SAHA EXPO Defense Aviation and Space Industry Fair, organized by SAHA Istanbul, Turkey’s largest industrial cluster, started at the Istanbul Expo Center. More than 600 companies from 30 countries are participating in the fair held on an area of 40 thousand square meters. Speaking at the “Global Efficiency and Technological Depth Roadmap in the Defense Industry” panel held within the scope of the fair, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) General Manager Temel Kotil said, “We are building the second important wind tunnel in Europe. Hopefully, it will start working at the end of 2022. The most important wind tunnel in Europe is the Dutch-German-made tunnel. Now the other one is the Akinci tunnel in Ankara.” Explaining that their company employs 3 thousand 40 R&D engineers, Kotil said, “We did ₺2.6 billion worth of original R&D in 2020. 40% of the company’s total budget goes to R&D. We have recruited 7,000 people in the last five years. About 5,000 of them are engineers. Among these people, 3,400 are engaged in R&D.” Stating that he attaches great importance to working with universities, Kotil said, “Teknofest happens once a year, but we want to organize Teknofest 365 days a year.”
700 PROJECTS WITHIN ITS OWN
Haluk Gorgın, Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager of ASELSAN, stated that they have close to 6,000 personnel in seven different R&D centers and said, “3% of our employees have a doctorate degree and 27% have a master’s degree. We allocate 7% of our turnover to R&D every year.”
THEY INVEST IN R&D
Noting the level reached by the company in its R&D studies, Gorgun said: “There are more than 700 projects within ASELSAN. When we look at these R&D projects, almost 12% of the companies in the top 100 consist of the projects produced by the company and the companies working with the company.” HAVELSAN General Manager Mehmet Akif Nacar stated that they allocate 7% of their turnover to R&D projects and said, “I would like to state that this figure will exceed ₺500 million by the end of 2021.” ROKETSAN General Manager Murat Iki said that serious investments have been made in the defense industry from the past to the present, but the defense industry has been trying to produce products, especially for the last ten years, under an unnamed sanction.
LOCAL WEAPONS ON THE DISPLAY
Songar, Turkey’s first armed drone system, has also accelerated its steps towards export. Asisguard General Manager Mustafa Baris Duzgun said that they delivered Songar to 4 different forces in Turkey.
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz