My Impressions From The 5.Naval Systems Seminar (Part I)

It is once again that wonderful time of the year when we gather in Ankara and discuss the proceedings of Turkish naval ship building industry. The 5th Naval Systems Seminar has started today.

Deputy Undersecretary (Platform Projects) Mr. Serdar Demirel, and Head of Naval Platforms Department Mr. Mustafa Şeker made important presentation where they summarized the process of the Turkish naval shipbuilding g in the last 6 years and laid down the plans for the future.

As today the total contract value of naval system is 8 billion USD whereas the total value of all defence contracts is 27 billion USD. In other words the naval projects make up a third of all current defence projects. But the current level of spending for naval projects is not sustainable and the pipeline for the future projects is not very big.

In order to survive in such environment Turkish shipyards need to merge, need to invest in R&D and need to export. This is the solution offered by UDI.

The word consolidation was used several times both in Mr. Demirel’s and Mr Şeker’s presentations. Creation of some kind of a holding company for the Turkish naval ship building is in the plans of UDI. The aim is to create a household name which will be associated with the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. One other aim of creating such a holding company is to consolidate design plus some R&D activities and to keep the talented workforce both occupied and in the industry. This is an ambitious plan. This plans success of failure will decide the future of the industry. The UDI will have to use a big amount of determination, persuasion and a very large stick in order to make Turkish shipyards to work together. At the moment managements of the most yards are not mature enough to create a work force à la ARGE F125 of Germany.

There is a military adage that amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics. “Logistics” seems to be become the new buzzword for the UDI.

UDI defines 4 important steps for increased logistics awareness within the industry:

1)      Performance based approach to logistics

2)      Involvement of the main contractor to the logistics processes

3)      Modernization and maintenance

4)      Product life cycle management

The aim of this move is to keep as much money as possible in Turkey, which will spend for the logistic support of one naval unit over the life cycle of them.

These steps will help to maintain the link between the producer and the end-user which would normally end after the completion of the production process.

In general the tone of this year’s Naval Systems Seminar was very different from earlier ones. This year’s NSS is more mature more sophisticated.

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