New arms on exhibit at defense event IDEF in Istanbul
ISTANBULA number of new defense technologies have been rolled off at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF), which kicked off in Istanbul on May 9, with indigenous projects putting their mark on the event.
Among the attractions are two Turkey-made missiles, Gökdoğan and Bozdoğan.
Developed by the Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) of TÜBİTAK, the country’s science body, the Gökdoğan is a short-range weapon with high maneuvering capability and infrared monitoring system. The Bozdoğan, in contrast, is a long-range missile that an active radar system.
Both can be used on F-16 fighter jets, which constitute the backbone of the Turkish Air Force.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited the stand where the missiles were exhibited before inspecting the aerial Hürkuş and Atak vehicles, which are produced by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The Hürkuş is a tandem two-seat, low-wing, single-engine, turboprop aircraft being developed by TAI as a new basic trainer and ground attack aircraft for the Turkish Armed Forces.
The Atak program is an ongoing project that was begun to meet the Turkish Armed Forces’ requirements for an attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter. The program is being produced by both TAI and the Italy-based Leonardo.
Yıldırım also visited the stands of Baykar Makina, the domestic unmanned aerial vehicle producer, where he inspected a gunned model, as well as other improved technologies at Roketsan, Havelsan and Aselsan, the major suppliers of the Turkish Armed Forces.
FNSS, a Turkish joint venture company owned 51 percent by Nurol Holding and 49 percent by BAE Systems, showcased a prototype of its mid-weight tank Kaplan MT, a project developed in partnership with Indonesia’s PT Pindad.
The Kaplan MT has been praised for its sensitive direct firing system, wide range of ammunition alternatives and high tactical and strategic movement capability.
The new armored vehicle uses a CMI Cockerill 3105 tower integrated with a 105 mm high-pressure Cockerill cannon.
FNSS General Manager Nail Kurt said the Kaplan MT “is a very special vehicle” and that its design was very effective.
Hızır, Turkey’s first hybrid armored vehicle, was also exhibited at the fair.
The system was developed by local defense firm Aselsan and Katmerciler, another Turkish company that specializes in armored vehicles.
According to Katmerciler Deputy CEO Furkan Katmerci, the electric engine grants a chance to use smaller engines and provides a higher maneuvering capacity.
TAI General Director Temel Kotil said one day before the fair that his firm would soon be ready to work with U.K. counterparts on Turkey’s domestic fighter jet project.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Kotil said work would begin after IDEF.
He said the Turkish government had generously backed the project and said workers were almost in the fifth year of the scheme.
Kotil described it as the most important technology project in Turkey in the last 30-40 years, adding that the first flight of the two-engine TF-X combat aircraft would be in 2023.
A cooperation agreement between Turkey and the U.K. was made in January this year during a visit by the British premier to Ankara.
On May 8, the world-renowned U.K.-based engineering firm Rolls-Royce signed a deal with Turkey’s Kale Group, a defense and aerospace business, to produce aircraft engines.
Rolls-Royce said the two companies would establish a joint firm to produce engines for Turkey, particularly for the TF-X.