Prof. Ismail Demir, Head of Turkish Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) made significant statements about the 2021 targets of the defense industry during the “Evaluation of 2020 and 2021 Projection Meeting” held last week.
He evaluated the Turkish Defense Industry’s (TDI) 2020 performance and announced the targets for 2021 at the meeting.
“The Turkish defense industry had largely met its 2020 targets by completing new deliveries and starting new projects to meet the needs of armed forces. We are also determined to complete ongoing projects, deliver new systems to armed forces and launch new projects in 2021”
Ismail Demir, Head of Turkish Defence Industries Presidency (SSB)
According to the statements, Turkey’s first indigenous Landing Helicopter Dock Anadolu, the Intelligence ship Ufuk and replenishment tanker Gungor Durmus will be commissioned in 2021.
LHD Anadolu, which is based on Spanish LHD Juan Carlos-I design and being constructed by Sedef Shipyard- Navantia consortium, hasn’t started the sea trials yet. The medium-sized replenishment tanker Gungor Durmus was planned to enter service in 2018, but her delivery was delayed because of Selah Shipyard’s financial crisis. The Ufuk, which is currently in sea trials, will be the first intelligence ship built indigenously.
Istanbul -class FFG and Reis-class SSK
The first ships of I-class frigates (Istanbul) and Reis-class submarines (Piri Reis), which are considered two of the most important projects for the Turkish Naval forces, will be launched in 2021. The launch of Istanbul frigate was scheduled in 24th January. Piri Reis (Type 214TN) will be the first Air Independent Propulsion capable submarine of the Turkish Navy. Golcuk Shipyard will start the construction of the second AIP submarine (Hizir Reis) in 2021 as well.
Atmaca anti-ship missile and Akya heavyweight torpedo
Another critical point about 2021 projection of the TDI is to deliver indigenous anti-ship missile “Atmaca” and heavyweight torpedo “Akya” will be delivered to the Turkish Navy. The Turkish Missile developer Roketsan Co. carried out 2 test-fires of Atmaca in 2020. One of the firings was conducted in GPS-free mode under the intense electronic warfare environment. In the first quarter of 2021, Atmaca and Akya will be undergoing final tests with live warheads before the delivery.
In addition to the information above, the following developments are expected by the TDI’s 2021 projection:
- Next steps will be taken for the Turkish FAC and indigenous destroyer project TF-2000,
- Three more ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft will enter service for Turkish Naval Aviation Command,
- Indigenous turbo-jet engine KTJ3200, which is planned to be used for Atmaca anti-ship missile, will be delivered,
- Will work on new designs for the concept of an aircraft carrier,
- 6 Akinci UCAVs and 5 Aksungur UAVs/UCAVs will enter service for the Turkish Armed Forces.
Although Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has not made any statement regarding the delivery of Aksungur UAVs to which service, there is a general expectation that the Turkish Navy will receive some.
With its long endurance and high payload (750 kilograms), Aksungur is considered as the future replacement for the MPAs. During its final tests, Aksungur flew for 49 hours. According to TAI, the next version will be capable of flying for more than 50 hours. Aksungur can carry indigenous missiles and precision-guided munitions, including UMTAS, Cirit, and MAM-L, and with these capabilities, it can be used for anti-surface warfare. Future versions of Aksungur is expected to launch sonobuoys and lightweight torpedoes for Anti-submarine warfare missions.
In the last month of 2020, the U.S. imposed several CAATSA sanctions on Turkey because of its S-400 air defense system purchase from Russia. 2021 will be the first year for the TDI to deal with sanctions. According to the head of the TDI, 2021 will be a productive year, in any case.