Aselsan teams up with AV, Altoy for pipeline security contract

Aselsan teams up with AV, Altoy for pipeline security contract

Burak Bekdil
Aselsan teams up with AV, Altoy for pipeline security contract

Turkish military giant Aselsan and US partners have signaled their intent to win a contract to protect energy pipelines running through Turkey, particularly in the southeast. REUTERS Photo

Turkish military electronics specialist Aselsan has team up with a U.S. drone maker and a joint venture to bid for a Turkish contract designed to build integrated security systems for all oil and natural gas pipelines in Turkey.

Aselsan has signed a memorandum of understanding to partner with AeroVironment (AV), a U.S. technology firm and the maker of the Global Observer unmanned aerial system, and Altoy, a joint venture partly owned by AV, for the Turkish bid.  

As part of the deal, Aselsan has already delivered an advanced technology sensor to AV which the U.S. company will use in its unmanned systems to map oil fields in Alaska.  

AV will create three-dimensional maps and geographical information systems in Alaska with the Puma AE, a mini drone it has developed. The drone will collect data using an electro-optical camera and a light detection and ranging system developed by Aselsan.  

Aselsan and AV had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in civilian and military avionics, electronic and electro-optical systems, sensors and communication systems. The new deal extends planned cooperation to security and energy systems.  

In August, Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), invited “Requests for Information (RfIs)” for a bidding on integrated security systems for all existing and future pipelines. The integrated security systems will protect pipeline facilities from threats like sabotage and theft, the document said.  

Defense procurement officials have said the program intends to provide protection for existing and future pipelines, especially in Turkey’s southeast.  

AV is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, supports and operates an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions. The company’s electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems generate and process data to deliver powerful insight, on demand, to people engaged in military, public safety and commercial activities around the world. Global Observer is a hybrid-electric, stratospheric UAS designed to provide affordable, persistent reconnaissance and communication over any location on the globe.

Last month, AV announced that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected the company and its team of industry leaders to follow its Phase I concept design effort with a Phase II preliminary design for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (Tern). The 12-month, $19 million Phase II effort seeks to conclude with subscale flight demonstrations prior to a planned Phase III award decision.