An Overview by Zeynep Karel: Turkish Defence Industry and Quality Standards

Could you please talk about yourself for our readers? I am a Chemistry Engineer. I am Higher Environmental Engineer. I have taken professional interest into Quality Management and supervision for about 13 years and I have worked as a European Qua

Tarih: Issue 15 - April 2009

Could you please inform us about your activities that you are carrying out with Defence Industry companies and institutions in terms of quality consultancy?

I worked as a Quality Expert in 1995-2005 as the staff of Savunma Teknolojileri Müh. A.?. (STM) (Defence Technologies Eng. Inc.) in the Undersecretary of Defence Industry (SSM). I participated in AQAP 110, which is now used as 2110, AQAP 120 (AQAP 2120), AQAP 130 (AQAP 2130) and AQAP 160 supervisions of the firms wishing to receive AQAP certificate. I worked as a supervisor in the AQAP supervisions of various private, public, joint venture and military firms wishing to take part in Defence Industry projects.
AQAP refers to the “Industrial Quality Assurance Level Document issued by the Ministry of National Defence (AQAP-Allied Quality Assurance Publications). (AQAP certificate, which is the pre-requisite for the firms of military production to participate in the bidding processes of the Ministry of National Defence, is issued by the Ministry of National Defence when the firms equipped with the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System infrastructure also integrate NATO Quality Assurance Requirements in their systems.)
I also worked in SSM in the project quality activities in their quality and configuration activities and worked as a supervisor in facility security supervisions of some of the defence industry firms under Facility Security.

Later, I worked as a quality manager in two private defence industry firms and I established the quality management system. In the mean time, I also received training on CMMI and took part in studies with software firms on system engineering.

I was the executive board member in Software Quality and Software Development Instruments Symposium held by the Air Force Academy and Istanbul Culture University for the first time in 2008.

I have voluntarily worked for 3 years as an award evaluator in KALDER, as a devoted person to the quality, and this year will be my 4th.

I have various appraisal certificates for my studies and issues I have discussed.

What is the status of the firms in terms of quality standards in this period when Turkish Defence Industry rapidly developed and achieved success in global platform?

Producer and other firms which are successful in global competitive market consider quality management as a basic factor which guides the trade. Firms prove their liability and expertise with the certificates on the standards set by independent bodies and they have to abide by in accordance with their areas of interest. Such firms are certified after being supervised in terms of their liability and expertise by the institutions which perform independent certification.

Most important factor, which influences the quality production, is that the entity has a quality policy and a well-managed quality system. There are required principles and standards to be followed either under the EU or by the producers/firms themselves for the products and systems to be developed in space, aviation, marine and land areas where the security conditions gain in more and more importance today in the defence industry.

Some of these Quality Management System Certificates include;

- ISO 9001:2000 “Quality Management System”
- ISO 14001 “Environmental Management System”
- TS 18001 “(OHSAS) Operational Health and Safety Management System”
- TS 17799 “Information Security Management System”
- ISO/TS 16949 “(QS 9000) Quality Management System for Automotive Sector”
- AS 9100 Quality Management System for Aviation Sector
- TS ISO/ EC 12207 Information Technologies-Software Life Cycle Processes and
- AQAP Quality Management System‘

When we consider the principles concerning the quality certificates to look for in National and International Provision activities so as to observe the overall status of the certification of the firms in Turkey;
1. AQAP Certificate is requested from the entity which makes production concerning the materials included in “Warfare Arms and Ammunition Industry List Bound to Control” which is identified by the Ministry of National Defence and published in the official gazette every year, or

2. Quality System Certificate ISO 9001:2000, which has become ISO 9001-2008 now, taken from accredited entities by TÜRKAK, or;

3. “ISO9001:2008” Quality Management System Certificate issued by the accredited entity by the national accreditation institutions included in the Mutual Recognition Agreement of the International Accreditation Forum-IAF. A letter taken by the firm from TÜRKAK justifies that the ISO9001:2008 documents are the ones taken from the institutions accredited by the accreditation institutions included in IAF mutual recognition agreement and ISO certificate is validated with this letter.

In this respect, we can see that all firms which are members or candidates to SASAD in overall defence sector have ISO 9001:2000 certificate.

The number of firms which have AQAP certificate is around 62 as of 2009, as it is seen on the table below.

Strict standards are followed in the aviation area in defence industry, in which security conditions has gained in importance. Today, activities concerning AS 9100 certificate required for the firms which wish to take part in activities concerning aviation sector increased in number:

AS/EN/JISQ 9100 certification is an internationally acknowledged quality system standard especially for the aviation industry. The standard which is known as AS 9100 in North America, EN 9100 in Europe and JISQ 9100 in Japan, is strongly supported by the distinguished producers of the sector such as Standard, Airbus, GEAE, Rolls_Royce and Boeing. AS 9100 certification has become a fundamental requirement the mentioned producers look for in their subcontractors.
AS 9100 standard was developed in 1997 by American Aviation Quality Group (AAQG), International Aviation Quality Group (IAQG) and the leaders of the aviation sector to support advanced technology standards in all areas of aviation. AS 9100 is the application of ISO 9000 Quality System in aviation industry. Particularly quality, security and technology issues are focused on in provision chain.
Aviation sector ensures the safety and reliability of the aircraft, equipment, materials, service and activities owing to the certain demands and controls applied, which means that they particularly trust the providers who have efficient management systems. Actually, the purchasers of the aviation equipment stipulate that their providers shall have AS 9100, AS 9120 or AS 9003 certificates.

Almost 14 firms have been certified when the condition in Turkey is analysed concerning AS 9100. 4 more firms were added into this number as of 2009 and there are a few other firms which have undergone the supervision and waiting to receive their certificates.
When we analyse the firms which receive AS 9100 certificate in the table below, these have been certified at a level of 60-65% by BureauVeritas (Turkey-UK-France, etc).

Which services do you offer the sector in the light of your experiences in the quality issue?

We can see that today the products are not only included in defence industry but also civil use and dual use approach is applied when we look at the developments in the world. This approach states the need for dual handling of the evaluations.

Institutions will begin to create awareness when they adopt innovation as a life style and will have an advanced competitive power. This requires a convenient development of the innovation processes. On the other hand, when we consider the defence industry firms in our country, we can clearly see that we have institutions in the power to cooperate with EU defence institutions. I serve in the following areas for both defence and civil sector;
“In principle, the establishment and implementation of aviation quality management
Implementation of environmental management system,
Awareness trainings, quality management systems, configuration process management etc,
supervisions, AS 9100, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 etc.
management consultancy also including the defence projects”

My objective is to make sure that the firms have a system where provision and production are realised under a systematic management discipline to ensure that Defence Industry products and systems with advanced technology and complex structure meet the performance and function requirements and that these firms are effective and sustainable.

The contributions of the sub-industry in defence industry cannot be underestimated. It is observed that aviation clustering takes place. What do you think about it?

Meeting the needs of Turkish Armed Forces with advanced technology products and maximum use of local resources will have positive effects on the market share of Turkish defence industry.

Today, the competitive power of the defence industry lies in the presence in the market with innovative products which offer variety among the present products in a timely manner, at the desired quality and with a reasonable price. In the recent years, whether liked or not, a global competitive power is dominant instead of internal or external competition under the effects of globalisation movements. One of the main aspects of globalisation is to have advanced technology products to dominate the market. Management of the process of emergence of new ideas, which is followed by the transfer of those with the highest potential of technological and commercial success to meet the market requirements and “strategic management of technological innovation” gain in importance among the crucial competencies of the firms.
Therefore, small and medium scale enterprises have initiated certification activities so as both to contribute to the local defence industry at a rapid pace particularly in aviation and environment areas and to have a place in local defence industry. When the turnover of the local firms operating in defence industry is looked at, there has been a regular growth since 2002. This shows that the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces are preferred to be met through the national resources. This preference stems from the compliance of the firms with the requirements of the defence industry in their production. In this way, their opportunity to be present in international markets increases. Export indicators of the defence industry products in the recent years clearly state this. Therefore, the importance of the certification activities is evident especially in terms of accession to the new markets especially on the part of small and medium scale enterprises.

Despite the economic crisis in the world, it is important to continue the activities for new opportunities in defence sector in our country. I can give Izmir as an example. As you know, the activities were launched in Izmir concerning the project of aviation clustering and there will be great increases in the number of firms to have prospective AS 91000 certificate.

It is only possible to meet the performance and function demands of the Defence Industry products and systems equipped with advanced technology and complex structure when the provision and production is ensured following a systematic management discipline.