Inauguration of the Aselsan Akyurt Guidance & Unmanned Systems Serial Production Facility

Date: Issue 103 - January 2021

Aselsan’s New System Introduction and Facility Opening Ceremony was held on November 12, 2020 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN. The KARAKULAK High Frequency Direction Finding and Interception System was officially delivered the Turkish Armed Forces and a new delivery of KORKUT Low Altitude Air Defense Systems were carried out at the ceremony which recognized the opening of three new facilities and Aselsan Akyurt Mosque. 

President ERDOĞAN visited Aselsan premises at Gölbaşı province in Ankara in attendance of the ceremony in which he participated in the signing of the ceremonial book of honor to commemorate the occasion alongside President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR and Aselsan Chairman of the Board & CEO Prof. Haluk GÖRGÜN. During a closed tour at the premises President ERDOĞAN was informed on the ongoing projects and was accompanied by Vice President Fuat OKTAY and the Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK.

Aselsan Chairman of the Board & CEO Prof. Haluk GÖRGÜN informed participants about Aselsan’s activities and noted that Aslesan had achieved one of its strategic targets, which is becoming one of the 50 top global defense companies. GÖRGÜN said, “Rapid changes in technology have altered the balance in the Defense Industry. This not only affects the platforms and systems required in the field by our forces but also deeply influences all the accustomed internal processes varying from the design of products and services developed by defense industry companies until their launch to market. Ever since our establishment, as the Aselsan group, we have been exerting utmost efforts toward increasing the facilities and capabilities of our heroic Armed Forces and further improving our defense industry and thus ultimately contributing to the independence and development of our country. In line with the goal of eliminating foreign dependency as part of Turkey’s targets for 2023, the ratio of local content has reached approximately 70%. To date, deliveries worth a total US$ 1.7 billion have been accomplished as part of 160 projects at Aselsan’s Gölbaşı Premises which opened five years ago. Export revenue of US$ 58.9 million was achieved through exports to 20 different countries. Presently, we have export orders/backlog valued at US$ 176.3 million. Within the scope of our ongoing 120 projects, we have orders worth US$ 2.5 billion at this facility. We foresee a potential of US$ 2.5 billion in new projects coming up in the next four years. Five years ago, these premises had a staff size of 1,087 and at present has reached 1,631 and by the end of 2020, this figure will increase to 1,744. Moreover, we allocated R&D sources, a worth todayTRY 2.5 billion, at this facility. We have 125 patents and utility model registrations and have been conducting R&D studies with 28 universities. As a result of all of these activities, Aselsan achieved becoming one of the top 50 global defense companies, which is one of our strategic goals and ranked 48th on the list in 2020.”

GÖRGÜN: “Aselflir F-500C E/O System will be an Advanced Version of the CATS system.”

GÖRGÜN began his remark by relaying information on Aselsan’s products developed for the defense industry and continued with the solutions developed for the healthcare sector throughout the course of the pandemic. GÖRGÜN: “The first product, we will introduce the ZMA modernization project today. As part of this project, we conducted indigenization and improvement activities and additionally we accomplished the integration of systems such as 25mm NEFER weapon system, laser warning system, close-range surveillance system and Driver vision system.

Another Aselsan product is the AselFlir F-500C system. This product is a E/O Targeting system that will be developed for UAV platforms such as the TB-2 and ANKA. It is an advanced version of the CATS system. The third product we shall present here is the Small Diameter Bomb. This bomb’s high precision hit capabilities enable it to destroy targets at a range of 100 kilometers and it has a penetration capacity of destroying 1-meter-thick reinforced concrete targets. Another product is our inertial measurement unit. We also developed a virus identification system by speeding up our activities, taking into consideration priorities in healthcare technologies. We aim to conduct rapid, accurate and optical multiple virus identification specific to the COVID-19 test with our Aselsan virus identification system. So far, we have worked on antigens, much smaller than viruses such as the Coronavirus with this system and achieved quite successful results. Another product developed within the scope of healthcare systems is the mobile x-ray device. We developed this product for patients with emergency x-ray demands who are incapable of physically going to a radiology unit. Our mobile digital x-ray system features advanced capabilities such as motorized x-rays, digital transfer without x-ray films, instant high-quality images and touch-screen display units. Long Horizon Communication and Satellite Communication Systems are critical in terms of cross-border operations. As part of the systems, we will introduce today, within the scope of the TSK X-band Satellite Communication System Project, we designed the satellite communication terminals and main and back-up satellite control centers with our local content rate reaching over 80%. These terminals and control centers are transportable and have quick deployment and manpack features. 

We developed an indigenous mechanical respirator during the pandemic with our Dear President’s trust and with collaboration of Turkish engineers, under the coordination of our Ministry of Industry and Technology, support from our defense industry companies such as Aselsan and Baykar and our Presidency of Defense Industries and with the cooperation of Arçelik and Biyosis. The prototype of the ventilator was built by Biyosis. Engineers of Aselsan and Baykar improved the hardware and software of the product and rendered it available for serial production. The initial serial production was carried out by Arçelik. As of today, over 11,000 ventilators have been produced and made available for delivery at Aselsan’s facilities. Furthermore, the critical components which could not be imported during the pandemic process have been installed.”

In his speech, President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR touched upon the Turkish Defense Industry’s activities and added: “The Presidency of Defense Industries has history of over 35 years. Until the 2000s the activities were mostly focused on indigenous production, offset/Industrial Participation as well as multi-national programs. However, particularly with the Defense Industry Executive Committee’s meeting in May 2004, a new era began in terms of launching unique and national technologies. Witnessing the contribution of our indigenous and national products in the various operations of our heroic Armed Forces and Security Forces makes us all proud. The Turkish Defense Industry has reached a maturity level in the production of Land, Air and Naval platforms, and has attained a competitive level and has even become a global leader regarding some products. Our defense industry attained a globally competitive level by launching many projects in various areas and designing future forward projects ahead of time, thanks to considerable R&D investments. Our sector has also been generating solutions in the civilian area in addition to preparing for the battle environment of the future with laser and electromagnetic weapon systems, unmanned and autonomous systems, cyber security and artificial intelligence projects. We are aware that achieving a self-sustained in terms of critical technologies and strategic products is what matters in respect to the target of achieving a fully independent defense industry in Turkey.” 

President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN: “We Increased the Budget for Our Defense Industry Projects to US$ 60 billion from US$ 5.5 billion.”

In his speech at Aselsan’s New Systems Demonstration and Facility Inauguration Ceremony, President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN began by congratulating Aselsan, which launched its activities on 14 November 1975, on its 45th anniversary since its establishment and he thanked all those who have worked at Aselsan, having taken part in projects and thus having contributed to our country’s defense industry with their know-how and endeavors. Stating that Turkey’s Defense & Aerospace exports increased to US$ 3 billion from US$ 248 million, President ERDOĞAN continued, “Seven companies are currently representing our country on the list of the top 100 global defense companies. Five more companies of ours have entered this list over the past five years alone.”

President ERDOĞAN underlined that in addition to meeting its requirements, Turkey is now fulfilling the demands of friendly and allied nations and added, “We are among ten countries that are capable of designing, building and sustaining their warships. As for production of UAVs, UCAVs, we are now among the top three or four countries in the world. Turkey, today, has become a country which is capable of overcoming all the problems caused and overt or covert embargoes imposed by global suppliers.” President ERDOĞAN also said, “We are not only correcting the deficiencies of the past but also embracing our future” and stressed that they continue to launch high-tech systems by increasing investments in R&D studies. President ERDOĞAN reminded the audience of the embargo imposed on the Canadian company Wescam’s MX-15D Electro-Optical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting System, utilized in some of the Turkish UAVs, due to Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan, and said, “So what did we do? We produced a unique product instead, integrated it to our UAVs and proceeded on our way. On top of that, we launched our project to build better versions of these E/O cameras. Proceeding with this mindset in all areas, we will be elevating our indigenous and national defense industry to the top.” 

Speaking of their constant effort towards achieving a fully independent Turkey in terms of the defense industry, President ERDOĞAN added, “We have equipped our Presidency of Defense Industries, established by the late President ÖZAL, with an infrastructure capable of effectively conducting the coordination of this process. Today, the Turkish defense industry embraces a broad ecosystem that features foundation companies, the private sector, sub-contractors, SMEs, universities, research centers, technoparks and clusters. In this way, where merely 62 projects were conducted in 2002, currently we have succeeded in cultivating a defense industry where nearly 700 projects are being realized. Only in just the last five years, we initiated approximately 350 new projects to effectively fight against attacks that our country faces. We increased our defense industry project budget to US$ 60 billion from US$ 5.5 billion. The number of our companies now active in the industry has reached 1,500 from 56. The turnover of the sector which was US$ 1 billion has now reached US$ 11 billion.”

President ERDOĞAN: “KARAKULAK High-Frequency Direction Finding & Interception Systems are in our Inventory”

Delivery of the new systems developed by Aselsan as part of the projects conducted by the Presidency of Defense Industries was accomplished on the same day. The first group of deliveries touched upon in President ERDOĞAN’s speech was the KARAKULAK High Frequency Direction Finding & Interception System, which was included for the first time in the TAF’s inventory. President ERDOĞAN made the following statement on the subject, “Today, we are also realizing the delivery of one of these new systems. The KARAKULAK High Frequency Direction Finding and Interception System will add great power to our forces in Electronic Warfare and it is now in our inventory.” Adding that new deliveries of the KORKUT Low Altitude Air Defense System, which are presently in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces, were also being executed, President ERDOĞAN said, “KORKUT is capable of effectively conducting low altitude air defense against Air-to-Ground missiles, Cruise Missiles and Unmanned Air Vehicles along with aircraft and helicopters. With the 35 mm Air Burst Ammunition named ATOM, that we used in this system, Turkey has become a country which features national capability that is owned by very few countries in the world.” President ERDOĞAN also announced the launch of the New Generation KORAL Electronic Warfare System project to be developed by Aselsan. Emphasizing the major role of the KORAL Electronic Warfare System in the detection and neutralization of the enemy’s radars during the operations, President ERDOĞAN added that the more advanced version of the system, namely the “New Generation KORAL” would feature superior capabilities in terms of detecting, jamming and neutralizing the enemy’s elements.

ERDOĞAN: “Satellite Launch Tests were Completed Successfully. During Such Tests, We Reached Outer Space Four Times.”

President ERDOĞAN also stated that the tests Roketsan conducted as part of satellite launch activities continued successfully and that outer space was reached during these launches. “During our visit to Roketsan last August 30th on Victory Day, we declared that we took our glorious flag to higher levels and that we entered the League of Space. Hereby, I would like to share the good news, on October 29th Republic Day, we once again illuminated the darkness of space with our national technology and engineering capability. The Satellite Launch tests we conducted with our fully national and indigenous engineering capabilities were completed successfully. During these tests we reached space four more times.”

President ERDOĞAN underlined the undeniable role of the defense industry in minimizing Turkey’s current deficit and added, “In order to acquire critical technologies in the defense industry, the roles should be identified, existing capabilities should be managed properly, investments should be planned and capacity should be utilized efficiently. We will rapidly achieve our targets through further improvements in cooperation, harmony and sharing between our institutions active in the defense industry. As the President, in the future, I will continue to give all the support to the defense industry with growing power.” 

Speaking on the topic of the need for a much stronger coordination in capability profiles of employees, competence maps of the R&D centers and capacity management of the companies in the defense industry, President ERDOĞAN asked the Presidency of Defense Industries and ministries and institutions to engage in closer collaboration. In his remarks, pointing to the importance of close and sincere cooperation between all the public and private organizations that contributed to the development of the defense industry -in terms of the depth of R&D and efficiency- President ERDOĞAN continued, “Maintaining a clear flow of information among the procurement authorities, users and producers is among the fundamental conditions required for the sustainable development of the defense industry. Proper planning of investments as well as the technology and preventing wastage through avoiding duplicate investments are essential. Within this scope, the alternative procurements conducted without the coordination of our Presidency of Defense Industries should be assessed with a priority assigned to the existing facilities and capabilities. Except for critical cases of vital importance, though not ideal, we shall do our best to produce or develop anything we can. Should any organization be left on the sidelines without the expertise of our Presidency of Defense Industries, and conduct its product procurement alone, then duplications and wastage cannot be avoided. The Presidency of Defense Industries should also adopt a faster and more effective decision-making process and improve its capabilities of design and product planning as well as its procurement and delivery capabilities.”

Following President ERDOĞAN’s remarks, the Aselsan Akyurt Guidance and Unmanned Systems Serial Production Facility, Aselsan Akyurt Mosque, Aselsan İvedik Technopark Facilities and the new building of AselsanNET were launched into service.

Aselsan Akyurt Guidance and Unmanned Systems Serial Production Facility

The Guidance and Unmanned Systems Serial Production Facility with an 8 thousand square-meter indoor area is built over 55 thousand square-meters of land. There is an office space for 150 employee and a 4 thousand 500 square-meter laboratory, test and integration area inside the premises. Critical systems such as unmanned land, air and naval vehicles, bomb disposal robots, Laser Guidance Kits, Precision-Guidance Kit and Small Dimater Bombs are being developed and manufactured at the premises.

Aselsan Akyurt Mosque

Opened inside Aselsan’s Akyurt premises, Akyurt Mosque was built over an indoor area of 775 square meters. The indoor capacity of the mosque was planned for 976 people and the exterior area around the mosque was designed for 1,000 people. 

Aselsan Ivedik Technopark Facilities

The additional service building construction executed at Aselsan’s Ivedik Technopark Facilities was completed by the end of October and was made available for utilization in November. Additional office spaces where Aselsan staff can work, the integration laboratory areas where they can collaborate with Aselsan’s solution partners, laboratory and display spaces for executing technology research activities and presentations, meeting rooms and social domains for the staff were built inside this additional service building. Since last November, platform integration design activities and mechanical design activities regarding weapon systems have started to be performed at the new service building at Ivedik Technopark. 

AselsanNET’s New Premises

As a 100% Aselsan affiliate, AselsanNET has been performing activities in the fields of Communication Systems, Security Systems, Information Systems, Geographic Information Systems, Radio Frequency Identification and Tracking Systems. Starting its journey with the slogan, ‘wherever technology is needed’, AselsanNET will be delivering services with its 216 employees at the new premises with a total indoor area that spans over 10 thousand square meters with 7 thousand square meters of office space. 

Aselsan Systems Displayed at the Ceremony:

PULAT Active Protection System

HISAR Low and Medium Altitude Air Defense Systems

M60TM Main Battle Tank

Modernized Towed Gun

Fire Control Systems

KORKUT Self- Propelled Low Altitude Air Defense Weapon System

KALKAN II New Generation Air Defense Early Warning Radar

SERDAR Anti-Tank Missile Launching System

KANGAL Jammer/Neutralization System 

SERHAT Counter Mortar Radar System

IHTAR UAV Acquisition / Destruction and Reporting System 

KORHAN 35 mm Unmanned Weapon Turret

REDET II Radar Electronic Support / Electronic Attack System

Mobile V-UHF Electronic Attack Systems

Long-Range Weapon Locating Radar

Early Warning Radar System