Turkey eyes outsourcing military logistic systems

Turkey eyes outsourcing military logistic systems

Burak Bekdil
Turkey eyes outsourcing military logistic systems

Turkey is planning a performance-based logistical (PBL) system to reduce costs of logistics and increase the availability of programs. DHA photo

Turkey is planning to switch to a professional system to run its military logistics by out-sourcing logistical services to systems suppliers, military and government officials have said.

One official explained that the idea was to create a military logistics system that would be “better and cheaper,” adding that the defense procurement authorities were aiming to cre-ate a “performance-based logistical (PBL) system.”  

The system is now being tested with flight simulators. Basically, under a PBL, the supplier, depending on its contract, must keep a weapons system up and running 90-95 percent of the year, or face penalties. 

Defense procurement officials say it is generally easier to apply a PBL to electronics or other technology-intensive programs.

As such, they have started system tests with a flight simulator which was manufactured and is now maintained and serviced by the state-controlled military software concern Havelsan.  

Full integration plans

The broader goal is that the military should be the end user only, not also the servicing unit.
One military official said a recent calculation had revealed that in naval systems, for in-stance, logistical costs could drop to one-third if they are outsourced.

But if logistical man-agement is handled by the military end users (services), there is serious risk of rising costs and inefficiency, he added.

Under a procurement plan, PBL could first be applied to high-tech systems and software, then to aerial platforms and finally to land and naval platforms. 

Officials said a full application of the system to all military assets could take several years.

In 2012, as a first step in reshuffling the military logistical system, a special logistical management unit was formed within the procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).
SSM annually runs billions of dollars’ worth of programs. SSM officials say it is natural if the office runs the life-cycle management for major, if not all, modernization and acquisition programs.

Under the new system, logistical contracts as part of big procurement contracts would be announced by SSM.

Under the new logistical management plan, local prime contractors will be asked to sign logistical management contracts with SSM on behalf of all system suppliers.

SSM is expected to sign a separate logistical management subcontract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the country’s first indigenous basic trainer aircraft, the Hürkuş, and the first indigenous drone, the Anka.