The International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF'19), one of the world's leading defense exhibitions, will open at Istanbul's TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center today.
The fair has become an important promotion, marketing and cooperation platform in defense and security over the last 14 years.
Hosted by the Ministry of National Defense, under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and the management and responsibility of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, IDEF'19 will run until Friday, May 3, 2019.
A total of 1,061 firms, including 576 foreign and 485 Turkish companies, will participate in this year's fair. Some 250 of the Turkish participants will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Some 150 delegations of 550 members, including 68 high-level officials, from 68 countries will also take part in the event. A total of 4,420 meetings, including bilateral talks between foreign delegations, Turkish authorities and domestic and foreign exhibitors, will also be held at the fair. Some 70 signature ceremonies, where national and international collaborations will be announced, are also planned throughout the event.
IDEF, one of the world's top four defense industry exhibitions in terms of the number of exhibitors, is also the world's largest defense industry fair in regards to the number of meetings held on the sidelines. This year, the event is expected to break its record in terms of the number of participants and planned meetings.
As in previous years at IDEF, many products developed by the Turkish defense industry will be exhibited for the first time. New versions of previously developed products will also be introduced at the fair. This year's event will showcase many products, including armored combat vehicles, tactical armored vehicles, unmanned land vehicles, rockets, guided missiles, infantry weapons, military simulators and explosive ordnance disposal equipment.
Debut of advanced
Meanwhile, making a name for itself around the world with some recent breakthroughs, the Turkish defense industry will take a step further in international competition with the IDEF'19. The fair will for the first time showcase the ATAK-2 Heavy Class Attack Helicopter, an advanced version of the current T129 ATAK helicopter, one of the most effective attack helicopters in its class.
Having inked a deal with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project on Feb. 22, the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has recently intensified its studies in that direction, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
While working on the helicopter's one-to-one scale model, TAI managed to finish the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter "mockup" before IDEF'19. The helicopter model will be displayed for the first time within the scope of the event with the company's other air platforms, including ATAK.
A photo taken during final preparations showed that the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter would be exhibited at the fair with the models of domestic munitions. The Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project has been launched to meet the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) requirements in this field.
The project aims to design and produce an effective and dissuasive attack helicopter with high maneuverability and performance, equipped with the state-of-the-art technology target tracking and imaging, electronic warfare, navigation, communication and weapon systems, capable of carrying a high amount of useful load, and resistant to challenging environmental factors.
The project also intends to maximize the use of domestic systems, ensure supply security and export freedom. The Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project is expected to play an important role in reducing external dependency in the defense sector, implementing domestic, national and innovative solutions with the know-how gained in current domestic projects, and increasing the effectiveness of the TSK.
The helicopter to be developed will have a takeoff weight approximately twice that of the current ATAK helicopter and will be among the top-class attack helicopters with only two examples in the world. The first test flight of the helicopter is scheduled five years from now.
The helicopter, which will be in the 10-ton class, include two turboshaft engines, and it will be able to accommodate over 1,200 kilograms of useful load. The helicopter with a tandem cockpit is also capable of working in high-altitude and high-temperature conditions with resistance to environmental factors, as well as high forward speed limit.
With advanced electronic warfare and countermeasure systems, the helicopter will be equipped with high-caliber cannon, new generation 2.75-inch rockets, long-range anti-tank missiles with different guidance systems and air-to-air missile systems.