Turkish Defence Industry Displays its Muscles During

by İbrahim SÜNNETCİ The 14th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and the 5th edition of the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) were held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), which is centrally located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, from 17-21 February 2019 under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al NAHYAN, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Date: Issue 91 - May 2019

As the only international defence exhibition and conference in the MENA region demonstrating the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defence, IDEX and NAVDEX which are the most important maritime defence exhibitions in the Middle East, are organized by the IDEX LLC in association and with the full support of the UAE Armed Forces. NAVDEX 2019 is sponsored by a group of national companies specialized in the defence industry, most notably the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), the strategic partner of the IDEX and NAVDEX 2019 exhibitions, in addition to the Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB), the main partner of NAVDEX 2019.

Held on an internal and external area spanning over 168,000m2, including 12 indoor exhibition halls, the concourse, the atrium and a large outdoor exhibition area (a naval jetty with a total length of 551m and a NAVDEX Pontoon with a length of 50m at ADNEC’s marine facility and Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi), which represents a 26% increase compared to 133,000m2 in 2017, the 2019 edition of IDEX and NAVDEX also witnessed a record number of international and local participant companies since IDEX’s inception in 1993. The number of exhibitors increased by 6% to 1,310 compared to 1,235 companies in IDEX/NAVDEX 2017. International companies have accounted for 85% of the total number of companies, while the number of local enterprises exhibited at IDEX and NAVDEX 2019 reached 170, representing 15% of the exhibitors. 

The UAE was the largest exhibitor with the biggest pavilion in terms of space at this year’s IDEX event with 170 companies from the defence and its supporting sector, followed by the US, France, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The largest exhibitor from the UAE was the EDIC, was a joint venture between Mubadala Development and Tawazun Holding.

The number of participating countries also increased by 9% or 62 countries compared with 57 in 2017. Over the five days, IDEX and NAVDEX attracted more than 124,370 visitors, as well as 1,213 media representatives from 42 countries, or an increase of 16% compared to the 2017 event. The next editions of IDEX and NAVDEX will be held during 21-25 February 2021. According to Humaid Matar Al DHAHERI, Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), as of 21 February 2019, bookings for the 2021 edition have already reached 70%. 

Being held concurrently with the IDEX since the inaugural event in 2011, NAVDEX has experienced steady and solid growth in the number of regional and international participants. This year’s event was held over approximately 40,000m2 of exhibition space with the participation of more than 100 exhibitors from 23 countries. The 2019 edition of NAVDEX saw the participation of four countries for the first-time including China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and South Korea. Furthermore, NAVDEX 2019 hosted a total of 16 visiting naval vessels from 14 friendly and fraternal nations (Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, France, India, Italy, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK and the US). These naval vessels include a variety of hardware, notably frigates and destroyers – positioned at ADNEC’s marine facility and Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi. A total of 16 manned and unmanned boats with lengths from 5,3m to 16,45m from 4 countries (UAE, UK, US and Sudan) also were displayed at NAVDEX Pontoon and performed live demonstrations on-water throughout the event.

The 2019 editions of IDEX and NAVDEX concluded on 21 February 2019 with deals worth AED20,053,699,941 (around US$5,42 Billion) inked by the UAE Armed Forces with both local and international companies. Over the duration of the exhibitions, 65% of the deals were awarded to international companies, while the remaining 35% were allocated to national companies. The biggest single contract awarded during the event was an AED5.73 Billion (around US$1,52 Billion) deal related to the Patriot missile systems manufactured by Raytheon of the US. On the third day of IDEX/NAVDEX AED25.7 Million (around US$7 Million) contract was signed with the Turkish company FNSS Savunma Sistemleri to supply spare parts and repair services for the ACV-300 tracked armored vehicles. It is worth noting that the previous edition of the IDEX/NAVDEX produced concluding deals valued at more than AED19.7 Billion and the IDEX 2015, attracted more than 1,200 local and international defence manufacturers and contractors and drew over 101,000 visitors from across the world, facilitated business deals worth AED18.3 Billion.

The IDEX exhibition has provided, over 25 years, an international platform for viewing the latest defence and military systems and the industry’s latest innovations, making it a key event for promoting innovation, initiatives, ideas and pioneering, he said, while expressing pride at the exhibition’s organization and its level of participation, which have contributed to its success. As pointed out by DHAHERI, Group CEO of the ADNEC during Press Conference held at the ADNEC on 11 February 2019, over the past 25 years, the number of exhibitors frequenting IDEX has increased by 400%, with the number of participating countries rising by 250% over the same period. Number of visitors rose by 500%, while the show floor dedicated for the event has gone up by 900% compared to the first edition in 1993.

Opening Ceremony

Celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year, IDEX 2019 was kicked-off in Abu Dhabi on February 17 with a spectacular opening ceremony including military demonstrations and air shows by the UAE Armed Forces. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al MAKTOUM, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al NAHYAN, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces attended the inauguration ceremony, where they received political and military leaders from various nations participating in IDEX.

The event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) started with performances by officers from the UAE military, police bands and Emirati traditional songs and dances.  This was followed by a fantastic air show and military demonstrations, including; attack helicopters performing in a combat scenario demonstration, heavy mock firefighters performing in a combat scenario and UAE jets conducting an ‘airstrike’ in a combat demonstration.

Turkey’s Participation

In order to create awareness in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region of the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry capabilities, the Presidency for Defence Industries (SSB) has been supporting national participation to defence exhibitions in the MENA region. In this context, Turkey participates in important defence and aerospace exhibitions organized in the MENA region such as IDEX/NAVDEX (UAE), DIMDEX (Qatar), SOFEX (Jordan), Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS) and Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD, South Africa) and key players from the Turkish defence sector are brought together in a national pavilion.

Presenting great export opportunities for the Turkish defence industry products, Turkey has participated in IDEX Exhibitions at “National Level” with the support and coordination of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) since 2001. Contrary to the exhibitions in 2015 and 2017, Turkey attended IDEX 2019 at the national level with a last-minute decision. As a result of the political tensions between the two countries, Turkey had suspended National Participation in IDEX Exhibitions since 2015. Turkey attended the IDEX 2013 Exhibition at the national level with 36 companies under the coordination of the SSB, whereas the only participants in IDEX 2015 and IDEX 2017 were the defence industry companies pursuing exports in the Middle East and Gulf Region. While 20 Turkish Defence & Aerospace companies attended IDEX 2015, only 12 companies participated in IDEX 2017. 

Turkish defence industry companies participated in IDEX/NAVDEX 2019 Exhibitions at the national level under the auspices of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and the support of the Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association (SSI). DEFENCE TURKEY Magazine was also present as one of the media sponsors of the event. During the Exhibitions, the Turkish Defence & Aviation Industry was represented by 23 companies and institutions including ARES Shipyard, Aselsan, ASFAT, CES Advanced Composite, FNSS, Havelsan, MILMAST, MKEK, Nicomatic, Otokar, Roketsan, STM, Yakupoğlu and Yonca-Onuk JV. Among the Turkish companies, Aselsan made the biggest contribution with its 350m2 stand at the exhibition. ARES Shipyard, Desan Shipyard, Havelsan, STM and Yonca-Onuk JV companies set up their stands at NAVDEX Exhibition. Aselsan, Military Factory and Shipyard Management (ASFAT), CES Advanced Composite and Defence Technologies, FNSS Defence Systems, Garanti Apparel Composite Technologies, Gül Automotive, MKEK, Otokar, Roketsan, T-Kalıp, Transvaro, UNIFO, and Yakupoğlu set up their stands at the Exhibition Hall 10 in the National Pavilion. Lastly, MILMAST Lifting Systems and Nicomatic companies set up their stands at Hall 8.

Despite the National Participation of the Turkish Defence Industry companies this year unlike the last two exhibitions, the level of the Turkish Delegation, however, was quite low as opposed to the previous event. While Turkey was represented by former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi AKAR (appointed as Minister of National Defence on July 9, 2018) on the first day and President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR on the third day during IDEX 2017, this year Turkey and the SSB were represented by the Middle East and Africa Division of the International Cooperation Department.

The UAE’s support for the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état, UAE Government’s decision to list the “Muslim Brotherhood” organization supported by the Turkish Government as a Terrorist Organization, and Turkey’s alignment with Qatar against the diplomatic and logistical embargo of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt, led to deep political tension between the governments of the UAE and Turkey. As a result of Turkey’s political decisions, bilateral relations with Egypt and later diplomatic relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been strained. As a reflection of this situation, important defence industry export projects, including the ones in the signing process with the aforementioned countries, were shelved. As the political tension between the two countries continues, it is not possible to sell a new weapon system and technology to this country in the near future.

Unlike 2013, as a result of the political tension between the two countries, UAE senior officials did not visit the Turkish Pavilion during the IDEX/NAVDEX 2019 Exhibition.  Moreover, the fact that Turkish companies cannot secure contracts in the UAE market as before and the negative opinions on the defence industry sales made to Qatar, has also created new business opportunities for foreign companies with similar products. For example, Spanish Escribano Mechanical & Engineering company presented its Guardian 20 (12.7mm), Guardian 30 (30mm), Sentinel 20 and Sentinel 30 Remote-Controlled Weapon Station solutions as an alternative to Aselsan STAMP and STOP/SMASH systems and displayed them just behind SERDAR Anti-tank Missile Launching System (MLS) at IGG stand in Hall 4 during IDEX 2019. As a family-owned company, 32.2% of the Escribano’s shares were acquired by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) in 2016. According to our information, although the Spanish company is highly competitive and offers more attractive prices than Aselsan, it lags behind Aselsan in terms of product quality and the performance of weapons/sensors used on the RCWS solutions. Escribano was also preferred by Oman authorities as part of ARES Shipyard’s boat export to Oman (due to the fact that the majority of the shares belong to Oman). Furthermore, during IDEX/NAVDEX 2019 Exhibitions, Turkish Defence Industry companies that export to Qatar were not allowed to share any information or visuals related to the sales to this country, and the use of the Qatar Flag on the products they exhibited were not allowed. For example, the Qatar Flag on the models of the boats sold to Qatar in the ARES Shipyard stand was covered up with tape in accordance with the requests of UAE authorities.

Turkish Defence Industry Companies Activities


Turkey’s largest defence industry company, Aselsan made the biggest contribution from Turkey with its 350m2 stand at IDEX 2019. Aselsan exhibited its Counter Mortar Radar, ACAR Ground Surveillance Radar, IHASAVAR Anti-Drone & Rcied Jammer System, AselBUOY Passive Directional Sonobuoy, ZARGANA Submarine Torpedo Countermeasure System (together with Decoys and Launcher), Day-Night Electro Optic Systems, Unmanned Ground and Aerial Systems, Remote Controlled Weapons Systems, MIDAS Fibre-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensor, SEDA Gunshot Detection System, Submarine ESM Antenna, Intercept Sonar System, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System, Satellite Communication System, Information Security Systems, and Military & Professional Communications Systems at its stand in the Exhibition Hall 10.

Aselsan displayed its SERDAR Anti-Tank Missile Launching System (ATMLS) remote weapon station (RWS) at the International Golden Group (IGG) stand within UAE Pavilion in Hall 4, together with IGG Aselsan Integrated Systems, a joint venture between Aselsan and its local partner IGG. In addition, Aselsan’s remote-controlled MILAS LMM Missile Launching System with 4 LMM Missiles was displayed onboard AHM-11 Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) at Al Marakeb Boat Manufacturing Company stand during NAVDEX Exhibition. Furthermore, an Al Marakeb AHM-13 Unmanned Surface Vehicle fitted with an Aselsan 12.7mm STAMP RCWS performed a live demonstration at NAVDEX Pontoon. Aselsan Middle East (AME), an Aselsan-KADDB joint venture company based in Jordan, also exhibited its products at its stand at KADDB Investment Group Pavilion in Hall 1.

Aselsan sold 150 SERDAR Anti-Tank Missile Launching Systems (together with Nurol Makina YORUK/NMS 4x4) to Qatar last year and successfully performed a live demonstration of the system with KORNET-E Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. The Aselsan product system also scored a direct hit on a target at 4km with a Skiff ATGM, during the previous tests carried out in Ukraine. The SERDAR Anti-Tank Missile Launcher System can be equipped with two or four ATGMs including the long-range Russian Kornet-E and the Ukrainian Skiff ATGMs, as well as the mid-range Javelin ATGM. However, as of February 2019, firing tests with the Javelin ATGM has not been performed yet. Although Tawazun officials have participated in the live demonstrations of the SERDAR and MILAS Systems, a purchase order for these systems is not expected in the near future due to the current political conjuncture.

The MILAS Missile Launching System (MLS) for the LMM Missiles was launched between Aselsan and Thales UK companies based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed on February 11, 2010. In concern with the LMM missiles, Aselsan developed MILAS MLS in two different configurations; the lightweight configuration with the capacity of carrying four missiles developed for the MRTP 16 type boats in the inventory of the UAE and the heavyweight configuration of 650kg weight with the capacity of carrying eight missiles designed for platforms with higher weights such as the FPBs and corvettes. The engineering development activities of both the MILAS MLS solutions with the ability to launch Thales UK production LMM and StarStreak Missiles were completed, the target tracking trials with the MLS was executed in Istanbul in 2014 and the initial firing tests were conducted in the United Kingdom also in 2014. The new cooperation agreement signed in February 2015 between the two companies envisaged the continuity of the shooting tests at sea and the execution of joint marketing activities for the potential customers besides BAE for the LMM MLS. The qualification phase of live firing tests with the MILAS MLS were successfully completed in 2016.

As one may remember, in 2009 Aselsan signed a contract with the UAE for the sale and delivery of 150 STAMP (12.7mm M2 HB) and STAMP-G (GAU-19 Gatling guns) systems to be used in various naval platforms of the UAE Navy and Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA). According to our information, Aselsan delivered only 134 STAMP Remote Controlled Stabilized Weapon Systems to date. 34 of the STAMP Systems were integrated on MRTP16 Class Fast Intervention Boats delivered by Yonca-Onuk JV of Turkey to the UAE’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA). Since 2013, 50 of the STAMP systems that were delivered between 2013-2015 have been stored in a disassembled state at depots in the UAE. The 10-year economic life of the STAMP Systems is expected to end by 2023. Although Aselsan could not sign new contracts due to the current political conjuncture between the two countries, the company continues to provide spare parts and maintenance services for the STAMP Systems delivered in 2015.

On the other hand, there has not been any concrete progress on the sale of 50 STOP systems so far. Inıtially, the first contract called for 50 STOP Systems armed with 25mm Oerlikon KBA cannon. However, when the UAE authorities changed their requirements from 25mm to 30mm, Aselsan developed a new version of STOP 25 mm STOP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System called SMASH/MUHAFIZ) armed with the ATK product Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon. Aselsan also performed live-fire tests with the 30mm SMASH Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System in the UAE, however, the procurement process of the SMASH/STOP Systems later were canceled. Aselsan exhibited the IHTAR Anti-Drone System at the previous event and attracted a great deal of attention from UAE authorities two units were planned for each airport at that time) but due to the political circumstances between the two countries, this interest did not turn into an order. Equipped with the MILMAST’s mast system, the Aselsan IHTAR Anti-Drone System has recently performed a special demo in Saudi Arabia. Within the scope of the two-day event organized by SADEC LLC (founded in 2016 as a joint venture of Aselsan and Taqnia DST), the system was introduced to the Saudi Arabian Authorities including ARAMCO, SAMI, KAUST, Water Decollation, Saudi Electricity Company, Jails Authority, and Anti-Drug Force. Moreover, in January 2019, Aselsan successfully completed its 500th IHTAR Anti-Drone delivery for both domestic and foreign customers.

According to our information, the end users from the UAE are quite satisfied with the quality and performance of Turkish Defence Industry products. Moreover, the fact that Turkish companies can provide faster service support compared to foreign companies/suppliers has also created considerable satisfaction for the customers. However, as a reflection of the political tension between the Governments, UAE customers had to shelve military purchases from Turkey and even dismantled some of the Turkish Defence Industry products used in their platforms. 

ARES Shipyard

Having signed the first contract with Oman for the sale of ARES 85 Hercules boats in November 2018, ARES Shipyard held a meeting on 18 February with the Omani Delegation for the second tender as part of the IDEX/NAVDEX 2019 Exhibitions. ARES Shipyard is one of the three shortlisted companies in the second tender process. While the first contract covers fourteen 26m boats, the second tender calls for twelve 36m boats.

On November 13, 2018 ARES Shipyard announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply 14 ARES 85 HERCULES multi-role patrol boats to the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard (ROPCG). The contract was signed between the Inspector General of Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the General Manager of ARES. This is Turkey’s first naval vessel supply contract with Oman. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed in four years. The ARES 85 HERCULES vessels are fully customized to meet the ROPCG’s needs and provide the agency with a much-expanded capability to patrol and secure the nation’s waters. The vessels have an overall length of 25,95m, a beam of 5,85m, a draught of 1,20m and a displacement of 70 tons. To be built by Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) composites the ARES 85 HERCULES boats will have a maximum speed of 45+ knots.

Having signed a contract on March 26, 2014, for the delivery of 17 HERCULES Fast Patrol Boats from advanced composites in three configurations (five 24m ARES 75, ten 34.5m ARES 110 and two 48.5m ARES 150) to the Qatari Coasts and Borders Security Department, ARES Shipyard managed to complete the delivery of the boats 20 months before the date specified in the contract. During DIMDEX 2018 ARES Shipyard received a follow-on contract to deliver three 48,5m ARES 150 Offshore Patrol Vessels and six 24m ARES 80 Special Operation Boats, to be armed with Aselsan’s 12,7mm STAMP and 30mm STOP/MUHAFIZ Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Weapon Systems. With this order the total number of ARES Shipyard boats to enter the Qatari Coasts and Borders Security Department by the end of 2020 has been increased to 26. ARES Shipyard is currently negotiating with the Qatari Navy for the sale of two 27m long (+2 options) boats with an aluminum body. Within the scope of the contract, the boat personnel will be trained in Qatar, and the Qatari Navy will receive maintenance support for 6 years.

ARES Shipyard signed a contract with the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) in February 2019 for the Control Boat Project of the Coast Guard Command (SGK). The project, covering the procurement of 105 boats, was launched in February 2018 and the first offers were submitted in April 2018. However, the project was shelved before reaching an agreement. Later on, the project was revived with the decision of the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) meeting on October 11, 2018, and the contract negotiations were reinitiated between the SSB and ARES Shipyard at the end of October. Following the successful conclusion of the negotiations at the end of January 2019, the contract for 105 ARES 35 FPB type control boats was signed on February 17, 2019, between the SSB and ARES Shipyard. ARES Shipyard will complete the construction and outfitting activities of the ARES 35 Control Boats, each of which will be constructed from carbon-reinforced composite materials with the multi-material molding (MMM) technique, within 10 days to keep up with the delivery schedule. According to the contract, ARES Shipyard will build 3 boats per month and the SSB will accept 6 boats every two months. The deliveries of the vessels will start in 2020 and will be completed within 5 years. The ARES 35 FPB type control boats will have an overall length of 11m, a beam of 3,3m, a displacement of 85 tons and a cruising range of 160 nautical miles.

The ARES 35 Control Boats will have a top speed of 35 knots and will be used by the Turkish Coast Guard Command as part of enforcement against smuggling activities. Boats that will be in use in all inland waters of Turkey will be deployed primarily at the Aegean Sea, where high incidences of human trafficking have occurred. Along with smuggling activities, the ARES 35 Control Boats are anticipated to intervene in all criminal incidents. 

CES Advanced Composites and Defence Technologies

Participating in the IDEX Exhibition for the first time this year, CES displayed its vehicle protection and personal protection products at Hall 10 at IDEX 2019. With successful sales in both domestic and international markets, the company exhibited its widely acclaimed add-on armor and spall liner solutions for vehicle protection as well as its ballistic vests, helmets, plates and shields for personal protection. The main feature of these products is that they are designed to be as light as possible and the lightest materials are used in production processes. Using the same quality materials as its international competitors, CES is quite determined to create superior ballistic protection solutions with better craftsmanship and engineering. Continuing its production activities in three different fields, namely Aviation, Ballistic Protection, and Defence, CES had the opportunity to meet with its suppliers and customers in the scope of IDEX 2019. CES met with the leading suppliers of light armor systems including its own suppliers and examined their products at the Exhibition. According to our information, there is a serious interest in CES products from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and India. The company also had the opportunity to improve the relations it had established at ADEX (Azerbaijan) and IDEAS (Pakistan) Exhibitions during IDEX 2019.  

Undertaking the armoring process of critical ship parts under the MILGEM Project, CES also is tasked with providing spall liners as part of the M60T FIRAT MBT modernization program. Furthermore, CES also has experience in ballistic protection solutions for aircraft/helicopters. Participating in the armoring of Black Hawk and Mi-17 helicopters in Turkey, CES cooperates with Paramount Group in the international arena for helicopter armoring solutions. CES is currently one of two qualified companies in the world who is already competent to produce armor kits (both cockpit and cabin floor) for Black Hawk helicopters. 

As one of the three companies manufacturing Ballistic Helmets in Turkey, CES closely follows the tenders of the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish National Police. In line with the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces, the Presidency of Defence Industries is expected to open a new tender soon for the new ballistic helmet model with add-on armor against rifle bullets. Pre-qualification tests have been completed for the tender with a high purchase volume, and the tender process is expected to start in the coming days.

FNSS Defence Systems

Having delivered 133 ACV-300 armored vehicles in various configurations to the UAE Land Forces in the 1990s, on the third day of IDEX 2019, FNSS signed a contract valued at AED25.7 Million (around US$7 Million) with the UAE Ministry of Defence for the spare parts and maintenance of ACV-300s. As the first Turkish Defence Industry Company that secured a contract in the Gulf Region, FNSS displayed its Anti-Tank Remote Turret (ARCT), TEBER-30/35 Remote Controlled Turret (RCT) System, and Pars III 8x8 with SABER-25 Turret products at Hall 10 at IDEX 2019. 

FNSS developed ARCT for the Turkish Land Forces Anti-Tank Vehicles (ATV) Program. ARCT was developed utilizing state-of-the-art technology, the most current design approaches and combat experiences by the user. As an indigenous development project, ARCT was designed from the onset as a dedicated ATGM turret. This particular feature has been instrumental in the attainment of a highly effective solution in terms of missile effectiveness and system survivability.

Completing its 30th year in the defence industry, FNSS is ready to be a pioneer of future manpower operated turrets integrated with both wheeled and tracked armored vehicles by using cutting edge technology and user-centered designs. SABER-25 and TEBER-30/35 RCT turrets incorporate the latest technologies in turret drives, fire control, protection and lethality. Its compact dimensions and lightweight makes SABER-25 a suitable choice for different types of armored vehicles. TEBER-30 RCT is equipped with the Mk44 30mm/40mm dual feed automatic cannon with 250 ready-to-fire rounds and has a maximum cyclic rate of fire 200 rounds/minute. TEBER-35 RCT is equipped with 35mm/50mm dual feed automatic cannon with 100 ready-to-fire rounds and has a maximum cyclic rate of fire 200 rounds/minute. TEBER-30/35 RCT can work night and day under all weather conditions and battle environments thanks to its integrated sensors and other electronic systems. Both the gunner and the commander can control all functions of the turret.

FNSS has previously held talks with the UAE on the sale of the SAMUR Armoured Amphibious Assault Bridge and the AZMIM Amphibious Armoured Combat Earthmover, and a delegation from the UAE Armed Forces visited Turkey to attend a special demonstration. However, due to the straining of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, the UAE decided to cancel this acquisition at the last moment. 


Havelsan participated in NAVDEX 2019 with its senior management to increase the presence of its products and solutions in new markets. On the first day of the exhibition, Chairman of the Board Dr. Hacı Ali MANTAR and General Manager & CEO Ahmet Hamdi ATALAY welcomed the senior officials from other companies at their stand. Raytheon’s International Business Development Team was also among the visitors of Havelsan. During the exhibition, Deputy General Manager of Training and Simulation Technologies Mehmet Akif NACAR and Vice President of Command Control and Combat Systems Savaş YANIK informed their visitors about the simulator technologies and naval combat systems.

Closely following nearly 20 big and small tenders in Oman, Havelsan is now competing in an international tender against key players such as Airbus Defence & Space (ADS offered STYRIS Coastal Surveillance System solution) and Indra for the Oman Coastal Surveillance Radar System. In the July 2018 tender, Havelsan offered a similar version of the radar system currently installed under the Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS) Project for the Turkish Coast Guard Command. The tender is expected to be finalized this year. Last year, Havelsan delivered a strategic level C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) System to the Oman Ministry of Defence. According to our information, the delivered system was successfully used during a military exercise in October 2018. Havelsan also takes part in the production and delivery of the GENESIS-based Combat Management System (CMS), which will be used in four Jinnah Class Corvettes built for the Pakistan Navy. Havelsan engineers are currently working on an improved version of the system. The Jinnah Class Corvettes will accommodate a number of differences in weapon and sensor equipment compared to the ADA Class Corvettes, therefore, the GENESIS-based CMS to be installed on the ships requires a number of modifications and updates for the integration of new sensor and weapon systems. The ships will be equipped with the SMART-S Mk2 3D Search Radar and include LY-80/HHQ-16 Medium-Range Air Defence Missile System and C802 Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles. For the integration of these new Chinese weapon systems into the vessels, the necessary Interface Control Documents (ICDs) must be shared with Havelsan. As of February 2019, the negotiations with Chinese officials on this issue were continuing. 


Founded by the partnership between the advanced engineering company FIGES Technology and SSTEK Defence Industry Technologies in 2017, MILMAST has achieved remarkable success in telescopic mast systems. This year, MILMAST participated in IDEX 2019 with a wide range of products that can be used for various purposes in both civilian and military fields. The company exhibited its robust, stable, and low-maintenance electro-mechanical carbon-fiber composite FTM, FHM, and FOM series MAST Systems with extended height up to 3-15 meters at Hall 8 in German Pavilion. MILMAST also manufactures military trailers in addition to telescopic mast systems. In this context, the company has designed a lightweight military trailer with a 2-ton load capacity for KALKAN-II radars. Manufactured from an aluminum chassis, the trailer can be airlifted by helicopter and is also equipped with an auto-leveling system. The national contribution rate for MILMAST telescopic mast systems currently exceeds 97% (over 60% in terms of raw materials). Currently carrying out 64 separate projects at the same time, the company has received a new mast order from Aselsan. MILMAST can produce a mast within 4 days if the materials are ready, and it has a production capacity of 60 masts per month. The company also offers a 2-year product warranty as well as a 10-year spare parts supply guarantee to its customers.


Long-Term supplier of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and one of Turkey’s leading 4x4 Wheeled Tactical Combat Vehicle designer and manufacturer, Otokar participated in the IDEX 2019 Exhibition together with Al Jasoor, a joint venture between UAE’s leading investment company Tawazun and Otokar Land systems.

At IDEX 2019, Otokar exhibited its TULPAR Light Tank (debuted as SAFA in the UAE) and the RABDAN 8x8 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), which was ordered under a US$661 Million (approximately AED2 Billion) contract signed in February 2017 at IDEX 2017. The RABDAN IFV was fitted with Russian-made two-man turret armed with a 100 mm 2A70 gun, a 30 mm 2A72 coaxial cannon and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun, whereas the SAFA/TULPAR Light Tank was fitted with CMI Cockerill® 3105 turret armed with a high-pressure 105mm Cockerill gun as well as an advance auto-loader system. According to the Otokar 2018 Activity Report, the TULPAR Light Tank successfully completed firing tests in Europe and is already being tried by two different users. Otokar also displayed the ARMA 6x6 with BOZOK Turret System, COBRA II 4x4 with the KESKIN Turret System and the MIZRAK-S 30 RCWS (Remote Controlled Weapon System). Another RABDAN IFV fitted with a BMP-3 turret also performed a live demonstration during the opening ceremony.

Otokar started the delivery of the RABDAN IFV to the United Arab Emirates Army in the last quarter of 2018 (October/November). In this context the first RABDAN armored vehicles out of production successfully completed acceptance tests at the Otokar plant in Sakarya as well as amphibious and firing tests in the Gulf, and the first batch was delivered to the UAE. Following the delivery of the first batch of RABDAN IFVs late last year, the vehicles were included in the inventory of the UAE Armed Forces. As of February 2019, a total of 30 vehicles were delivered, and this number is expected to reach 120 by the end of 2019. According to the contract, the first 100 vehicles will be built at the Otokar plant in Sakarya and the remaining vehicles will be built at the Tawazun Industrial Park facility in Abu Dhabi. In this context, Otokar started the mass production of RABDAN vehicles in 2017. Due to the urgent need of the UAE Armed Forces, deliveries are carried out 4-5 months before the schedule specified in the contract. In this context, a workshop was established by Otokar/Al Jasoor in the UAE for the final assembly of vehicles. In addition, with the signing of the second phase of the contract, the total number of vehicles to be delivered will be increased to 700. The first deal includes the delivery of 400 RABDAN IFV to be fitted with the 100mm gun (BMP-3 turret), whereas the second order will cover an additional 300 RABDAN vehicles in various configurations. Otokar/Al Jasoor has also started training activities for the crew (driver, vehicle commander, gunner) and maintenance personnel of RABDAN IFVs in the UAE. In this context, delivery of the training support equipment was completed in early February. 

Otokar armored vehicles also serve in the Armed Forces and Security Forces of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In this context, according to the SIPRI Database, the Bahrain National Guard is equipped with a total of 73 ARMA 6×6, 21 Akrep/Scorpion and 185 COBRA 4x4 Wheeled Armored Vehicles, while Saudi Arabia National Guard employs 93 COBRA 4×4 armored vehicles. According to our sources Kuwait fields Otokar vehicles among its security forces and in order to provide support service for these vehicles Otokar recently established a logistics base in Kuwait. Otokar received the first order for the ARMA 6x6 APC in December 2010 (valued at US$11 Million and covered the delivery of 13 ARMAs) and a follow-on contract in June 2011 (valued at US$63 Million and covered 60 ARMAs) from Bahrain, the first export customer for the ARMA 6x6.

According to the Otokar 2018 Activity Report, even though the company closed 2018 with TL 1,679 Billion in sales, down 6% compared to 2017 due to the developments in Turkey, the company still achieved a net profit of TL164 Million, which is a 65% increase. In 2018 more than %60 of Otokar’s revenues came from the export market. Otokar doubled its export figures year on year and reached USD211 Million in export revenues. In 2018 the share of exports in total sales also rose from 31% to 65% compared to the previous year and defence products took the lion’s share in exports. 

Otokar also closely follows the Modern Main Battle Tank Tender of Oman Royal Land Forces, which covers 76 tanks. In July-August 2018, Otokar participated in field tests (mobility and firing tests) carried out in Oman with the ALTAY PV2 prototype. The final decision/selection in the tender is expected to be announced in 2019. 


Not having the chance to secure new contracts due to the political tensions between the two countries, Roketsan, as one of the active Turkish Defence Industry companies in the region, participated in IDEX 2019 with an impressive array of surface-to-surface, air-to-surface, anti-submarine warfare, and guided missile products including the SOM ALCM, TEBER-82, MAM-L, MAM-C, OMTAS, UMTAS, L-UMTAS, CIRIT, CIRIT Smart Launcher, ASW Rocket as well as guided and unguided artillery rocket systems. Attracting a great deal of attention from visitors, Roketsan shared information about the domestic and national weapon systems with the high-ranking officials of various countries such as Colombia, Romania, and Azerbaijan. Having signed its first export contract with the UAE in December 2003, Roketsan has exported more than USD$500 Million worth of products and technology to the UAE until the end of 2013 (including the agreement signed in 2013 with Tawazun Holding for the direct sale of 10,000 CIRIT Missiles and 4-cell CIRIT Smart Launchers). As a result of the political tensions between the two countries, Roketsan almost lost the UAE market, however, the company continues to provide spare parts and maintenance/repair support for the products that have already been delivered or produced under license. Lastly, Roketsan sold an unspecified amount of MAM-L and MAM-C smart micro munition to Qatar for use in BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAVs.


STM participated in NAVDEX 2019 with a large team under the leadership of General Manager Murat IKINCI, exhibiting the scale models of 17,000-ton PNS Moawin (AOE-39) fleet replenishment tanker (commissioned by the Pakistan Navy on October 16, 2018), The FAC-55 Fast Attack Craft designed for the Turkish Naval Forces, ADA class Corvette, TF-4500 Anti-Air Warfare Frigate, and the 1.700-ton TS1700 submarine to be equipped with the Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. STM products, autonomous drones (kamikaze and surveillance) and DAR (Through the Wall Radar) system were exhibited at the International Golden Group (IGG) stand in Hall 4 at IDEX 2019. Meanwhile, on February 17, STM signed a Cooperation Agreement with IGG to improve its operations in the Gulf Region.

On February 8, 2019, the Presidency of Defence Industries and a joint venture formed by STM-Aselsan-Havelsan-ASFAT (including KBST as a sub-contractor) signed a contract on the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) of four Preveze Class (Type 209/1400) diesel-electric submarines commissioned between 1984-1999. According to our information, The MLU contract calls for the replacement of the existing ISUS-83/2 Combat Management System with MÜREN SYS (CMS) and the integration Sonar integration and Control system (SEDA) and Torpedo fire control system (TorAKS). The four submarines of the class are set to be delivered in 2023, 2024, 2026 and 2027 respectively. With the MLU modernization, the Preveze Class Submarines will be able to launch DM2A4 torpedoes as well as Mk48 Mod 6AT and AKYA heavyweight torpedoes. Within the scope of the MÜREN AY modernization program, the existing old generation Combat Management System of Ay Class submarines were replaced with MÜREN SYS (CMS) and DM2A4 and AKYA Heavyweight Torpedoes were successfully integrated into the submarines. Furthermore, with the torpedo launch test carried out in 2018, Turkey became the first country in the world that successfully fired a DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo from a Type 209/1200 class submarine.

Yonca-Onuk Shipyard

At the NAVDEX 2019 Exhibition, Yonca-Onuk JV Shipyard, one the leading players in the MENA region, exhibited scale models of the MRTP16 Fast Intervention Boat which was previously delivered to the UAE’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA), as well as the Onuk MRTP45 and MRTP34 Attack Boats offered as part of the Turkish Type Fast Patrol Boat (FPB) Program for the Turkish Navy.

Under a contract awarded during IDEX 2009 Yonca-Onuk JV completed the delivery of 34 MRTP16 Class Fast Intervention Boats (FIBs) in 2015 to the UAE’s CNIA in cooperation with its local partner Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB carry out the construction of 22 boats). Yonca-Onuk JV Shipyard has been awaiting to receive a contract for the second batch of 31 boats. However, due to political dispute issues between the Turkish and the UAE governments stemming from the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and the military coup in 2013 in Egypt, (the UAE and Turkey had a serious dispute as a result of positions they held on these issues) the order for the second batch of boats did not take place so far. All the MRTP16 boats are armed with Aselsan’s STAMP (with 12.7mm M2HB) and STAMP-G (with GAU-19 gun) Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Weapon Systems. 

During the DIMDEX 2018 Exhibition, Yonca-Onuk secured a contract from the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces to deliver four MRTP24/U Special Operation Crafts (SOCs) and four MRTP24/U Fast Missile Crafts (FACs, for which contract has not come into force as of 18 February 2019). According to Yonca-Onuk JV officials, the construction of MRTP24/U SOCs, which would be the Qatari version of Turkish Navy’s new SAT Boat design, will be started soon. The MRTP24/U SOCs will armed with one Aselsan’s 12,7mm STAMP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Weapon System. Whereas the MRTP24/U FACs will be armed with a pair of STAMP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Weapon Systems as well as Aselsan’s remotely-controlled BORA Low Altitude/Short Range Naval Air Defence System to be armed with MBDA’s Mistral missile. At the end of 2018, MBDA successfully demonstrated the use of the Mistral missile against fast boats such as FIACs (Fast Inshore Attack Craft).

As part of the Fast Patrol Craft Project, Yonca-Onuk JV planned to start the deliveries of 8 boats as of February 2019 and the first boat was still undergoing testing as of February 18. The production of 2 new improved SAT boats to be constructed for the Turkish Navy has started and the vessels are scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2019. Unlike the 22m long (overall length of 24m, as the MRTP model boats are named after the length of their hull, the overall length of the boats differs from the name of the model) MRTP 22/U SAT Boats previously delivered to the Turkish Navy, the new SAT Boats will be 24m in length (overall length of 26m). Additionally, the boats will use a new series of diesel engines and the internal configuration of the vessels will be changed according to the requirements specified in the tender specifications