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Turkey’s Defense Industry Has Come A Long Way, But Ankara Still Relies Heavily On Foreign Suppliers

Homajon

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Jul 25, 2020,09:48am EDT

Turkey’s Defense Industry Has Come A Long Way, But Ankara Still Relies Heavily On Foreign Suppliers

Paul IddonContributor

Aerospace & Defense

In recent years, Turkey’s defense industry has proven itself capable of designing and manufacturing a variety of increasingly sophisticated weapon systems. Turkish officials boast that these capabilities are bringing an end to the country’s reliance on foreign sources and suppliers for its military hardware.

In reality, Turkey is still heavily reliant on foreign sources for a great deal of its military hardware and technology and will remain so for quite some time.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Turkey plans to eliminate all dependency on foreign suppliers for its defense industry by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the Turkish republic.

Turkey is not going to be able to end such dependencies by 2023 or even by the end of this decade. This is because the country still requires a highly substantive amount of foreign expertise, hardware and technology for the majority of its military projects.

Take Turkey’s MILGEM national warship project, which is supplying the Turkish Navy with new multipurpose frigates as well as corvettes that each specialize in different roles such as anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. The project is impressive and ambitious and has increased the Turkish Navy’s size and strength.

However, this national warship project is far from being a wholly indigenous one since only 60 percent of its production is local. Also, the upcoming TCG Anadolu, the amphibious assault ship (LHD) that will become the Turkish Navy’s flagship, has the same design as Spain’s Juan Carlos I but will be fitted with Turkish-built systems.

Turkey’s T129 ATAK attack helicopter conspicuously resembles the AgustaWestland A129 because it is, of course, based on that established airframe but outfitted with Turkish-made avionics and weapons.

Nevertheless, its reliance on foreign hardware for building the ATAK was brought home to Turkey when it tried to arrange a deal to sell Pakistan a fleet of 30 T129s for $1.5 billion only to be reminded it needed U.S. export licenses to do so since the helicopter contains U.S.-built engine parts.

Turkey’s upcoming Altay main battle tank, which it hopes to build large numbers of to replace its older fleet of Leopard II and M60 Patton tanks as well as sell to other countries, is heavily based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther. Turkey’s T-155 Fırtına artillery guns are also based on the South Korean K-9 Thunder system built under license with Turkish components and modifications.

The majority of the Turkish defense industry’s projects are very heavily based on existing foreign designs with local modifications, which most certainly doesn’t make them indigenous systems but rather license-built Turkish variants of foreign systems. Turkey has built F-16s under license for years but never acted as if it conceived, designed, and then built those fighter jets from scratch.

"It is not easy to assess precisely the extent to which Turkey's defense industry is meeting the national military needs," said defense analyst Yvonni-Stefania Efstathiou. "Yet what Turkey usually calls indigenous systems are, in reality, license-produced or based on imported sub-components."

Turkey got suspended from the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by the United States after it controversially bought sophisticated S-400 air defense missiles from Russia and began taking delivery of them last year.

That suspension may well have ended any possibility that Ankara can possess a fifth-generation fighter jet for at least another decade. Erdogan has claimed that Turkey can complete its own TAI TF-X project or buy Russian Su-57s in the near future but neither of these options are as feasible as he suggests.

Turkey faces many obstacles to making the TF-X a successful fifth-generation fighter jet, arguably the main one being designing and building a proper engine for it.

In 2018, Turkey announced its decision to power the TF-X’s prototype with standard General Electric F110 engines as “a stopgap solution” until it builds a much more advanced engine that will adequately meet the various requirements of a fifth-generation jet.

A fifth-generation engine is absolutely essential for the development of an effective and stealthy fifth-generation jet. It’s also an extremely difficult thing to design and build. Russia has so far failed to build effective Izdeliye 30 engines for its Su-57, which is still little more than a prototype, despite over a decade of trying.

In 2017, Turkey and Britain signed a deal valued at roughly $130 million to develop the TF-X. However, Rolls-Royce dialed back its bid to work with Turkish defense firms to design and build the jet’s engine in 2019 over fears its intellectual property would be shared by Ankara with a third party.

Turkey expressed its willingness to renegotiate the terms of cooperation with Rolls-Royce in late 2019, probably out of recognition it will need all the help it can get to build a proper engine for the TF-X.

However, even a successful partnership with Rolls-Royce wouldn’t necessarily guarantee the design and manufacture of a fifth-generation engine for Turkey’s TF-X for many more years to come.

The only experience Rolls-Royce has to date in building a fifth-generation jet fighter engine was in a joint project with General Electric to develop the F136 turbofan engine for the F-35. However, that project was discontinued nearly a decade ago.

Even if Rolls-Royce could successfully help Turkey build a suitable engine for the TF-X, one military aviation expert expressed his doubts that the British defense contractor would provide Ankara with any “large-scale technology transfer of high-end military turbofan manufacturing techniques to develop domestic production capacity.”

In other words, Turkey still wouldn’t be able to build these engines for its first indigenous fighter jet without substantial foreign assistance and know-how.

In light of these examples, talk of Turkey ending its dependency on foreign sources and suppliers for its military projects is highly premature and will most likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

 

gmres

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And which country's defense industry doesn't heavily rely on foreign suppliers?
There are only a few who is entirely independent and able to replace and fulfill their dependencies, and those a few are whom who has the lead in military technology.
 

Wilhelm II

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Jul 25, 2020,09:48am EDT

Turkey’s Defense Industry Has Come A Long Way, But Ankara Still Relies Heavily On Foreign Suppliers

Paul IddonContributor

Aerospace & Defense

In recent years, Turkey’s defense industry has proven itself capable of designing and manufacturing a variety of increasingly sophisticated weapon systems. Turkish officials boast that these capabilities are bringing an end to the country’s reliance on foreign sources and suppliers for its military hardware.

In reality, Turkey is still heavily reliant on foreign sources for a great deal of its military hardware and technology and will remain so for quite some time.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Turkey plans to eliminate all dependency on foreign suppliers for its defense industry by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the Turkish republic.

Turkey is not going to be able to end such dependencies by 2023 or even by the end of this decade. This is because the country still requires a highly substantive amount of foreign expertise, hardware and technology for the majority of its military projects.

Take Turkey’s MILGEM national warship project, which is supplying the Turkish Navy with new multipurpose frigates as well as corvettes that each specialize in different roles such as anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. The project is impressive and ambitious and has increased the Turkish Navy’s size and strength.

However, this national warship project is far from being a wholly indigenous one since only 60 percent of its production is local. Also, the upcoming TCG Anadolu, the amphibious assault ship (LHD) that will become the Turkish Navy’s flagship, has the same design as Spain’s Juan Carlos I but will be fitted with Turkish-built systems.

Turkey’s T129 ATAK attack helicopter conspicuously resembles the AgustaWestland A129 because it is, of course, based on that established airframe but outfitted with Turkish-made avionics and weapons.

Nevertheless, its reliance on foreign hardware for building the ATAK was brought home to Turkey when it tried to arrange a deal to sell Pakistan a fleet of 30 T129s for $1.5 billion only to be reminded it needed U.S. export licenses to do so since the helicopter contains U.S.-built engine parts.

Turkey’s upcoming Altay main battle tank, which it hopes to build large numbers of to replace its older fleet of Leopard II and M60 Patton tanks as well as sell to other countries, is heavily based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther. Turkey’s T-155 Fırtına artillery guns are also based on the South Korean K-9 Thunder system built under license with Turkish components and modifications.

The majority of the Turkish defense industry’s projects are very heavily based on existing foreign designs with local modifications, which most certainly doesn’t make them indigenous systems but rather license-built Turkish variants of foreign systems. Turkey has built F-16s under license for years but never acted as if it conceived, designed, and then built those fighter jets from scratch.

"It is not easy to assess precisely the extent to which Turkey's defense industry is meeting the national military needs," said defense analyst Yvonni-Stefania Efstathiou. "Yet what Turkey usually calls indigenous systems are, in reality, license-produced or based on imported sub-components."

Turkey got suspended from the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by the United States after it controversially bought sophisticated S-400 air defense missiles from Russia and began taking delivery of them last year.

That suspension may well have ended any possibility that Ankara can possess a fifth-generation fighter jet for at least another decade. Erdogan has claimed that Turkey can complete its own TAI TF-X project or buy Russian Su-57s in the near future but neither of these options are as feasible as he suggests.

Turkey faces many obstacles to making the TF-X a successful fifth-generation fighter jet, arguably the main one being designing and building a proper engine for it.

In 2018, Turkey announced its decision to power the TF-X’s prototype with standard General Electric F110 engines as “a stopgap solution” until it builds a much more advanced engine that will adequately meet the various requirements of a fifth-generation jet.

A fifth-generation engine is absolutely essential for the development of an effective and stealthy fifth-generation jet. It’s also an extremely difficult thing to design and build. Russia has so far failed to build effective Izdeliye 30 engines for its Su-57, which is still little more than a prototype, despite over a decade of trying.

In 2017, Turkey and Britain signed a deal valued at roughly $130 million to develop the TF-X. However, Rolls-Royce dialed back its bid to work with Turkish defense firms to design and build the jet’s engine in 2019 over fears its intellectual property would be shared by Ankara with a third party.

Turkey expressed its willingness to renegotiate the terms of cooperation with Rolls-Royce in late 2019, probably out of recognition it will need all the help it can get to build a proper engine for the TF-X.

However, even a successful partnership with Rolls-Royce wouldn’t necessarily guarantee the design and manufacture of a fifth-generation engine for Turkey’s TF-X for many more years to come.

The only experience Rolls-Royce has to date in building a fifth-generation jet fighter engine was in a joint project with General Electric to develop the F136 turbofan engine for the F-35. However, that project was discontinued nearly a decade ago.

Even if Rolls-Royce could successfully help Turkey build a suitable engine for the TF-X, one military aviation expert expressed his doubts that the British defense contractor would provide Ankara with any “large-scale technology transfer of high-end military turbofan manufacturing techniques to develop domestic production capacity.”

In other words, Turkey still wouldn’t be able to build these engines for its first indigenous fighter jet without substantial foreign assistance and know-how.

In light of these examples, talk of Turkey ending its dependency on foreign sources and suppliers for its military projects is highly premature and will most likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

Wait for attacks:D
 

UKBengali

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I think the article is a little pessimistic.

While it is true that by 2030, Turkey will still need to import engines it should be able to design and build everything else itself.
 

MMM-E

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İsraeli Weapons relies heavily on foreign suppliers too ... so what ?



Turkiye has just started developing its own weapons after 2004 and Nobody can create 100% defense İndustry in 15 years .............. so Turkiye needs more 10 years

What about indigenous Systems to replace foreign Systems ?


-- Aselsan CATS E/O System to replace Canadian Wescam WX-15 for UCAVS
-- TEI PD-170 turboprob Engine for ANKA-S and AKSUNGUR UCAVs
-- TEI TS-1400 turboshaft Engine for T-629 Attack Helicopter and T-625 utility Helicopter
-- KTJ-3200 turbojet engine for SOM and ATMACA Cruise Missiles

also Turkiye develops diesel engines for Military Vehicles , ALTAY Tank and T-155 Howitzer ( 600 hp , 1000 hp and 1500 hp )
in 2018 TR-MOTOR has started developing indigenous turbofan engine for the TFX Fighter Jet project
also Turkiye develops engines for Naval projects up to 5.000 hp


also TAI TF-X stealth Fighter project is a giant industrial revolution project
No need to mention AA Missiles, Cruise Missile ,,Laser guided and Smart Bombs ,,E/O systems, Mission computer/avionics/engine development/AESA radar projects following the paths of same project


and Milgem class Corvette , Istanbul class Frigate , TF-2000 class Destroyer , Milden Submarine , Bayraktar class LST projects are industrial revolution projects of Turkish naval industry

-- CAFRAD Long range naval AESA Radar
-- EW systems
-- ATMACA anti-ship missile
-- GOKDENIZ 35mm CIWS
-- 76 mm naval Gun
-- Hypersonic Railguns
-- HİSAR and SİPER medium/long altitude SAM projects
-- GEZGİN land attack cruise missile
-- ORKA and AKYA Torpedos
-- ZARGANA Submarine Torpedo Counter Measure System
-- TORK Hard-Kill Torpedo Countermeasure System

..etc Rare states have capability of developing such big and complex naval projects .. and Turkiye is one of them


so Turkish Defense İndustry has bright FUTURE

 
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