Defense Logistics and Support Summit (DLSS), which is being held for the second time this year, started in the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday, with the discussed topics revolving around the fact that how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showed once again the importance of military logistics.
The fair was organized by the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) with the support of the Defense Ministry, Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), Defense and Aerospace Industry Manufacturers (SASAD), Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association (SSI) and International Transportation and Logistics Service Providers Association (UTİKAD).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day event, ASO Chairperson Nurettin Özdebir said the value of defense industry projects in Türkiye has exceeded $60 billion (TL 1.1 trillion) as of 2022.
Özdebir stated that Türkiye ranks 18th in the world with a military expenditure of $15.5 billion and the increase rate in its expenditures is 63% in real terms due to the efforts it has made in the last 10 years to reduce the foreign dependency of our country.
“Export unit prices come first among the figures that show the importance and added value of the defense industry,” he said, informing that while the kilogram price of Türkiye’s exports in 2021 was $1.3, the unit price of the defense industry’s exports is currently $70, which is about 54 times the average.
Özdebir, drawing attention to the importance of opening the military logistics field to the civilian industry, emphasized that the defense support capabilities of Türkiye will increase with the participation of the private sector.
Stating that the DLSS was held to review defense logistics strategies and to discuss international models, SASAD Chairperson of the Board, Osman Okyay, for his part, said: “Today we are witnessing the return of the industrial war.”
“The numbers of artillery and rocket ammunition spent in just a few months in the Russia-Ukraine war are several times the annual production of the countries supplying the ammunition. The difference between losses and the speed of replacement is so great that due to shortcomings, both countries are commissioning old systems that have been in their warehouses for decades. This situation is not sustainable for either side. We learn important lessons from these experiences as well,” he stressed.
Okyay commented that developments would need to be made in every field of military logistics, at every stage of its journey from raw materials to the front.
“Autonomous systems taking a more active role in logistics tasks, improvements in production technologies with the support of artificial intelligence, efficiency in fuel consumption and cyber capabilities will come to the fore even more than they do today,” he said.
Okyay said, “we need to position ourselves correctly in this changing conjuncture. It is also necessary to evaluate the issue over the task-readiness capabilities of existing infrastructures.”
“In particular, external sanctions and disruptions in supply chains can jeopardize the combat readiness of critical high-tech platforms.”
“In order to ensure the continuity of military logistics in a healthy way,” he said, “we need to anticipate these risks in our plans.”
Okyay said: “Thanks to the great momentum gained in recent years, we see even more clearly that our success and competitiveness in the sector is at a better point than it has ever been and that it produces high added value for the country’s economy.”
Sami Atalan, the chairperson of the DLSS Organizing Committee, also noted that the Ukraine-Russia war showed how important the military logistics issue is, saying: “We see a NATO that has completed its deficiencies with a great haste, and there are lessons that every country should take from the current Ukraine War.”