman and Executive Director Mr. Kerim Kalafatoğlu expressed that they worked very hard and proceeded greatly during the eleven years since their establishment and thanked his siblings Mr. Mert Kalafatoğlu, Ms. Yonca Kotiloğlu and Mr. Ersan Kotiloğlu for their tremendous efforts and added: “As of today, Ares shipyard broke the export record of the history of the Republic and became the greatest vessel exporter. When Turkey’s average export per kilogram was $3, the export of the vessels delivered within this project was $152 per kilogram. The yearly average production of the shipyards active in the production of the vessels in this class and yachts in this segment is for instance in Netherlands 9.4 vessels. Unfortunately, in Turkey this average is 2.6 vessels. In 2017 our shipyard folded Turkey’s average over four times, exceeding Europe’s average and it achieved the production and delivery of 11 ships. We reached the capacity of providng know-how in advanced composite and aluminum hull vessel manufacturing. In the upcoming days we will be giving good news that will make our country even more proud. Hereby, I would like to thank Qatar’s Ministry of Interior for their trust in assigning us their project as well as their support.”

Commander of Qatar’s Coast Guard Brigadier General Al-Mannai stated that this program was one of the successful strategic partnerships of the alliance between Turkey and Qatar and stated that the project, as a result of the strategic cooperation between the two countries, contained military boats with very superior technology and competitive prices. Al-Mannai thanked those who contributed to the project, representatives of the Ares Shipyard being in the first place and the governments and defense ministries of the two countries.  

Deputy Minister of Interior of Qatar, Major General Al-Khulaifi expressed the happiness he had for being there and added: “In 2002 when I was assigned as the Qatar Coast Guard Command’s Director, we planned to establish a new fleet for our coast guard command. I was assigned in different tasks in the following years and retiring before realizing this dream may be disappointing but now in 2017 we witness that we achieved this plan, this dream. We received 13 boats as part of the project and we will be taking the remaining four boats to Doha soon. I would like to thank once more the Turkish and Qatari governments for all their support.”

Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Mr. Ahmet Arslan: “I observed that the delivered boats are at the quality of Mega Yachts. I would like to once more congratulate Ares Shipyard for these high-quality boats”

Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Mr. Ahmet Arslan stated that manufacturing multiple vessels in the same series was possible, yet building vessels in various categories simultaneously and reaching the committed figures were a great success and congratulated Ares Shipyard.

Mr. Arslan underlined the fact that Turkey now became a country capable of designing and manufacturing its own vessels and added that the foreign dependency in this area decreased. Arslan expressed that critical investments were made in the maritime industry in the last 15 years and continued, “The investments we made in maritime industry in the last 15 years increased to $2.8 billion and the number of shipyards increased to 79 from 37. Approximately 30 thousand people are employed at this sector and when we include the sub industries then over 90 thousand people should be working. The yearly turnover of the industry, excluding maintenance - repair and export, is $2.5 billion and the annual steel processing capacity is around the level of 700 thousand, therefore we are among the world’s leading manufacturers. Moreover, Turkey remains ranking third on the list of worldwide mega yacht production. I would like to say that during our inspections prior to the handover ceremony, we observed that the military boats delivered are at the quality of mega yachts and I would like to congratulate Ares Shipyard again for building such a high quality and luxurious Patrol Boat. We wish that this capacity would not be limited merely with Qatar and that new projects at the same quality would be conducted with different countries as well.”

Qatar Coast Guard Command - Ares Hercules Series 

As part of the project, five “Ares 75 Hercules” fast patrol boats, which are the smallest members of the Hercules series Patrol Crafts, were built and the delivery of these boats was launched in 2016. All the boats were commissioned by the Qatari Coast Guard Command in the beginning of 2017. With 40 sea miles of maximum speed capacity and 360 sea miles of endurance “Ares 75 Hercules” patrol craft has electro optical sensors against asymmetrical threats and 12.7 mm STAMP Remote Controlled Stabilized Weapon System (RCWS) manufactured by Aselsan.

Ten 34m length “Ares 110 Hercules” Fast Patrol Vessels, selected as the world’s best patrol vessel in 2016, were planned to be built and during the period from the beginning of 2016 until the end of 2017, total of 7 “Ares 110 Hercules” were delivered to the Qatar’s Coast Guard Command. Over “Ares 110 Hercules” with 32 sea miles of maximum speed and 800 sea miles of endurance, there are electro optical sensors to be used against conventional and asymmetrical threats as well as Aselsan production 30 mm “Muhafız” Remote Controlled Stabilized Artillery and two 12.7mm STAMP RCWS. Moreover, on “Ares 110 Hercules” a 7.5 m length Ares Harpoon Fast Intervention Boat remains for the deployment of SAT teams and fast intervention purposes.

“Ares 150 Hercules” is the largest member of the Hercules series multi-role patrol craft project and has the greatest composite hull ever built in Turkey. It is at the same time the fastest off-shore patrol vessel. “Ares 150 Hercules” has 48m length, 37 sea miles of maximum speed and 1600 sea miles of endurance. Against the conventional and asymmetrical threats, electro optical systems and Aselsan production 30mm “Muhafız” Remote Controlled Stabilized Artillery system and two 12.7 mm STAMP RCWS are mounted over the vessel. Similar to the 34m length configuration, this configuration has two 7.5m Ares 24 Harpoon Fast Intervention Boats for the deployment of SAT teams and immediate intervention. “Ares 150 Hercules” owns operational capabilities up to 6 sea states and stands out as one of the most superior platforms in its class with the speed values 20% over the criteria stipulated by the contract and its superior rotating capability of a radius of 74m and maneuver capabilities.

Ares Shipyard - 20 Months ahead of the Project Schedule 

In accordance with the requirements of the Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, the contract of which was signed at the DIMDEX 2014 fair held in Qatar in March 2014 included the procurement of 17 Coast Guard Boats composed of five 24m length, ten 34m length and two 48m length boats and the training of operators and maintenance staff on the vessels. Within the scope of the contract, the production, installation, test and acceptance processes of all vessels and their delivery to the Ministry of Interior of Qatar were planned to be completed within 56 months. 

Of the high-speed vessels designed with advanced composite material to date, 13 boats consisted of five 24m length “Ares 75 Hercules”, seven 34m length “Ares 110 Hercules” and one 48m length “Ares 150 Hercules” were delivered to the Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. The construction activities of the one 48m Off-Shore Patrol Vessel continue at the shipyard, remaining three 34m “Ares 110 Hercules” Fast Patrol Boats are planned to be delivered earlier to the procurement authority. While all the procurement period was aimed to be accomplished within 56 months according to the terms of the contract, thanks to Ares Shipyard’s robust supply chain and program management, the deliveries are proceeding 20 months ahead of the project schedule. Unless any delays occur, all boats are planned to be delivered in the first quarter of 2018 and thus the project would be completed 1.5 year earlier than the expected closing date