Turkey launches 12 defense projects to strengthen military systems with local R&D resources

Published 01.08.2017 00:00
Soldiers at a simulator trainings for armored combat vehicles developed by Turkey's Havelsan, a military software development company.
Soldiers at a simulator trainings for armored combat vehicles developed by Turkey's Havelsan, a military software development company.

Ambitions to localize the development and production of Turkey's defense industry with R&D projects are bearing fruit with recent projects announced by the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries

Increasing competition, localization efforts and the search for new technology in national military systems have resulted in determined efforts to start a new set of 12 research and development (R&D) projects that will address the requirements for improved defense technologies through the cooperation of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has launched new R&D projects that aim to cater to the miscellaneous strategic needs of the defense industry by way of domestic and unique productions, as well as to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry by acquiring new capabilities.

The SSM continues to engage in R&D activities to ensure that domestic knowledge and experience will meet the long-term defense requirements through the development of local infrastructure and technology. These projects do not include mass production and rather focus on the application of specific project models. The R&D Department of the Undersecretariat organizes R&D panels in order to increase the effectiveness of such initiatives and projects.

The first R&D panel was held in December with aims of initiating a dynamic process for projects and was attended by representatives from the Undersecretariat and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The panel resulted in a firm resolution to commence various projects that prioritize "advanced materials," "sensors" and "information technologies" and make nationwide, expansive calls (SAGA) regarding certain areas.

Representatives of the SSM and the TSK, along with members of the scholarly world, convened at the second R&D panel. The topics identified and prioritized within the scope of the road map drawn out for the R&D projects were presented to the attendees at the panel. A total of 12 projects in the categories of advanced materials, sensors, information technology, destructive devices and chemicals, biology, radioactive and nuclear technologies were given the green light for launch during the panel.

Technologies address need for materials

The 12 projects designed to impact the development of defense technology will focus on catering to the following needs:

- The development of infrared sensor technologies, super fence technologies, radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers and microbolometer technologies. Infrared camera systems are used to perceive threats and increase mobility at night, as well as during foggy weather or dusty and smoky conditions with poor visibility. The project, initiated by the SSM, aims to develop infrared technology, including sensor materials for fences.

Microbolometer detectors are used for infrared screening in various military systems, such as thermal weapon scopes, sights and thermal hand cameras, thanks to their light-weight size, mobility, minimal power consumption and cost-effectiveness. The R&D project addressing this topic aims to develop microbolometer technology for use in military systems.

- The development of improved training techniques created via data simultaneously collected and sorted during simulation is used to determine the behavioral performance and neurophysical traits of pilots and operators.

- The improvement of material technologies used in helicopter blades.

-The development of tools for topology optimization and electron beam melting technology for producing complicated geometric components for the manufacturing of functional parts to respond to the needs of the aerospace and defense industries.

-The development of high-performance, quantum-cascade laser structure, known as high-frequency modulation.

-The improvement of quick-recovery materials and methods to ensure the recovery of damaged tarmacs, ground taxiways and aprons as efficiently as possible.

-Making primer charges in ammunition insensitive amid aims to make primer charges useful for the initiation of main detonators.

-The improvement of radiation detector technologies.

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