Forging partnerships, Turkish firms showcase latest wares in UK - M5 Dergi
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Forging partnerships, Turkish firms showcase latest wares in UK

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Turkish defense pioneers sought to explore new partnerships and deals as they descended on Europe’s biggest arms show in London to showcase their latest products, including air defense systems.

Since the last iteration of the biennial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in September 2021, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and dramatically increased tensions over Taiwan and North Korea have given a shot of adrenaline to arms manufacturers worldwide.

Nearly 30 Turkish companies are attending the expo that kicked off on Tuesday and lasts through Friday.

This year’s event hosted over 2,800 defense and security suppliers, with over 230 new exhibitors showcasing their latest products and capabilities.

Turkish defense industry firms have made a significant mark with companies including industry giants like Aselsan, Havelsan, BMC, and Roketsan, demonstrating their cutting-edge innovations, and highlighting Türkiye’s growing role in the global defense sector.

Debut of new air defense system

Ahmet Akyol, chief of the Ankara-based defense giant Aselsan, said the company’s presence at the exhibition with its essential products is vital for Türkiye.

He touched upon the importance of air defense systems, which have gained global attention since Russia’s war on Ukraine began.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), European defense spending rose 13% in 2022 alone, bringing the total global spending to an all-time high of $2,240 billion.

Consultancy McKinsey reports Russia saw its defense exports fall 21% over the first year following the Ukraine invasion, creating further openings for Western arms sales in the developing world.

Overall, it expects military spending to increase globally by an average of 4% a year through 2028, led by Japan increasing its military budget by an unprecedented 14% a year.

“We are exhibiting our KORKUT air defense system, which we developed for the Turkish Armed Forces, in the international arena for the first time,” Akyol told an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA).

Recalling that the firms have also developed SIPER, HISAR and anti-drone systems that complement it as a family, called “GÖKKUBBE,” Akyol underlined they are also highlighting the concept of these systems at the exhibition.

While Türkiye is adding its national products in air defense systems to its inventory, it is also signing and progressing the export of these products with friendly and allied nations, noted Akyol.

At the DSEI, Aselsan also debuted its new laser guidance kits, GÖZDE, and a new generation of SARP, a remotely controlled stabilized weapon system.

“While we are exhibiting our products here, we are also continuing to seek new collaborations, negotiations, agreements and searches with our international partners,” he added.

‘Truly pleasing and proud’

Havelsan, another leading Turkish defense firm, has been exhibiting its wide range of products, including state-of-the-art C4ISR technologies for land, air, and naval domains.

Havelsan’s General Manager, Mehmet Akif Nacar, touched upon the importance of the exhibition for the company and Türkiye. “As companies based in Türkiye, we have reached a capacity to produce world-class products and exhibit them at such large fairs,” he told AA.

Nacar added that showing off the indigenous products among the global giant companies shows how far the Turkish defense industry has developed.

“As the Turkish Defense Industry, we have now reached a stage where we can sell products and exhibit capabilities not only at IDEF (International Defence Industry Fair) but also at exhibitions that are accepted all over the world.”

Havelsan has showcased its autonomous system products, air, land and naval products as well as command control and battle management system and simulator products at this year’s DSEI, noted Nacar.

“This is truly a pleasing and proud event for our country and our companies,” he added.

Mass production of TUNA engine

BMC Power, the power group manufacturer of the Turkish defense industry, has successfully completed the first mass production task for the TUNA engine, said the company’s General Manager Mustafa Kaval during the exhibition.

BMC Power showcased its TUNA engine with 400 horsepower at the exhibition.

Kaval told AA that they began serial production of the TUNA engine at the beginning of the year.

“This engine will have various applications, with the first one being the use of the TUNA engine in KIRPI-2 vehicles. In this regard, we will be sending our first produced engine to our Izmir factory this week. By the end of the year, it will meet the KIRPI vehicle,” he said.

Kaval also mentioned that work on 1,000 and 1,500-horsepower power groups for tracked vehicles and the Altay main battle tank is ongoing.

He stressed on the importance of export for the sustainability of developed and produced products and mentioned that BMC and BMC Power are working in this direction.

“We are in discussions with potential vehicle manufacturers. We have also had discussions with companies producing naval platforms. We envision using these engines we produce for our country and for friendly and allied countries.”

Abone Ol 

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