25 Years Of Success in the skies

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Turkey’s aviation and space center, the Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. (TUSAS), held a press conference at its Akinci facilities on 29 December 2009.

Issue 20

President of TUSAS Mr. Muharrem Dörtkasli indicated that between 1984 and 2009 they had achieved a total of 2.2 billion USD in sales revenue, that they would close the year with 360 million USD and that sales revenue is expected to be over 500 million USD in 2010.

Mr. Dörtkasli said that since its founding up to the end of 2009 their profits has been 600 million USD, that they have invested 440 million USD this year and that they planned to invest 130 million USD in 2010 that would include, in particular, the F-35 and satellite projects. Excluding its founding capital, the amount invested by TUSAS from the funds it has created was 300 million USD, added Mr. Dörtkasli. Since its founding in 1984 up to the present time TUSAS has paid 150 million USD in taxes to the state and that this figure did not include taxes paid by employees or the social security premiums paid by the Company, its personnel and other taxes.

Indicating that between 2000 and 2009 they had provided employment to 2,200 individuals, Mr. Dörtkasli noted that they planned to increase employment by 15 percent to 3,600 personnel in 2010.

Emphasizing that they attach great importance to R&D, Mr. Dörtkasli said that they had invested 80 million USD in R&D up to the present time.

Stating that as of this year TUSAS is carrying out a total of 100 projects, working in 15 countries with 32 customers, Mr. Muharrem Dörtkasli went on to add that up to now 278 F-16s, 34 SF-260 primary trainers, 59 CN-235 aircraft, and 30 AS-532 helicopters had been delivered and that there were many countries among their customers including the U.S. and Switzerland. He indicated that their total commitment between 2009 and 2023 amounted to 20 billion USD.

Later providing information on the ongoing projects and programs being carried out, Mr. Dörtkasli stated that the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program; the T-38 Avionics Modernization Program; the Turkish Primary and Basic Trainer Aircraft (HÜRKUS); the UAV Program; the F-16 Programs and Modernizations (Turkish Air Force, Jordan and Pakistan), the Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, the Maritime Patrol and Surveillance Aircraft and the KT-1 Training Aircraft Projects are continuing in TUSAS’s facilities.

Mr. Dörtkasli said that 55 aircraft within the coverage of the T-38M Avionics Modernization (ARI) Project would be modernized and delivered the following year. He went on to say that the HÜRKUS Project’s design and development activities were continuing and that the maiden flight would take place in the first half of 2011. Providing information on the Turkish Indigenous UAV (TIHA) development project, Mr. Dörtkasli indicated that work on this project that started in 2004 would be completed soon, that the first flight would take place in the first half of 2010 and that they planned to make the first delivery within the first half of 2011.

Again, within the coverage of the F-16 Modernization Project, 12 out of 17 F-16s to be modernized for the Royal Jordanian Air Force has been completed and that 42 F-16s would be modernized for the Pakistani Air Force Command, said Mr. Muharrem Dörtkasli.

Within the helicopter group, work on the S-70 Black Hawk System Integration Program (Yarasa); the Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter (ATAK), the Indigenous Light Commercial Helicopter and the Turkish Armed Forces General Purpose Helicopter continues said Mr. Dörtkasli.

Afterwards, in the question and answer session, the President and CEO of TUSAS Mr. Muharrem Dörtkasli, in answer to a question, stated that an arrangement had been reached on the Heron UAVs to be purchased from Israel whereby, “work on acceptance will begin at a later date.” Stating that the loss arising from the delay of the Herons would be shared with the Israeli firm based on the percentage of the work load, the penalty for the delay due to the performance of the Herons will be completely assumed by Israel, said Mr. Dörtkasli.

Replying to a question on the future of the joint attack aircraft, the F-35, the President of TUSAS indicated that they expected a work share of between 5 to 6 billion USD from this project by 2023 and that they were undertaking investments within this framework. Stating that they were continuing their work in the belief that sales would be well above what was planned in the project he went on to say, “We have a signature for 200 million USD in the project. It’s based on a projection of 4-4.5 billion USD. However, with the training and the certification for the personnel, I think we can expect to receive 1-1.5 billion USD of work from the project. Our plan is based on this.”

On another question regarding the delays involving the C-130, Mr. Dörtkasli noted that in a far reaching project such as this, “we signed a contract to deliver it according to a calendar that was highly demanding. However, when we realized that it would not be possible to meet the deadline, we sat down with our customer and our user and came up with a more realistic calendar. The first prototype aircraft we were to deliver on the 30th month has been planned as it will be delivered on the 55th month.”

In answer to a question on the delays involving the indigenous Turkish UAV (TIHA) Project, Mr. Dörtkasli said that since the contract was signed at the end of 2004, a one and a half year uncertainty period took place and “after this uncertainty was resolved we started with the work. With a very demanding calendar for this industry and with personnel that was aware of the need for this product, we are working night and day without considering weekends. We have planned to conduct the maiden flight during the first quarter of next year and deliver it to the Turkish Armed Forces inventory with all installations fully integrated in 2011.”

On another question as to whether they are considering an initial public offering, Mr. Dörtkasli said that they are conducting a work on this subject and by undertaking new projects in the coming year, the company’s value would increase even more and that they would provide a public offering after this period.


Regarding a question on the satellite project, Vice President for Aero structure and Space of TUSAS, Mr. Bekir Ata Yilmaz said that the assembly of the Göktürk 2 satellite would begin within 1-2 weeks and that Göktürk 2 would be in orbit and providing service as of 2012.

Meanwhile, the Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (TIHA’s) would be 1.5 tons, have a 17 meter wing span and be able to carry a cargo (radar, camera, etc.) of 250 kilos. Mr. Y?lmaz emphasized that the TIHA’s would be superior to the Herons to be acquired from Israel.

After the question and answer session, a tour of the main production building, the assembly building, the flight line, the C-130 modernization and modifications hanger and the avionics laboratory took place and information provided on the work being conducted.

As a team player in design and development programs on a global scale, TUSAS works together with leading international aeronautics agencies and companies in the design and production of structural components. With its proven experience in the production of fixed and rotary wing military and commercial aircraft and aircraft components, TUSAS is in a preferential partner position in the supply chain with Aermacchi, AgustaWestland, Airbus, Boeing, EADS, CASA, Eurocopter, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman , MDHI, Sikorsky and other international companies.

In all of its activities since its founding, those at TUSAS have never forgotten their objective of our country’s national prominence and as a sub element of this, developing the technology that will support our military capacity, and are continuing their activities with the understanding of giving priority to the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) requirements through capability and product development in meeting the indigenous and dominant systems of aviation and aerospace. Based on its vision and mission, TUSA? has established an exceptionally modern and complete facility that is second to none in the world and has succeeded in the joint production of high technology products such as the F-16 Fighting Hawks; the CN-235 Light Transport/Sea Patrol and Surveillance Aircrafts; the SF-260D Training Aircraft; the Cougar AS532 Search and Rescue (SAR); the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and the General Purpose Helicopters. By utilizing its experience and knowledge, TUSA? has gone through important milestones in attaining the technology to design, build, modernize, modify and undertake system integration in the areas of fixed and rotary wing air platforms, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and satellites.

As the main contractor for the ATAK Combat /Tactical and Recognizance Helicopter Program, TUSA? has customized, produced and provided integrated logistical support for the T-129 ATAK Helicopter based on the requirements of the user.

With the objective of providing our Armed Forces with a “Dominant System,” TUSA? continues its work on the HÜRKUS and TIHA Programs as the main contractor within the coverage of indigenous design, development and production activities.

As an active participant in the Turkish “Indigenous Satellite Development Project,” TUSAS will be the domestic sub-contractor in International Satellite Acquisition Projects. In this respect, a new satellite assembly and integration test facility will be constructed within the company.

Aside from indigenous projects, among the other activities of TUSAS are the modernization, modification and system integration programs and after sale services for fixed and rotary wing military and commercial air platforms that are in the inventory of Turkey and other countries in the region.

Besides being the main contractor for the C-130 transport aircrafts and the T-38 training aircrafts’ avionics modernization programs that are in the inventory of the Air Force Command other programs of TUSAS include the digital cockpit modification for the Black Hawk helicopters of the Turkish Armed Forces; the electronic combat and structural modifications to the F-16s of the Air Force Command; the structural and avionics modifications to the F-16s in the inventory of the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF); modifications and modernization of the Cougar AS-532 helicopters; modifications to the CN-235 platforms for the sea patrol and recognizance duties of the Sea Forces Command and the Coast Guard Command; the modification of the ATR-72 platforms again for the Sea Forces Command and the complete structural modifications and system integration of the B737/800 aircrafts into an Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (HIK).

With its 25 years of experience, TUSAS also takes part in projects on a global scale. Within this coverage, it has the status of a partner in the design and development of the Joint Combat Aircraft (JSF/F-35) and the A-400M Transport Aircraft.

As a shareholder of the National Industry Organization’s Airbus Military S.L., TUSA? is participating in the A400M Aircraft’s design and development activities together with Airbus, EADS and FLABEL aviation companies.

Continuously expanding its capabilities in the civil aviation area, TUSAS is Airbus’s risk participatory partner for the “aileron” business package of the A350XWB New Generation Passenger Aircraft. In addition, TUSAS, by using the TSK Maintenance Centers’ means and capabilities provides maintenance, repair and revision services to its customers.

By following closely the latest global technological developments, TUSAS is intent on becoming a leading aeronautics company and has set its objectives on opening new horizons for our country in the 21st century.