Roketsan: One of the leading companies in Global Missile market owing to her competency and innovati

It is known that you are one of the companies that are competing for the 2.75” Guided Missile market. Could you tell us where is ROKETSAN at this project? ROKETSAN have been working on laser guided missile development project to meet the needs o

Issue 15 - April 2009

CIRIT will be reaching targets at 8 km range and contains many improvements such as semi active laser seeker, insensitive rocket motor with reduced smoke propellant, 3-mode warhead having armor piercing capability, inertial navigation based on MEMS for mid-course guidance, electro mechanical control actuation system and smart pod. So we can say that, all these points of CIRIT makes it a trendsetter and they have brought in a distinct importance to the project and made it possible to gain a great strength among the competing products. Every country using helicopters will need this ammunition. It is known that classical unguided 2.75” rockets being used from helicopters as well as fixed wing aircrafts had excessive dispersion in flight and were very difficult to accurately hit the target because of that. In current battles, however, it is essential to hit only the military targets, and to prevent all kinds of civil and collateral damage. That’s why, precision of ammunitions are today much more important. There are very accurate systems available in the market, like Hellfire or SPIKE, but these are very expensive to be used against softer targets. CIRIT has sensitivity at their level, it possesses a rather high strike power and so cost-effective that can not be even compared. Therefore, we estimate that CIRIT will have a very wide marketing potential.
We are now at the final stage of flight tests and completing the validation of the product and production line, we plan to commence the serial production by the end of this year.
Being the first national missile program, C?R?T project is assessed as a turn point in our national capability.

At what level are the design studies of medium and long range guided antitank missile systems? What are the technical features and technological advantages of the missile systems being developed in this context?

About the Long Range Antitank System (UMTAS) and Medium Range Antitank System (OMTAS), we signed the contracts with SSM, and completed the design studies of UMTAS project in April 2008. The design studies in OMTAS are still in progress and we are intending to complete the system design in 2009. The development period agreements are going to be made when the design periods are completed, and after the completion of these periods, the agreements of production phase are going to be signed.

The UMTAS missile systems, which are going to have minimum 500 m, maximum 5-8 km range, are supposed to be fired from the helicopters to be supplied within the ATAK Program. That means when the ATAK helicopter takes its place in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces, UMTAS will be put in use too. We have a quite good progress in UMTAS. The system design phase was completed in April 2008. In July 2008, the second phase agreement has been signed. With this new phase, we are going to complete the product development studies in the forthcoming two years and a half and we will be able to put the products in the inventory. One of our main aims about UMTAS, which is going to be able to operate in the lock-on before or after firing, is to make it effective against all armor types.

OMTAS missile systems –which will have a range between minimum 60-250 m and a maximum 4 km-, will be launched from shoulder or a tripod. OMTAS missile systems will be light and portable, equipped with infrared line seeker, hybrid control system and an advanced technology fire control system. Furthermore, it will be effective against blockhouse and concrete targets. OMTAS, which will also be able to be ignited from confined spaces, will be effective against all armor and electronic jamming.

The product to come into at the end of the UMTAS Project will be the ammunition of the ATAK helicopters.

We are working with the aim of creating OMTAS which can compete with SPIKE LR and UMTAS which can compete with Hellfire or SPIKE ER. Both UMTAS and OMTAS will have superiorities like being insensitive ammunition against these systems, firing from confined spaces, fire and forget / fire and update modes.
You have accomplished a spectacular success at international platform by exporting 122 mm multi-barrel rocket firing system to United Arab Emirates. Can you please provide us information about the topics realized and worked on by ROKETSAN in terms of exports and the activities and targets in international field?
ROKETSAN, along with international programs, is engaged in intense marketing activities to be able to design, manufacture, and supply the weapon systems to meet the needs of TSK and the armies of the allied friendly nations. The 122 mm, Sakarya Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (T-122) and its ammunition TR-122 entered into the inventory of the TSK in 1996. The 122 mm TR-122 ammunition is the rocket that can reach at the furthest target, within its family of ammunitions kept in the inventory and as proven in firing tests performed in Turkey, it can reach at a target of 46 km in distance, protects the title of being the “rocket having longest range in the world” among the ones contained in its class.
The first exports of T-122 Sakarya weapon system and TR-122 rocket family (TR-122/TRB-122/TRK-122) with their renowned capabilities were realized to United Arab Emirates (UAE). This project is completed in 2008, with opening new potentials due to it’s success. That’s how we have agreed with a well known company of the UAE, Al Jaber to design and produce a new weapon system for a country in the Middle East region. That project was signed during the IDEX 2009 exhibition and has a commercial value of 90 Million US$. In addition to that, we are in the negotiation of another contract involving the joint production of ammunition, and this contract is to be signed in the first semester of 2009.

The framework of Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) project with Raytheon and the framework of JERNAS project with MBDA UK are our important export drives. The sub-components of air-bags used in cars are manufactured in ROKETSAN and exported to USA. Together with exports realized to USA within the scope of Stinger Project, we now have an export portfolio that exceeds 300 million US$. We have thus recorded a significant increase in recent years.

Along with unique (original) manufacturing systems for 107 and 122 mm, with technology transfer like the one done for Kas?rga, there are products manufactured as ones that are included in our product portfolio. We have commenced the marketing activities of the Kas?rga weapon system with the fairs that we participated last year. Cirit is also among the products that are included among the current marking activities.

We are not marketing the defense systems to UAE only. Middle East is at the top of list of target markets. We have rather important initiatives in such countries as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan. Along with these, there are the North African countries and among them Algeria has the priority for us. We have contacts in progress, in accordance with procurement plans of Far East and South African countries and with armed forces of Finland and Australia. Turkic Republics are an important market among the targets of our company. In the Northern Europe, Finland is one the countries which we have entered into joint works. In Far East, we are engaged in activities in Malaysia and Indonesia. We are also interested in South America. We have participated in an exhibition in Chile for the second time last year and are planning to participate for the third time next year.
We have already transformed our design and manufacturing infrastructure into our products, and although remaining cost effective, we offer to all the countries around the world that we are permitted to work with by our Ministry of National Defence, a high quality along with a high performance. We also provide user training to our customers, whenever requested along with our products. We have already proven all these in the United Arab Emirates, a country famous for their difficulty in being satisfied as a customer. After all these, we can say that our target is to be placed among the top 50 companies in terms of sales volume and advanced technologies in this field.

Can you please inform us about the present situation of ESSM and Rapier Mk-2 projects within the Air Defense Systems context?

In 1999, ROKETSAN signed a domestic production contract in order to meet the needs of the Turkish Air Forces (TAF). In this context, as the subcontractor of MBDA UK Company, ROKETSAN started the production of JERNAS air defense system which is composed of the Rapier Mk2 missile and the launcher. The integration of a missile, and conducting the final tests within ROKETSAN brought in new expansions to our engineering infrastructure. Within the framework of this project, we brought a business package as a resource to ROKETSAN. JERNAS is about to take its place in the inventories of about ten countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Turkey. ROKETSAN is and is going to produce –as the sole supplier - the actuator assembly which is going to be mounted to the missiles to be produced for all the said countries and for the countries which are going to make an agreement with MBDA.

Immediately afterwards, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) program came up within the needs of the Naval Forces Command (NFC). In order to modernize and develop the Sea Sparrow guided projectile in the inventory so that it can fill the present needs, ten countries joined forces for this program which is being conducted by the NATO Sea Sparrow Consortium. Our participation to the ESSM project started with the Engineering Development and Design Phase in 1995. At this phase, the design, production and test of the flight termination unit -to be used at ESSM’s test fire- were developed. The studies on flight termination warhead which can be replaced with existing warhead happened to be a project enabling us to test the engineering capabilities of ROKETSAN. Without causing any delays or malfunctions, we succeeded in working out an important engineering business package. Because the Flight Termination System is bespoke, ROKETSAN undertook the production of various mechanical and composite materials taking place in different departments at ESSM. The studies on the production phase of the project started in 1999 with the Low-Intensity Mass Production Phase. The Mass Production Phase, which is given start in 2004, is scheduled to continue until 2012.

In the context of your studies and technological attainments in air defence systems, what kind of a task can Roketsan undertake on projects about the Air Defence Missile needs which is on Turkey’s agenda? At which stage is your study about this?

With Aselsan, we offered our low and medium level air defence projects- started by the Undersecretariat of Defence Industry- intended for indigenous development. The procurement by indigenous development of Low Level Air Defence System has been approved we have signed a contract for it. With Aselsan, we are going to develop a modern and efficient system -which uses updated technology- to meet the needs of the Low Level Air Defense of our Armed Forces. Our studies with the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry have been being carried on intensively about the domestic procurement of the Medium Range Mobile Air Defense Missile System for the Land Forces Command and about the Zone Defense High Altitude Surface-to-Air Missile for the Air Forces Command. About the participation of the local defense industry in these projects, ROKETSAN Inc. can make momentous contributions with its situated infrastructure. The necessary steps are taken for this contribution.

Within the scope of National Tank Project, ROKETSAN has been determined as the sub-contractor on the subject Can you inform us about the works done on this subject?
Modern Battle Tank Production Project is a new program having the target of meeting the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), by benefiting from the national capabilities at a maximum level, and is implementing under the coordination of SSM. The title of the program is “Project in Production of Tanks within National Capabilities” (M?TÜP). Development of a “national” system that highly benefits from the capabilities of the local firms and organizations at the time of both the design & development and of production phases, with rights belonging to Turkish firms and organizations is the target. Undersecretary of SSM Murad BAYAR made an assessment on the subject that the technological knowledge accumulation gained by ROKETSAN in rocket and missile technologies, design, manufacturing and capabilities, could be used on the subject of meeting the armor needs of M?TUP project as well.

With ROKETSAN’s experience, capabilities and accumulation of knowledge gained from many rocket and missile development and manufacturing programs realized to date in the direction of the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the need for a national armor design and test center happens to overlap on one another. During the performance of studies, ROKETSAN had the possibility of keeping in touch with the organizations engaged in design and manufacturing of warheads at home and abroad on the subject of studies on warhead and built design/test infrastructure. Many design and test infrastructure used in developing tank defense missile warheads targeting armors of tank are at the same time being used in development of armor. There are too many similar applications in other countries. This responsibility does not only cover the manufacturing responsibility of armor packages but form a job description in which we can at the same time use the design capabilities. ROKETSAN with its current infrastructure will be able to receive tasks in all design, production and testing processes in the armor work package until the final product.

What kind of role is undertaken by ROKETSAN within the scope of project oriented to development of helicopter electronic war support center? What is the current status on this subject?
Electronic war (EH) simulation support system is a new field of activity for ROKETSAN. We had signed the EH Support Center Project agreement at the time of IDEF 2005 Fair with ASELSAN. Within the scope of the Support Center of Counter Measure Dispensing System (CSC) Project, there are such objectives as defending air platforms against the threats under their defense by user, to develop Counter Measure Dispensing System (CMDS) programs with the purpose of their optimization and the development of Computer Supported Simulation and Close Loop Hardware Test Systems (Hardware in the loop and HITL Simulator). Within the scope of the project, the PC simulation and HITL Simulator systems will be uniquely developed by ROKETSAN by benefiting from domestic means and resources at the maximum level. When we take a look from the current point reached, it can be stated that, the Conceptual Project Design and Preliminary Design phases are passed and system Architecture studies are completed. The engineering model building and algorithm development works are completed while the software development works are progressing.

Electronic warfare is not contemplated to be one of our main tasks but it is a field to which we can support. In order to accomplish such a project successfully, one must model the threat very well. Since rocket and missiles are our work, ROKETSAN is in a position to model the threat in the best way possible. The basic task of ROKETSAN in the project is to build a model of the threat and by using this model, to generate the most effective defense scenarios against the threat and to verify it by tests to be performed to optimize it.

You have been sending the message to ally countries that, the experience gained on the subject of munitions Disposal Facility which entered into the service of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) could be made a turnkey delivery project and it could be established in other countries as well. What are your assessments about competitive power of ROKETSAN on that matter?
With the purpose of destroying the ammunition that completed their useful life but remained in the inventory of the TSK, the contract of establishment of a Munitions Disposal Facility in K?r?kkale was signed between NAMSA and ROKETSAN at the end of December 2005 and the plant was started to operate in 2007. Disassembly and demolition of 52 different types of classical ammunition in different sizes as well as missiles, rockets and landmines that are out of service are realized in Munitions Disposal Facility with advanced technology of maximum automation and recycling; without harming the environment and by giving priority to human and material safety. This project also required the establishment of a plant equipped with remotely controlled robots and it is important from the point of ROKETSAN to exhibit the engineering strength as well. We are planning to market this plant to friend and allied countries and we observe that there is a very serious demand. I think, in a short time, we will also open up to the world as a company capable of establishing turn key projects based plants.

What are the responsibilities of ROKETSAN as a sub-contractor of the American ARC Automotive Inc. for the production of airbags? What is the current status of this project?
We have signed a contract in 2005, with the ARC Automotive Inc. which is located in the United States of America (USA), with an approximate value of 11 million Dollars for a period of 3.5 years, involving a serial production and supply of annually 14.5 million booster bags using Arcadane 459 (airbag triggering fuel), in 16 different configurations, for use in airbags and the products manufactured are being shipped to the USA. The qualification of these products has been completed in December ’06 and the serial production has started in January ’07.
When the airbag project will be diversified in the directions of our objectives, ROKETSAN will become one of the most important sub-contractors of ARC Automotive Inc., which is ranked 4th in the world’s airbag market.
What are your current Research and Development activities and studies?
ROKETSAN aims to be a worldwide system company in the rocket and missile industry. The design and development capabilities have been continuously expanded with this view, along with the ongoing production projects, within a planned strategy. The first outcomes of this process were the indigenous design Artillery Rocket Systems that have been provided to the Turkish Armed Forces inventory.
Within the framework of recent years’ progresses, we have completed the laboratory phase of guidance, control and seeker development studies and have started to implement these studies in the tactical field. ROKETSAN will continue to diversify its product range by using the momentum and experience earned within these projects for meeting the current and future requirements. The contracts signed with the Ministry of National Defense in the recent years require a dominance of engineering and development of indigenous products. CIRIT, UMTAS, OMTAS, CMDS, HTPB (Hydroxyl Terminated Poly Butadiene) are some of the projects that require the development of genuine products and we have realized numerous technology development works during these projects. ROKETSAN has defined its vision in parallel to our countries objectives as “Launching Satellites into the Space” since the day it has been founded and will continue to contribute in the defense services with this vision.