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TUSAS strengthens her position among the global Giant Defence Companies

TUSAS strengthens her position among giant aerospace and defence companies in 2008 by her significant achievements taken in and around Turkey. Following A 400 M and JSF programmes TUSAS has taken a new role in A350XWB aircraft program as the







































Mr. Dörtkasli, It is seen that TAI has taken significant achievements in 2008 following 2007. When we compare the improvements of 2007 and the first half of 2008 in production, investment, export and international projects, with previous years how could you evaluate the improvements in figures?





For this period, an increase in exportation can be seen, considering the increase in our competitiveness and our activities to realize our vision, which is “Providing indigenous systems & products” to the Turkish Armed Forces, and our export has necessarily been accelerated. Therefore, our sales income is mostly derived from product and solution based programs, rather than programs based on capabilities. Our Research and Development expenses are around 127 million dollars - made independently and on program basis. This increases our engineering contribution and secures our position as the main contractor in the development of project plans and therefore, as a company, we have reached a position where we are able to add more value now.








In 2007 our revenue was approximately 194 million dollars and our exportation revenue was 165 million dollars, whereas in 2008 our revenue is expected to be 225 million dollars and our exportation revenue is expected to be 180 million dollars. When we consider the sales volume of 1.8 billion dollars since our establishment in 1984 till today - including 2008, the contribution of latest developments in the whole picture can be understood better.








Due to our growth in our work capacity with a five million man-hour work load in high technology required fields, we made an investment of 75 million dollars to facilities, equipment and systems in 2007 and 2008. Our total investments grew to 418


million dollars and the size of our indoor facility area is has increased to 190.000 square meters.





We signed 1.2 billion dollars worth of contracts in 2007, whereas for 2008, we have signed 865 billion dollars worth of contracts. Consequently, our capacity of commitment came up to a level of 8.75 billion dollars with current contracts and potential contracts to be realized. We expect to have a work capacity of 20 billion dollars by 2023 by introducing the solutions that we develop for our local customers; to be available at international markets by 2010.








How do you assess TAI’s activities regarding the modernization project of F16 aircraft in the inventory of the Pakistani Air Forces?








Following a detailed evaluation process of the tender last year, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) announced TAI as the main contractor of F16 aircraft modernization program. Following these developments, all parties have gathered at TAI’s facilities to discuss the details, schedule and the responsibilities of the program according to the agreement. Later on, issues regarding the agreement were exchanged with PAF. According to current plans, the program is expected to be commenced by 2010 the latest.





We have planned to sign an agreement with TAF until April, 2009. This program is very similar to the modernization program of Jordanian Air Force (JAF) that is successfully ongoing. The JAF program is planned to be completed by April, 2009. We will be using our know-how and technological experience to succeed in the PAF program following such completion. Some of the members of PAF are expected to participate in the modification operations. We will undoubtedly succeed in the project with our Pakistani associates.








Are there any new opportunities and projects that are on your agenda in respect of Pakistan? Could you please inform us with this regard?





We have good and comprehensive relations in all respects. We have been making efforts to develop joint programs by making visits. Moreover, we will be glad to take part in the prospective programs of PAF to the extent of our facilities and capabilities. Civilian and military delegation visits have significant roles in the improvement of these programs. We have a joint program with Pakistan regarding unmanned air vehicles which was commenced previously. It should also be noted that Pakistan is interested in the ATAK (Attack Helicopter) program carried out under the responsibility of TAI, as the main contractor. Therefore, we are also planning to visit PAF officials to discuss this subject.








What is your evaluation and review on this market? At which areas has TAI been more competitive with its technological superiority and capabilities in the market?








As it is well known, TAI is involved in more than 100 commercial and military programs that consist of design, development, modernization, manufacturing and after sales support processes. We are planning to initiate new developments in the region by the support taken from our stockholders; The Turkish Armed Forces Foundation and the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries. The trend of global economic crisis, currently leads the nations towards the way to modernize the air vehicles in their inventories instead of purchasing new ones. Predicting these developments, we have already identified gaining competence in the modernization of both fixed and rotary wing military aircraft and the integration of digital systems as our prior goal. We are able to provide cost efficient solutions to meet the nations’ requests. Moreover, recently, the importance of unmanned air vehicles has gradually increased. The Indigenous Turkish Unmanned Air Vehicle Development Program carried out by TAI, as the main contractor, progresses efficiently. We believe that there is a considerable potential in the district with regard to various modernization projects and Unmanned Air Vehicles. We are planning to develop new projects by using our know-how and technological experience in aerospace and defence.








Is making investments towards the market or performing joint production activities considered in TAI’s future plans?





TAI has secured some partnership invitations from various countries, especially at the beginning of 2008, from some of the Middle East countries. We evaluate these offers attentively. However, we have a comprehensive and heavy workload when we consider national development programs and we are determined to conduct these duties successfully and on time. We should therefore, be more careful when we consider expanding more to external markets. Eventually our major and the most powerful reference is the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF). The countries that invited us to participate in their projects take into consideration our success in the aerospace and defence projects that we have conducted for TAF. We might participate in some projects of foreign countries, in which TAI will be a technological partner and local companies will take place in production operations for the forthcoming activity period.





Could you give some information about the activities carried out for the modernization project of the F16 for the Royal Jordan Air Force (RJAF)?





I am honored to say that the RJAF F-16 modernization program continues successfully according to its schedule since the very beginning. Until now, the deliveries have met the scheduled deadlines and customer expectations. In November, 2008, the modernization activities, flight test and acceptances of 3 aircraft were completed and they were delivered to their bases in Jordan. Currently, TAI’s modernization activities are being realized with regard to the last three aircraft. We plan to deliver these three aircrafts in the first quarter of 2009. On the other hand, TAI team, who will participate in the modernization activities in Jordan, departed for Jordan in October, 2008 and started their activities.





Does TAI have any marketing strategy regarding the use of its technological know-how gained through the years for fulfilling other countries needs located in the region apart from these two countries?





TAI has a strategy to develop business towards other countries on F16 modernization. The activities carried out for these two countries are within the planned business development activities of TAI. Our activities including this one and the one towards other countries are formed with the comments, leadership and the approval of The Turkish Ministry of National Defence.





TAI has taken a significant role in the production of Air-To-Ground Pylon, Center Fuselage and Composite Components of JSF F35 aircraft. Could you please inform us about the progress of your activities within this context?


We currently have important responsibilities until 2030 with these three significant work packages in the JSF/F-35 program. We have been continuing our air-to-ground pylon production activities.


Within our activities regarding “Center Fuselage and Composite Component Production”, we put the “Advanced Composite Manufacturing Facility” officially into operation on November 7, 2008 with a ceremony held in the presence of exclusive local and foreign guests, the Turkish Minister of National Defence HE Vecdi Gönül and the Turkish Air Force Commander Gen. Aydo?an Babao?lu. Production in this plant has commenced and first deliveries have been initiated.





Within the frame of our major work package, “Centre Fuselage Production”, the first delivery of sub-units will be realized until the end of this year.





We have been investing in both facilities and equipment, in addition to human resources, and we have been establishing a strong infrastructure parallel to all these important activities.








Could you please inform us about the steps taken regarding ATAK projects since the ceremony held in June, 2008? Moreover, we would be appreciated if you could give some information about the international marketing criteria of T129 helicopters and about the subcontractors who will take place in the project.





As already known, the licence rights of T129 helicopters will belong to TAI. We have been working in cooperation with AgustaWestland in international tenders. The majority of the subsystems of the helicopters are defined as Indigenous Turkish Configuration. The Main sub avionic integrator is Aselsan whereas the impulse system and the main itself is under the responsibility of AgustaWestland. Roketsan takes the responsibility of most the ammunitions. The other subcontractors that will take place in more detailed parts of the projects have not been selected yet. I think, the subcontractors will be determined in 2010 after the end of the configuration freeze. The T129 will be a very important, international player in its own class with its performance, mission equipment, weapons and price optimization.





Could you please enlighten us about the activities of the A400M? Do you think the technological experience TAI has gained will bring new international projects?





The preparations for the initial flight of the A400M are currently in progress. The components of 7 prototype airplanes (two full scale structural test aircraft and five flight test aircraft) assigned to the responsibility of TAI were delivered. These components are as follows: Forward centre fuselage, 17 rear fuselage upper shells, parachute doors, emergency exit doors, tail cone, lighting and water/waste systems, ailerons and spoilers. Under the program, the first mass production aircraft was delivered. The design and production of other innovative components are under progress. The Full Scale Fuselage static test, aileron and spoiler static tests are appropriate to certification tests, and results are conducive, as affirmed by agreeable TAI response. As a result of the experience gained by TAI, design and production proposals have been given in this area for some aviation companies such as Airbus, Alenia, Bombardier and Embraer.





The Indigenous Turkish Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Development Program is another important issue to be considered. We would be appreciated if you could inform us about the current developments with regard to this project.





TAI, which follows developments in the area of aviation, believes that the importance of unmanned aerial vehicles has grown immensely when taking account of the advancements in technology, and today’s security requirements. It is of logical consequence therefore, that the TIHA program has a greater and more prominent status when held comparatively against the remainder of our program. Following the Pre-Evaluation of the Pre-Design meeting; successfully executed in May, 2008, the Critical Design Phase of the Original TIHA Program commenced in actuality. Subsequently, and accounting for the pre-requisite deadline of completion of this phase by the end of the year, we predict the commencement of production activities will reach fruition in the first quarter of 2009. In direct accordance with the mentioned development, the preliminary first test flight is anticipated to be realized in 2010. Within the TIHA Program, we employ the latest technologies and the ever-expanding opportunities of the aviation field. Predictably, as the unmanned aerial vehicles are expected to be widely used for civilian purposes in addition to its use for military purposes in the future, it can be reliably ascertained that this program will firstly provide important opportunities and advantages for our country.





What are your intended plans and targets in relation to marketing and exportation on international platforms? Could you additionally elaborate the priority districts as well as strategies concerning cooperative production?





We have become one of the leading companies in the aviation sector in the world through our design and engineering based projects instead of a company which formerly possessed the capability based production and limited contribution. Much notice has been accorded to the considerable power attained for itself in the aviation industry. Primarily, this can be associated with the enviable repute of its projects and products; noted for design and engineering based originality. To reiterate, the experience of merely possessing a capability based production and being classified as making limited contribution to the sector, we now envisage 2009-2013 as the fruition years, in which we are going to provide professional solutions in the fields of Aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Helicopters and Satellites – as listed in the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory. Moreover, we are going to present our original and prevailing products in these fields to the world the market, via sales or international cooperation. Finally, and as an essential consequence, this period will emphatically be, and tangibly in visual terms, actualize into a “leap” period whereby we develop solutions for the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. It is of further relevance that we are focused on the Middle East, the Caucasus and the region of Africa, as our target markets, and that our attempts to participate in international cooperative development projects as representative of national industrialists are ongoing.








However, the need to conform to the conditions and stipulations of the commercial aviation field, as well - in order to survive in the world’s commercial aviation sector by providing a quality design and engineering contribution, should be emphasized. Today, TAI participates in global design and development projects as a team player and works in cooperation with the international leaders of the aviation sector. TAI became the risk-sharing partner of Airbus for the “aileron” work package of the new generation passenger flight, A350XWB, via the agreement signed in December, 2008.





TAI proceeds to be an important player in the international aviation sector by having original solutions in every field of aviation.





Could you inform us about your plans and activities with regard to Turkish Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter (ATAK) Program OR Indigenous Turkish General Purpose Helicopters project?





The agreement of the Turkish Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter (ATAK) Program was initiated in June 24, 2008 via ceremony held in our facilities.





AgustaWestland was announced as the winning bidder of ATAK during the meeting dated 30th of April 2007 of the Defence Industry Executive Committee . ATAK program consists of providing original solutions to the helicopters which are needed by the Turkish Land Forces Command, considering the user demands and producing them. The Turkish Land Forces Command confirmed the requirement of 50 firm and 41 optional Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopters. Contract negotiations for the ATAK Program started in April 2007 between the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), TAI, ASELSAN and AgustaWestland. The Prime Contact, Major Subcontract Agreement and Subcontract Agreements, which were signed on September 7, 2007, became effective and the ATAK Program officially started at the ceremony held on June 24, 2008 at TAI’s facilities.





Under the program, TAI is the Prime Contractor, and ASELSAN and AgustaWestland companies are the Major Subcontractors of TAI. TAI is responsible to ensure that the performance of the T129 ATAK Helicopter meets the operational requirements of the Turkish Land Forces Command. The helicopters will be manufactured at TAI’s facilities located in Ak?nca-Ankara.





The T129 ATAK Helicopter shall be equipped not only with modern and proven weapon systems, but also with avionic and weapon systems designed and produced indigenously. ASELSAN, the leading company of the Turkish Defence Industry, will develop targeting, navigation, communication and electronic warfare systems of T129 ATAK Helicopters.





AgustaWestland, one of the global leaders in rotorcraft industry, will integrate the new high performance engine, automatic flight control system and air vehicle monitoring system to T129 ATAK Helicopters.





Beginning from the contract effectivity date, the planned duration of the ATAK Program is 114 months, and the first T129 ATAK Helicopter is planned to be delivered in the 60th month.





With the Collaboration Agreement, signed between TAI and AgustaWestland, let alone having the right to use and administer the intellectual property of the T129 ATAK Helicopter, TAI shall be the sole source for its work share under the ATAK program for all potential future world wide sales of the T129 ATAK Helicopter. The Collaboration Agreement also provides TAI with the right to sell and market the T129 ATAK Helicopter worldwide.





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