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Turkish Aerospace Management Summit Held in Ankara

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ) Management Summit was held in Kızılcahamam, Ankara with the participation of Vice President of Turkey Fuat OKTAY, President of Defence Industries Dr. İsmail DEMİR, senior management and employees of TUSAŞ

In his speech at the summit, Vice President of Turkey, Fuat OKTAY stated that they are not satisfied with the 65 percent domestic and national production rate in the defence industry. OKTAY said, “The number of national projects carried out in the field of defence technologies has exceeded 600 and indicated that the current situation regarding the production capability as well as indigenous product development and design is worthy of praise. Pointing out that the export breakthrough in the defence industry is an important turning point for Turkey, OKTAY emphasized that now Turkey can design, produce and export products in this area instead of importing them and added that the record-breaking export figures of over US$ 168 Billion continue with increasing momentum with a 5.9 percent increase compared to last year.

Underlining that the defence and aerospace exports in 2002 valued at US$ 248 Million, increased by more than 8 times in 2018 and reached around US$ 2.35 billion; OKTAY said: “Is that enough? Never. I believe that with your efforts, we will increase it to even further levels. TUSAŞ made an enormous contribution to Turkey’s current position, by ramping up our defence industry with the development of national synergy. We did not have a single defence company among the world’s largest defence companies in 2002, yet today, we have TUSAŞ in the 64th place.”

Stating that TUSAŞ is the source of pride for everyone regarding the most strategic projects which advance the national technology of the country such as aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and space systems, OKTAY shared the following information: “Our satellite GÖKTÜRK-1, which provides high-resolution images from any region on the world without geographical restrictions and our first national observation satellite produced by TUSAŞ, GÖKTÜRK-2, continue to perform their duties. We have products that make us proud such as the T129 ATAK helicopter and the ANKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System. With the completion of the Turkish Fighter Jet  Project, Turkey will become one of the countries that can produce a fifth-generation combat aircraft after the United States, Russia, and China. We’re not even talking about a distant future, in 2023, we will roll out our national aircraft from the hangar, and in 2026 it will be in the skies. It will enter into service in 2031.”

OKTAY also expressed his best wishes for the signing of the contract between the Presidency of Defence Industries and TUSAŞ for the “Heavy Class Attack Helicopter” ATAK-2 project which will carry the experience gained from the ATAK helicopter to the next level.

OKTAY said that the target drone systems named ŞİMŞEK and TURNA meet the training requirements of the air defence units of Turkish Armed Forces in the best way possible. “TUSAŞ’s support for the private sector, including SMEs concerning the development of our domestic production and subsidiary industry, is also praiseworthy. We have to create sub-systems related to the products we design and produce and develop sub-sectors. Strengthening our human capital with domestic and national projects and the encouraging success stories of our engineers will accelerate the Turkey’s rise. In line with our 2053 and 2071 strategic visions and our national technology movement, our top priority should be the training of qualified personnel for the indigenous design and production capabilities of our country. We support our young people to grow and produce in the best way possible with effective training programs, techno-entrepreneurship support, and R&D incentives. In this respect, I would like to encourage you to further increase your university-industry collaboration activities. I follow your trainee engineer program with great appreciation. In addition to programs for young engineers like this, I expect you to extend R&D studies that will provide added value to technology. I strongly believe that you will increase the number of your partners and affiliates and expand your product range further by increasing your business volume. Hopefully, there will be days when we have no dependence on foreign countries for defence industry products.”

Stating that it is not possible for Turkey to be solely a user of technology due to its regional and global position, OKTAY continued as follows: “Today, the countries that cannot produce their own technologies, particularly defence systems, are open targets for global powers. We are aware of the fact that if we acquire critical technologies from other countries, we may face the risk of failure to use those systems at the most required time. We have not forgotten and will always remember the days when we could not fly the UAVs we bought in the past. We still remember the arms embargo during the Cyprus Operation as clear as yesterday. Under the leadership of our President, we place a great emphasis on fulfilling the defence and security requirements of our country with domestic and national resources and work day and night to ensure our technological independence. Our goal for our country is not only to become self-sufficient in the defence industry but also to meet the needs of friendly and allied countries. In this context, we continue our initiatives in the public and private sectors and diversify our multidimensional incentives and investments.”

OKTAY emphasized that they meet defence industry requirements, from design to production, mostly through the domestic and national resources and the nation’s own engineers. OKTAY said: “We have to use our resources in an effective and efficient way to make progress in the defence industry. This is one of the main reasons why the Presidency of Defence Industries is directly under the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey in the new system. It is to benefit from all the swiftness, flexibility and dynamism of the Presidential System. With the new system, our national product range with high added value technology that we offer to our nation will expand much faster. We will transform into a society that produces technology with your contribution and, together, we will bring our national technology movement to success.”

OKTAY emphasized that the state has the capability and history to prevail against all sorts of challenges and with this understanding, the defence industry achieved significant progress in the last 17 years regarding localization, nationalization and global activity.

Stating that Turkey was unable to produce even the most basic equipment for our soldiers but, today, we can manufacture our national combat aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles including all the parts, OKTAY made the following assessment: “We raised locality rate in the defence industry from 15 percent to 65 percent. You know how we got to 65 percent. Taking the experience from ATAK helicopter one step further, we opened a new page with the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter. Designed and produced by Turkish engineers, our indigenous helicopter GÖKBEY successfully performed its first test flight and made us proud. In recent months, one of our ANKA unmanned aerial vehicles successfully conducted a flight test with TEI’s domestically and nationally developed PD170 engine. By rapidly increasing our domestic production and design capabilities thanks to this momentum, I believe we will accomplish various significant projects for Turkey such as national Combat Aircraft and our first national communication satellite TURKSAT 6A. We are not satisfied with the 65 percent domestic and national production rate in the defence industry.”

President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR: “We will give our full support”

Presidency of the Republic of Turkey President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR stated that one of the most important indicators of development in the defence industry is the progress made in the aerospace industry.

Emphasizing that unconditional cooperation between TUSAŞ and Turkey’s other aviation giant Turkish Airlines should be discussed as well, Prof. DEMİR, pointed out the importance of evaluating the extent of cooperation with other organizations within the framework of various incorporations and partnerships.

Expressing his hope that the meeting will act as an important milestone for determining the vision towards the future, Prof. DEMİR stated that, as Presidency, they will give their full support to TUSAŞ in this process.

Chairman of the Board of TUSAŞ Prof. Oğuz BORAT: “Our goal is to create 15 thousand jobs in 10 years”

Chairman of the Board of TUSAŞ, Prof. Oğuz BORAT stated that during the 2-day event they will discuss how to position their company regarding the developments and changes in the sector, as well as how to act strategically in the next 10 years. Prof. BORAT underlined that as TUSAŞ, their objective is to become an integrator company, develop subsidiary industry, introduce significant progress, development, and innovation at a global scale and become a pioneer in the international conjuncture. BORAT said that they employ over 8 thousand personnel currently and they will increase this number to 15 thousand in the next 10 years with an engineer-based growth plan.

KOTİL: “ATAK-2 Heavy Class Attack Helicopter to make its first flight in 2024”

In his speech, President & CEO of TUSAŞ Temel KOTİL shared information about the projects carried out by the company. KOTİL indicated that HürJet, which is still in the prototype phase, will make its first flight in 2023. He also stated that National Combat Aircraft will roll out from the hangar in 2023, fly in 2026 and will be delivered in 2029.

Expressing that they are on their way to becoming a significant player regarding helicopters, KOTİL stated that export activities for the T129 ATAK helicopter are continuing and the T70 helicopter will begin to fly in 2020. KOTİL also said that the delivery of the GÖKBEY helicopter will start in 2020 and the ATAK-2 helicopter will make its maiden flight in 2024. In addition, KOTİL noted that they submitted their offer to the Presidency of Defence Industries for the GökTürk replacement satellite. 

Indicating that they realized around half a billion dollars of export in aircraft platforms, KOTİL said: “Our goal is to raise this figure to US$ 2 billion. We are targeting for a turnover of US$ 2.6 Billion this year and intend to increase this figure up to US$ 11 Billion in future. Our aim is to become a company that does not only meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces but also secures successful exports. We are the 64th largest defence company among the top 100 in the world, and hopefully, we will reach the 15th place in 10 years.”