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ATEŞ- Supply of Mobile Surveillance Units Build-up the Security of EU-Turkey Borders

27 More HIZIR Vehicles in the Land Forces Command’s Inventory

Issue 97

Within the scope of the Project for “Supply of Mobile Surveillance Units for Increasing Border Surveillance Capacity of Borders between Turkey and EU”, the beneficiary of which is the Ministry of Interior General Directorate of Provincial Administration and 75% of which is funded by the European Union and 25% by a National Contribution, where a total of 57 HIZIR 4X4 armored vehicles are to be delivered within the ATEŞ Project, 27 more vehicles have been delivered to the end user for utilization at borders. 20 Armored Surveillance Vehicles, the production of which were completed in Project Phase-1 had were delivered to the Land Forces Command (end user) by the Ministry of Interior General Directorate of Provincial Administration at the handover ceremony held in May,2019.    

Deputy Minister of National Defence Yunus Emre KARAOSMANOĞLU, Deputy Minister of Interior Muhterem İNCE, Vice President of Defence Industries Dr.Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Turkey Andre LYS, Chairman of the Board of Katmerciler İsmail KATMERCİ and many guests attended the ceremony held at Katmerciler’s factory in Sincan/Ankara on the 18th of December.

Vice President of Defence Industries Dr. Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ made a speech at the ceremony and said, “the ACAR Ground Surveillance Radar, SHARPEYE Electro-Optic OD Sensor, SEDA Gunshot Detection System and 9661 V/UHF Ground Radio System, which are produced by Aselsan and currently used by the Turkish Armed Forces as well as by military units of many countries, are integrated onto the HIZIR 4X4 Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicle produced by Katmerciler. All sensors are controlled by security management software enabling their interoperability and an integrated security system solution is achieved. The ATEŞ security systems meet our Land Forces’ requirements for day and night mobile surveillance in harsh environmental conditions. I would like to thank once more the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, our Land Forces Command, and officials of the European Union Delegation to Turkey for the realization of this Project. I would like to express my gratitude once more on behalf of the Aselsan family.”

Deputy Minister of Interior Muhterem İNCE said that there are hightened security concerns encountered in the current century and he also mentioned the crisis in Syria which started in 2011. “The century in which we live is much different than other centuries. It is the century where security concerns and needs are at the highest level. We live together in a period in which terrorism, irregular migration, smuggling, cross-border crimes are committed at the highest level and the security needs are highly required. As we all know, we have encountered the Syrian crisis that started in 2011. With the threats coming from our eastern borders, our country and the geography had to assume the responsibility of ensuring the security of Europe as well as the whole world. As a country, we are hosting more than 4 million refugees. In this sense, we have gained the appreciation of the whole world, especially Europe.”

Deputy Minister of Interior İNCE: “With the Electro-Optic Tower Project, we will have an opportunity to monitor 350km from our Western border and 740km from the Eastern border.”

Mentioning that Turkey has been constructing security walls at its southern and eastern borders, İNCE said, “We are constructing security walls especially at our southern and eastern borders within the scope of integrated border management. Within the framework of this integrated border management approach, we exert utmost efforts to ensure our border security. Of course, we try to maximize the security of our borders by using this high technology in our western borders as well as our eastern and southern borders. In this sense, I would like to share information with you about a new project we have initiated recently; the Electro-Optic Tower Project. The tender of the project has just been finalized. We will have an opportunity to monitor 350 km from our western border and 740 km from our Eastern border. By building these towers at 211 points, our borders will become more secure. This project will cost nearly €108 million. We had previously delivered 82 armored surveillance vehicles to our Land Forces Command and we had also delivered 3,649 passport stamp/seal devices to the related departments. In parallel, the training activities are ongoing. Almost 2,500 staff in charge of this project were trained. The thermal camera project for utilization at our southern border is now underway.”

Noting that 20 mobile surveillance vehicles had been delivered previously, İNCE said that 27 vehicles were delivered in the second phase and added that they would like to finalize the delivery of the remaining 10 vehicles as soon as possible. “We have already delivered 20 of the mobile surveillance vehicles to the Turkish Land Forces Command. We are delivering more 27 vehicles today. Delivery of the rest of the 10 vehicles will be completed as soon as possible. In this way, the greatest contribution will be made to the efforts that provide for the security of our country as well as for Europe and our region.”

Deputy Minister of National Defence KARAOSMANOĞLU: “Armored Vehicles will be utilized by the troops in Edirne and Kırklareli”

During his speech, Deputy Minister of National Defence Yunus Emre KARAOSMANOĞLU announced the regions where the 27 vehicles are to be utilized. KARAOSMANOĞLU: “We are here for the delivery of 27 vehicles which will make a significant contribution to border line security in the second phase of the supply project of mobile surveillance vehicles in order to increase the border surveillance capacity. We are altogether here on the occasion of the delivery of these tactical wheeled vehicles and systems designed on the vehicle to our border units serving troops in Edirne and Kırklareli. Turkey is located within a region where intense political crises and conflicts exist. One of the most important areas of homeland security is undoubtedly border security. Border security is not only the problem of our country but also the major problem of the world. Turkey is one of the countries that attaches great importance to border security with utmost effort. Turkey has been struggling to prevent thousands, hundreds of thousands from migrating into the country, while preventing the passage of irregular immigrants to the EU. In our country, we host 3 million 650 thousand Syrian immigrants and approximately 5 and a half million immigrants in total. The ongoing conflicts and crises in the region may further increase this wave of immigration. Turkey has been exerting efforts to prevent such an increase. So far, we have secured a total area of 8 thousand 100 square meters in Syria, where the terrorism threat is intense with 3 separate operations. As of now, nearly 365 thousand Syrians in our country have voluntarily and safely returned to Syria. Our objective is to send back 2 million Syrians.”

Following the opening speeches, the vehicles were delivered to the end-user and the Deputy Minister of Interior Muhterem İNCE and Deputy Minister of Defence Yunus Emre KARAOSMANOĞLU signed a protocol. After the ceremony, the capabilities of armored vehicles were demonstrated to the participants at the factory's test field.

ATEŞ: Advanced Technology in Border Security

In the ATEŞ project, Hızır 4x4 Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicle produced by Katmerciler are preferred as the Armored Vehicle Platform, while the electronic sensors on the vehicle and the security management software enabling interoperability of these sensors are the systems indigenously designed and produced by Aselsan. Within the scope of the project, Aselsan product the ACAR Ground Surveillance Radar and SHARPEYE-OD Electro-optical Sensor System which is used for day and night surveillance of human and/or vehicles up to 40 km, while the 9661 V/UHF Ground Radio System, SEDA Gunshot Detection System and all other sensors are safely controlled by SECANS Security Management Software, which are also designed by Aselsan. Thanks to the on-vehicle sensors, during day/night and under adverse weather conditions, the troops' short/medium/long range mobile surveillance requirements are met, while a target detected by the radar or a sharpshooter firing detected by the gunshot detection system can be determined on the digital map with coordinates, monitored in real time by thermal cameras and can be covered with fire simultaneously.

In the European Union funded Project, which was initiated in 2017 and implemented under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and Aselsan as a contractor, Aselsan won the tender with the best offer price and technical solution. The contract for the procurement of 57 Armored Surveillance Vehicles with a total contract value of approximately €30 million were signed on May 29, 2017 and the design and production process was initiated. Katmerciler was selected as the platform subcontractor within the scope of the program. 

The 4x4 HIZIR ATEŞ has a 400 horsepower and V-Type monocoque hull providing high mine protection. The vehicle has a 6-crew capacity and 6 doors/gun ports and has blast seats. The armored vehicle with a maximum weight of 16 tons, can reach a maximum speed of 120 km per hour, while the maximum cruising range is 700 km. Equipped with a CBRN air filter system and a hydraulic recovery winch, ATEŞ has an automatic fire suppression system and independent suspension and differential locks. The tires of the power steering vehicle are Run-Flat.

Thanks to the vehicles and systems to be used by border troops serving in Edirne and Kırklareli provinces, a significant contribution is aimed to be provided to EU-Turkey border security by detecting irregular immigrants and traffickers.

With the delivery of 10 more vehicles in January 2020, the project for the supply of 57 ATEŞ Mobile Surveillance Vehicles will be finalized