ASELSAN in negotiations with Russian, European companies

ASELSAN in negotiations with Russian, European companies

MOSCOW - Anadolu Agency
ASELSAN in negotiations with Russian, European companies

AP photo

Turkish defense producer ASELSAN has held negotiations with Russian and European companies in a successful effort to expand its market, board member Sedat Nazlıbilek told Anadolu Agency on Aug. 31.

Speaking at the international aviation and space exhibition MAKS-2015 in Moscow, Nazlıbilek said the company held successful negotiations with representatives of several Russian and European companies. He said all sides have agreed to maintain communication and cooperation.

ASELSAN already partners with Rosoboronexport and its subsidiaries for electro-optical systems, which are designed and produced by ASELSAN, regional marketing manager Sencer Şahin said.

“ASELSAN was ranked 62nd in the world’s top 100 defense companies, and, in a few years, we expect to enter the top 50. The company demonstrates good dynamics, which allows us to be optimistic. For example, last year we were in 67th place and this year we climbed 6 points, Nazlıbilek said.

It was the first time that ASELSAN had participated in the MAKS trade show, and it is the only Turkish Company attending. Nazlıbilek explained that the company’s rapid growth depends on its active effort to break into new markets.

At the moment, ASELSAN exports its products to nearly 50 countries on five continents. It produces radio systems for the U.S., as well as to many other markets.

In addition to production facilities in Turkey, the company has joint ventures in Kazakhstan, Jordan, and South Africa. About 20 percent of ASELSAN products are exported, and the company plans to increase this figure to 50 percent in the coming years. Nazlıbilek therefore said the visit to the MAKS 2015 helped to establish new possibilities for cooperation with potential partners.

Focus on R&D activities

ASELSAN devotes considerable resources to research and development, spending around 7 percent of its annual income on research. In addition, the Ministry of Defense, the Undersecretary for Defense Industries and the Armed Forces also provide significant financial support.

“The total figure that we spend annually on R&D reaches up to 30 to 35 percent of annual turnover. This year, the company’s income amounted to $1.1 billion. This year ASELSAN spent about $400 million on research and development,” Şahin said.

The company employs approximately 5,000 people, of whom 65 percent are engineers. Most have a master’s degree and about 10 percent have a doctorate degree. Around two-thirds of all engineers are directly engaged in R&D.

Of the 5,000 workers, in addition to engineers around 27 percent are technical staff. Thus, more than 80 percent of employees are purely technical.

“We are the technology base of Turkey,” Şahin said.

The head of the Avionics Systems Division, Yüksel Serdar, pointed to ASELSAN’s long experience in the sector. 

“As ASELSAN, we have been in the avionics business since 1988. We develop and manufacture flight management systems, mission computers, multi-function displays, cockpit control units, navigation systems, store management systems, airborne communication, electronic-warfare and electro-optical systems. We have also been integrating these systems to all kinds of air platforms. We have provided avionics modernization and integration solutions for more than 500 air platforms. Our avionics systems and technologies in use all over the world,” Serdar said.