President of the Presidency of Defense Industry İsmail Demir answered the questions of the participants at the symposium titled “The Century of the Turkish Defense Industry” organized by SETA.
On the question of whether the Özgür Project, which is carried out to modernize the F-16 aircraft in the Turkish Air Force inventory with domestic avionics, can be seen in the field at the end of 2023, Demir said, “We can see. Because Blok-30s have been completed with all their elements. The serial implementation phase will be seen in 2023. “We took our decisions, made our contracts, and their process will come to life as well. In that respect, our liberation projects will hopefully make Turkey an independent and competent country regarding the F-16.” gave the answer.
In response to the question about the domestic chip production studies, Demir said that the beginning of the company called TÜYAR, which they established for this purpose, went back to the Semiconductor Technologies Research Laboratory within TÜBİTAK.
Emphasizing that chip production requires large investments, Demir said:
“This area is a gap for Turkey at the moment and the amount of investment required is also quite extensive. TÜYAR has started work on the creation of a method that will keep the investment amount more reasonable from the beginning and make this technology journey more practical and faster. When we think comprehensively, the defense sector only has chips. It will contain a very small amount of the need for a chip. In fact, there is a very large need for a chip in our country. In this respect, this should be considered as a national policy and the chip issue should be planned by taking into account the strategies such as some partnerships and some collaborations. Within ourselves, within TÜYAR We have feasibility studies that we have done. They have cooperation meetings with some companies and countries, they have certain road maps. We have made certain distances here, but this work continues. It is not possible to realize those big investments at the moment when the issue remains only with TÜYAR, but if there is a strategy I think that TÜYAR will be working on this, and as the general needs of our country come to the fore, our state will take the necessary steps, make investments and, if necessary, go to a cooperation model with possible participants.”
Costs decrease with domestic products
İsmail Demir stated that the national combat aircraft KAAN was not designed to land on the TCG Anadolu ship, there is no such possibility, and studies are planned for HÜRJET in this direction.
Emphasizing that Bayraktar TB3, Bayraktar Kızılelma, HÜRJET, maybe ANKA-3 will achieve a “game-changing” capability with the landing and landing of the TCG Anadolu ship, Demir said that most of the features of classical aircraft carriers will be captured in this way.
On the assessment that “the share allocated to the defense industry in Turkey’s gross domestic product has decreased”, Demir used the following statements:
“One of the reasons for this decrease is that, as domestic platforms and domestic products came into play, much more reasonable costs began to occur than the products we outsourced. Their maintenance, repair and maintenance costs started to decrease considerably. We have big claims. Realizing our ambitious projects requires a certain financial cost. The number of projects is increasing gradually. In general, the projects originating from the Defense Industry Support Fund are increasing gradually. When we see the size of the volume created in the sector, we say that there is a need for more resources. This need for resources is sometimes called a financial crisis and inadequacy, but in fact, the opposite is true of increasing projects. surplus and reasonable costs of projects compared to outsourcing. Maybe we will allocate certain resources to a development in the future, but their return, that is, the reduction in the costs of the products, will quite compensate for this.”
Azerbaijan’s Su-25 aircraft capabilities will be increased
İsmail Demir said that as the capabilities of projects such as KAAN are seen, some countries may become partners and some countries may become customers, and that their doors are open to them.
Pointing out that Azerbaijan’s Su-25 aircraft took part in the Anatolian Eagle Exercise, and when asked whether Turkey had a study on the comprehensive modernization of such aircraft, Demir said, “There are certain weapons in Azerbaijan, especially the modernization of these aircraft. We have projects related to the integration of systems and the implementation of smart systems. These are being implemented.” said.
Pointing out that defense industry companies need credit facilities from time to time in exports, Demir stated that they support the companies in case the credit creates an obstacle.
Demir added that the roadmap for the procurement of the S-400 air defense system is progressing in its own way.