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Aselsan Indigenization Allience Summit

Aselsan gathered with subindustry and manufacturer companies that it collaborates with in design and manufacturing activities at the recent Alliance Summit held at Congresium Ankara

Subindustry and manufacturer companies that Aselsan collaborates with in design and production activities gathered at the Alliance Summit held at Congresium Ankara. Minister of National Defense Hulusi AKAR, President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, Deputy Minister of National Defense Muhsin DERE, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Hasan BÜYÜKDEDE, Vice Presidents of Defense Industries Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ and Mustafa ŞEKER and many representatives of public and private industry attended the summit.

Delivering a speech at the summit, Minister AKAR congratulated Aselsan for deciding upon the theme of the summit to be “indigenization”.  AKAR qualified the indigenization of the defense industry as an obligation, stipulation and a requirement rather than a preference for increasing the efficiency of the armed forces, increasing its deterrence and prestige, providing peace and safety to the country and for furutre generations, escalating the Turkish economy and defense industry to higher ranks in the international arena. 

Minister AKAR stated that the security of the country would never be fully maintained without a military power that is not fully supported by the facilities and sources of the country. AKAR added, “We encountered difficulties, restrictions, implicit or explicit embargoes stemming from even friendly and allied countries in the procurement of modern weapons and munitions, although we had prepaid, and unfortunately we were faced with challenges” and gave examples from the past, underlining that the incidents throughout the Cyprus Peace Operation compelled the government to generate independent policies regarding the defense field. 

Minister of National Defense Hulusi AKAR: “The Indigenous Rate has Reached 70%” 

Stating that the steps taken towards manufacturing battle weapons and vehicles with high technology in the country have started to bear fruit, AKAR continued: “At the point that we’ve arrived to today, Aselsan and four of our companies active in defense industry have started to compete with global giants. These defense industry companies that are now amongst the world’s top 100 companies have been the source of our pride and they continue to be”. Addressing Aselsan employees by underlining that the aforesaid achievements were not sufficient alone, Minister AKAR said, “With this determination and hard-work you already have shown the potential to reach even greater achievements.” 

Emphasizing that a great leap has been made in the defense industry with the successful domestic and indigenous approach, Minister AKAR said, “As a result of such actions, the indigenous ratio has reached 68-70 percent from 20 percent. Our efforts will continue with determination in order to increase this rate. In this geography full of risks and threats, we must be strong and successful for the peace and security of both our nation and for the individuals who tied their hopes to Turkey and for other friendly and allied nations. In order to become a powerful and successful country, we need to pursue our activities with an effective, indigenous and innovative defense industry approach that  advances our national values and interests.” 

AKAR: “Defense and aerospace turnover reached US$ 7 billion and Exports reached nearly US$ 2.5 billion in 2018” 

With conviction Minister AKAR stated that the strategic cooperation agreements signed last week between the Military Factories General Directorate and Shipyards General Directorate and the subcontractors were steps taken towards becoming powerful and successful, and he added, “In these times where the actors, roles and targets have changed their places, the Turkish defense industry has been renewing itself, developing constantly and gradually reaching a stronger position. Currently, we reached a point where we are signing export contracts with Pakistan on MILGEM, Qatar on FIRTINA Howitzers and with Ukraine on UAV. Our T129 ATAK helicopters are drawing attention worldwide.  The HÜRKUŞ elementary and basic training jet is a candidate for being the apple of the eye of our Armed Forces. We are protecting our borders with domestic and indigenous combat vehicles and equipment and with anti -drone systems. Having conducted its maiden flight, the GÖKBEY light class utility helicopter’s mass production process will be launched soon. In addition to all these developments, the increase in the number of Turkish companies entering the list of top 100 global companies and the increase in the defense industry’s turnover each year are clear indicators of our progress towards our targets for the year 2023. In 2018, the turnover of our defense industry and aerospace industry reached US$ 7 billion, and our exports exceeded US$ 2 billion mark for the first time and is approaching US$ 2.5 billion. Additionally, I am pleased to express that our defense industry exports displayed an increase by 17 percent compared with the year 2017. However, I would like to underline that we have a long distance to cover despite all of these achievements.” 

Minister AKAR informed the audience about the latest practices of the ministry and expressed that the Procurement Directorate General accomplished the Certified Supplier Implementation. Minister AKAR said, “We continue our progress with the system of the ‘Pool of Certified Suppliers’ in order to benefit from domestic and indigenous products in our factories and to procure from domestic manufacturers” and added that with this system and by selecting the most appropriate supplier they aimed to achieve long running and productive cooperation, and achieve flexible and reliable supplies with low logistical costs. Noting that within the scope of the system, fulfilling the requirements of military factories ranging from software to design, from the medical industry to R&D, from domestic companies that fulfil technical specifications as well as quality and performance criteria, Minister AKAR concluded, “Hereby, I invite all our companies to apply to participate in our Ministry of National Defense’s Pool of Certified Suppliers.” 

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR: “We have to continue by increasing our targets” 

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR stated that the defense industry is one of the sine qua non factors regarding the survival of a country. Mentioning that the activities in this field continued across the country in a way that makes the nation proud, while increasing confidence, Prof. DEMİR continued: “There is a distance we need to cover, and we have to continue our progress by constantly increasing our targets. If we are able to be active in the work that we accomplish, in the decisions we make in operations and in the field, with our self-confidence, to the same extent that our security forces struggle for the survival and security of our country we can say that Turkey and Turkish industry should be regarded as a whole.  We are capable of performing activities in the field with domestic and indigenous systems and this is the path that we confidently and proudly proceed upon.”

Prof. DEMİR pointed to the existence of certain main contractors who are assuming the role of pioneers in the industry and added, “These companies play a critical role. Although they are sycamore trees, instead of being trees that do not allow any other plants to grow around them, they have to be structures that bring up many saplings and turn this sector into a forest.” 

President and CEO of Aselsan Haluk GÖRGÜN mentioned that their company is proof of an alliance focused on sacrifice and the feeling of joint achievements  will contribute to long term targets rather than individual sacrifices or achievements. Also touching upon the main targets of the company GÖRGÜN said, “Our main target is not only growth, but growing together and growing it together. Presently, the most critical subject for a powerful Turkey is the necessity of the joint action of all shareholders strengthening our national defense industry that aims to offer innovative and reliable solutions that decrease the foreign dependency in terms of technology”. 

Regarding the “Aselsan Social Innovation Leaders - ASIL” Project which they will be launching in Turkey for the first time, GÖRGÜN shared the following information: “The ASIL Project will reflect our leading role in the defense industry to social projects as well and will serve as a model to Turkey for the development of projects towards fulfilling the requirements of our country, our society and their improvement. Under the roof of this Project, we are building an informational and developmental platform for university students, professionals, suppliers and entrepreneurs. With this platform, we will be providing services focused on awareness, human resources, training, know - how and development for all of our suppliers”. 

Following the protocol remarks, the session on “Alliance towards Indigenization” started. This session was moderated by Deputy President of Defense Industries Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ and Deputy Minister of National Defense Muhsin DERE, Deputy President of Defense Industries Mustafa Murat ŞEKER and Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Hasan BÜYÜKDEDE attended the session as panelists.

The panel on “Sharing Aselsan’s Vision” was held in the afternoon session. The panel was moderated by Aselsan Institutional Management Deputy Director General Assoc.Prof. Hakan KARATAŞ and HBT Sector Head Yavuz BAYIZ, MGEO Sector Head Prof. Sezai ELAGÖZ, REHIS Sector Head Oğuz ŞENER, SST Sector Head Mustafa KAVAL, UGES Sector Head İbrahim BEKAR attended as panelists. 

A panel on “Indigenization” was held again with the participation of officials from Aselsan’s industry directorate. The panel was moderated by Prof. Mehmet ÇELİK. The Alliance Summit ended with a presentation on Aselsan’s industrialization and procurement activities, the presentation of plaques to strategic partners and a Gala Dinner.