Turkey is set to receive its first delivery of the F-35 stealth fighter jets it has officially ordered within 12 months, as part of the ongoing 10-country Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program to develop the combat plane equipped with the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) technology.
Turkey approved an initial order for two F-35s in May 2014 and is to take delivery of 10 aircraft per year after they enter service in 2018, with 30 F-35s on order, a total of 100 planned.
According to a statement for the American Secretary of Defense, the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jets will carry the same price-tag as the previous generation.
Turkish F-16 pilots will undergo a six-week training before they’re ready to operate STOVL jets, which are capable of conducting takeoff and landing without the need for a long runway.
The new generation of the F-35 combat jet’s vertical-takeoff capabilities will be compatible with Turkey’s amphibious multi-purpose combat frigate Anadolu TCG, currently in development, which is slated to come into service in 2021.
The profits of Turkish firms that participated in the F-35 program are expected to reach $12 billion.
Turkey to export military vehicle remote control system
A Turkish defense company, Best Grup, is set to export its military vehicle's remote control systems to the U.S. and the UAE in the near future, an executive of the company said.Ankara-based company's deputy General Manager Ozgur Derebasi told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the company's armored wheeled loader Tosun, used by the Turkish army in the country's cross border operations, was highly effective on the ground."We will start exporting its remote control system to the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates in the next three months", Derebasi said, adding that Tosun -- whose production is six times less costly than its foreign peers -- had been on the ground for three years.One hundred percent locally-produced, Tosun is an unmanned armored land vehicle with a ballistic protection characteristic and has a remote control feature so it can be used without an operator. Equipped with a digger, Tosun’s ballistically protected parts are the operator cabin, the engine section, the fuel tank and the tires.Derebasi said Tosun was able to shatter and remove concrete roadblocks in operations and it was one of the vehicles of this company being used in Turkey's Operation Olive Branch launched in Syria's northwestern Afrin region on Jan. 20."After the U.S. and Israel, we are the third country that uses remote-controlled military vehicles in operations,” he said."Currently, there are 85 Tosuns taking part in Turkey's anti-terror operations. As part of Operation Olive Branch, we are actively involved on the ground with 43 vehicles. Our policy is based on technology export rather than import", he said, adding that the armored vehicles Tosun and Pusat were very successful against serious threats on the ground in that they were able to continue operating even after being shot by rockets.Also locally-made, Pusat is a light tactical and four-wheeled armored vehicle used in anti-terror operations and can be fitted with different weapons systems.Developed by Tumosan, a diesel engine and tractor manufacturer, Pusat was unveiled at the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) held between May 9-12, 2017 in Istanbul.Derebasi said Pusat was especially effective for search and rescue operations in narrow streets and ruined areas.He also talked about Boru, another product of Best Grup.Boru has been designed for police and special operations units, for transfer of personnel, VIP transfer and also help command and control vehicles and weapon carriers.Operating in security and defense industry fields, Best Grup produces remote controlled armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers, armor for SUVs and vans, armored construction vehicles, armed operation robots and unmanned land and aerial vehicles as well as their remote control systems.
Turkish drones lauded at Saudi armed forces exhibition
General Manager of Turkish defense giant STM, Davut Yılmaz, where Turkey was the guest of honor at the Armed Forces Exhibition for Diversity of Requirements and Capabilities (AFED) hosted in Riyadh, shared the country’s experience in production and localization of the defense industry.Turkey now boasts 65 percent self-sufficiency in defense and aims to further increase this. Previously, Turkey procured foreign-made weapons systems but in the past decade has become a producer, co-producer and partner in making defense systems.Yılmaz said that the delegations attending AFED were predominantly Saudi but groups of neighboring countries were also in attendance. General Zulkiple Bin Hj Kassim, the commander of the Malaysia Land Forces, visited the STM stand to receive information about their defense products. Yılmaz expressed that an export to Saudi Arabia or a project to be carried out there would be used or exemplified by other countries.He also stated that Saudi Arabia was an important country with which ties over the recent years have strengthened. "Therefore, it is necessary to make it at least a little more concrete in terms of defense,” he said.The general manager said negotiations regarding sales to Saudi Arabia regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), primarily kamikaze drones, were continuing positively. STM introduced the Autonomous Attack Drone Kargu, also known as the kamikaze drone, which is designed to detect and strike enemy personnel and light armored vehicles.Yılmaz said various projects regarding cyber security and aviation certificates were being worked on and that they would be signed soon.Saudi Arabia’s “2030 Vision”Yılmaz said that STM and other Turkish firms can play a role in helping Saudi Arabia achieve its 2030 vision. Yılmaz also said that the National Ship (MİLGEM) project, which was being discussed with Saudi Arabia for three years, was nearing completed. He said a signed agreement could emerge by summer and that there appeared to be no problems.AFED displays the requirements of the huge number of participants that include ministries, government organizations and private sectors as part of the process to achieve the goals outlined in Vision 2030, and Saudi’s direction toward a strategy to localize major and supplementary industries.