My Impressions From 7. Naval Systems Seminar

7NSS On 12 and 13 October 2015, the 7. Naval Systems Seminar was held in Ankara.

I am personally delighted to see this venue started as a one-man project turned to be an established organisation appreciated by everyone.

Turkish Navy was officially present in this year’s seminar. In previous years Turkish naval officers participated the event on their own without an official endorsement from the force.

It is interesting to notice the gradual changes happening in Turkish ship building industry through this event. This year for example Turkish shipyards decided not to attend with exception of Sedef Shipyard. Is this because the shipyards had to take part in IDEF Defence Fair in spring 2015 and used most of their budgets there, or is it because they know that there are no hot contested projects on the tables?

Saab making fun of LCS.

Saab making fun of LCS.

Most notable absentees were foreign companies and organisations such as UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation. UKTI DSO which was a prominent participant in early events was absent like US and German delegations and companies. Rolls Royce was the only British company present. After acquisition of Tognum they have become the major engine supplier in many Turkish naval projects. On the other hand the Spanish were there with their huge model LHD model and the Swedish with their smart presentations.

Large Turkish defence companies like Aselsan and Havelsan were also present since they are among the main sponsors of the Naval Systems Seminar, they did not have too much options.

Aselsan is enlarging its product range for naval applications. They offer a variety of devices from 3 dimensional radars to torpedo decoys; from EW suites to remote-controlled guns. Havelsan on the other end is offering mainly command and control and situational awareness solutions for naval applications.

The enthusiasm of the first years have turned in to a more sober mood. In the previpus events people were talking about the things they are going to do in the future. Now they are talking about the things they have done and leason learned by doing them.

For further reading:

6th Naval Systems Seminar

5th Naval Systems Seminar (Part II)

5th Naval Systems Seminar (Part I)

4th Naval Systems Seminar

3rd Naval Systems Seminar

6th Naval Systems Seminar

6th Naval Systems Seminar will be taken place by the support of Undersecretariat Defence Industry (SSM) in November 28-29, 2013 at METU Cultural and Conventional Center in

The aim of the seminar is;
• to increase the common knowledge on the subject of naval systems,
• to improve mutual collaboration for better capabilities,
• to be aware of the abilities of the related universities / experimental institutes and companies in the sector,
• to share different strategies and guides developed for the design and production of the systems at naval defence and security issues.

Naval Systems seminar has become a traditional. It is a good venue to network at get the latest news, rumors and information about the on going projects. 

If you wonder what it is like click here.

My Impressions From 5.Naval Systems Seminar (Part II)

Some more information and gossip from the 5th Naval Systems Seminar. Click here to read the first part on Bosphorus Naval News.

  • In November, F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes will leave for her first overseas deployment, to the Gulf of Aden. It is not clear at the moment if she will replace the Gabya (ex-Perry) class frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik the flagship of CTF-151 or not.
  • Towards to the end of the year the Turkish Naval Task Force will be reactivated. It is not clear where the task force will be deployed. It is possible that TCG Heybeliada may be a part of this task force.
  • Inşallah, the first 3 ships of the Coast Guards large Search and Rescue ships will be handed over by RMK to the end use before the end of 2012. This is a direct quote from Mr. Şener.
  • The first four planes from Meltem Project have been in temporary acceptance in Turkish Navy. The main contractor TAI Expects to hand all planes to Turkish Navy until the end of 2013.
  • Below are some interesting slides from various presentations from the seminar.

  • The contracts has been signed for the following projects: The design of the replenishment and support ship, the submarine rescue ship, the rescue and salvage ships, seismic research ship, modernization of SAR-33 class boats.
  • The following units has been handed over to Turkish Navy: Milgem, New Type Patrol Boats 7 units, Coast Guard intervention boats 20+ units, upgraded SAR-35 class boats 4 units, coast Guard large patrol boat 3 units, LCT’s 8 units.

  • Short term projects: Milgem S, replenishment and support ship, LCAC, conceptual design of a national submarine LPD.
  • Long term projects: TF2000, Turkish Type Fast Attack Craft, 600 tons coast guard vessel, minesweepers, training schooners.

  • Estimated cost of the all planned shipbuilding projects : 6,8 billion USD. To make a comparison the total contract value of the proceeding  naval projects is 8 billion USD.

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.

My Impressions From 4.Naval Systems Seminar

On Monday and Tuesday, I was in Ankara attending the 4th Naval Systems Seminar, a highlight for the Turkish naval industry. This is the first part of my impressions from the seminar. In this part I will focus on the general mood of the seminar and will share what I found important from the opening key speeches. In the next part I will try to share my impressions from company presentations I have attended.

If I try to summarize the general mood of the 4th Naval Systems Seminar I would say “Steady as she goes” and “Patience”. The last one actually said by the Undersecretary FoRDefense Industries Mr. Murat Bayar. Why patience? Because the Turkish defense industry and the foreign companies need to be patience in the coming years regarding Turkish naval projects.

I start my impressions of the 4th Naval systems Seminar by telling who was absent from the event:
The most obvious absentee was the Turkish Navy. The number of the officers in uniform were less than the fingers in my one hand.

This absence can be interpreted in two ways: First the navy is pulling itself backwards as a procurement source and redefines its role as the requirement definition authority and end-user. But even then representatives of the navy should be present to exchange ideas, to observer new technologies and to talk about new projects. The second explanation for the absence of the Turkish Navy may be the shock of the Sledgehammer. At a time when 26 out of 48 admirals of the Navy are being bars, the navy may net be in a mood for new acquisition.

The absence of new projects was also very noteworthy. In previous Naval Systems Seminars the companies were very keen to tell you in an excited way about their new solutions, upcoming systems. They were eager to tell you about the things they will be doing in the future. This year most of the companies told us how they are doing things and what they did. The lack of new building projects was remarkable. The only announcement for a new project was the the declaration of the contract signing date for the Moships and Ratship: 28th October 2011.

The Turkish shipyards that are currently constructing ships for the Turkish Navy were also absent: RMK, Yonca-Onuk, Dearsan.

So who was there? The British. They were there and were doing full court press. UKTI DSO was one of the guest supporters of the seminar and provided additional support for the simultaneous translation service. All large-caliber British guns such as BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, BMT Defence Services, MDBA, IHS Janes, UKTI DSO were present was well as representatives of British armed Forces.

The large Turkish defense contractor like Aselsan and Havelsan were present. Also present were shipyards ADIK and Istanbul Shipyard. The other companies attending the seminar were mostly subsystem or component suppliers.

For me it was nice to see that the number of the attending universities was more than previous seminars. This means that more and more young people are interested and doing academical research in defense related issues. If an effective way to convert promising R&D projects from our Universities into commercial products can be found then the future will be bright for the Turkish defense industry.

I believe the speeches made by the Undersecretary For Defense Industries Mr. Murat Bayer and Mustafa Şeker, Head of Naval Systems,Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI), at the opening session were brilliant in capturing the sprit and the mood.

Mr. Bayar started his speech by talking about the long distances covered by Turkish naval shipbuilding since the initiation of the Milgem project. He told that after the decrease in commercial shipbuilding, all the shipyards in Turkey were looking up to the naval projects for survival. But the coming naval projects were not enough for the survival of the shipyards doing business with the Turkish Navy let alone to allow new players to enter into market.

He told that Turkish shipyards must find new markets in order to remain profitable and to stay in business. Mr Bayar added that any military systems, that Turkey owns the intellectual rights was successfully exported. Therefore the key for the successful export of Turkish naval industry lies in creating new designs that can be exported without the need of an export approval from a third country.

Mr. Bayar views propulsion and weapon systems as two key areas where Turkey should invest more. Other than these two, Turkey is capable to produce all the major subsystems of a modern warship.

Turkish naval exports

The last 5 years were good times for the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. The value of the signed contracts is more than 2 billion USD. At least 5000 people are working on military ship building projects in Turkish yards. But the future is not as rosy as the coming projects are smaller. This is why Mr. Bayar told to the audience that we should have patience and find new markets for our growing naval shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Mustafa Şeker, the newly appointed Head of Naval Systems,UDI, started his speech by explaining the new structure of the undersecretary for Defence Industries. This restructuring of the UDI can be attributed to the growing concern for the life cycle support management of the initiated projects. As the number of the indigenous ships and sub systems used by Turkish Navy increases, the support these ships and the subsystems through their life becomes an important issue. With the new structure inside UDI it is hoped that the institution can now focus more on this issue.

Like Mr. Bayar, Mr. Şeker also advises caution to protect the gained capabilities and trained human force in the shipbuilding industry. He talked about the Turkish naval exports both potential and realized and stressed that the export of Turkish naval products seems to be a valid option for the continuity of the success.

At the end of this speech Mr. Şeker highlighted the following issues as critical for the future of the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry:

The work and the performance of the selected firms, by the strategic goals must be monitored and supported

The sub-contractors should be given opportunities or the sub-systems development and procurement by increasing the proportion of local content

The acquisition of new technologies must be emphasized

Materials/systems suitable for dual use should be developed

Export-oriented international cooperation should be supported

4th Naval Systems Seminar

4th Naval Systems Seminar will be performed under the auspices of Undersecretary for Defence Industries next week, between 17th and 18th of October 2011 at ODTÜ – KKM (METU CCC) for two days.

Sessions will cover the Naval Platforms (Ship and Machinery) and the Naval Systems (Weapon & Electronics). Click for the program.

The naval systems seminar has started as a one day event, three years ago. The aim was to bring the ship building industry, Turkish Navy and the procurement agency together to exchange ideas.

This seminar has grown in attendance and in influence. It is a good place to be if you want to have a look to the current status of Turkish naval shipbuilding. I hope to report you from the seminar next week.

My Impressions From Previous Naval Systems Seminars

>4th Naval Systems Seminar


4th Naval Systems Seminar will be performed under the auspices of Under secretary for Defence Industries between 17th and 18th of October 2011 at ODTÜ – KKM (METU CCC) for two days.

Sessions will cover the Naval Platforms (Ship and Machinery) and the Naval Systems (Weapon & Electronics)

The naval systems seminarhas started as a one day event, three years ago. The aim was to bringthe ship building industry, Turkish Navy and the procurement agencytogether to exchange ideas. Last the event has spread on two days andmore than 850 attended.

My Impressions From 3.Naval Systems Seminar (Part 1)

My Impressions From 3.Naval Systems Seminar (Part 2)

>More On 3. Naval Systems Seminar

>I have written my previous post after my visit at the Naval Systems seminar late at night. Now after reading by good friend Arda Mevlutoğlu’s blog post about 3. NSS I have remembered a few more things. You should read his excellent blog as he attended the second day of the seminar as well.

1. TF-2000 will be the main AAW warship of the Turkish Navy. UDI is spending a lot of time for developing a feasibility document. For the preparation of this document:
a. Existing AAW capable warships of various navies were visited
b. 46 answers to the RfI send from 35 companies were studies for sub systems
c. TÜBİTAK and 17 local companies were briefed on potential weapon and sensor systems of the ship and these were requested to prepare the necessary R&D projects
d. 90 offers for sub systems were analyzed

The plan is to construct 4 of these ships. Currently the project model has not been determined as the feasibility studies. It will be the coming of age project for Turkish ship building industry.

2. UDI is supporting Turkish companies to co operations with foreign firms in the following sub systems:
a. Main propulsion
b. Vertical launching systems
c. Radar technologies
d. Sonar technologies
e. HVAC systems
f. Future weapon systems (laser guns, kinetic weapons etc.)

3. Rolls Royce is interest in supplying the main propulsion systems for the TF-2000 warships.

4. Havalsan is developing a combat management system for submarines. Whether this system will be available in time for the Type 214 is not clear yet but the system will be ready for the successors of Type 214

5. Havelsan is working on integration Mk48 Mod6AT torpedoes in to the ISUS combat management system. For this the Turkish company is working together with Raytheon and Atlas Electronic.

6. Thales Naval Electronic Warfare (ex Marconi) offers their Sealion ESM system for the mid life modernisation project of Ay class (Type 209/1100) class submarines. Currently four of six submarines use the older generation DR 2000 ESM system from the same company.

>My Impressions From 3.Naval Systems Seminar


I have attended the first day of the naval systems seminar yesterday. The naval systems seminar has started as a one day event, three years ago. The aim was to bring the ship building industry, Turkish Navy and the procurement agency together to exchange ideas. This year’s event has spread on two days but my schedule prevented me to attend the second days presentations.

In the morning there were presentations of Mr. Murad Bayar, Under secretary for Defence Industries, and Mr. Serdar Demirel, the Head of Naval Platforms Department of UDI.

Mr Bayar’s presentation was important as it outlined the general situation of the naval projects of Turkey.

In 2005, when we had organised a meeting for the Turkish ship buıilding indusrty to present our vision and future procurement plans nobody tokk us seriosly. But today during the economical crisis al existing shipyards are comming to us to disscuss the futue projects.

This quotation of Mr Bayar, is a bold and honest statement. Most of the Turkish shipyards did not take UDI for serious, whey they were making easy money on commercial constructions. They did not want to take the extra burden of building to higher military standards, do the necessary documentation and follow the standards of project management, procurement etc. Now when there is very little commercial order on the books the military projects are getting very delicious. But for the most of the shipyards that train is long gone.

Mr. Demirel pointed out the current and future acquisition projects of Turkish Navy can only sustain 7 shipyards at the maximum. But even this number might be a little optimistic.

This means in the coming years there will be tougher bidding wars for the remaining projects among the shipyards.

He also mentioned that for the continuation of the current status quo in the industry the shipyards must protect their own suppliers as UDI protects the shipyards.

There were two more presentations in the morning session. One was made by RMK Marine shipyard of the Koç conglomerate: The other was done by the leading system entegrator Havalsan. Both companies wanted bigger pieces of the cake and asked for the next big naval projects like LPD and Milgem.

There were more presentations in the afternoon. But two stand out in my opinion. One was made by Navantia. The company presented their latest LPH Juan Carlos I which was commissioned in Spanish Navy recently. This presentation made me realize how complex a LPH/LPD is to design, build and operate. The ship must be a passenger ship (a Spartan one) for the military force she projects. The ship must be at the same time A RO/RO for the rolling stock of this military force. She must be a carrier for the air wing she carries. She must be a hospital ship for the wounded. She is a water factory and a bakery for the people in need at a time of a humanitarian disaster. And al these roles must be covered almost simultaneously.

The other presentation was from Dr. Ekber Onuk the vice president of the Yonca Onuk JV. He told us how the use of moderns construction aids such as CAD/CAM, the use of high tech materials and effective R&D helped the shipyard to become one of the leading companies in its sector. Theirs boats are sold to Georgia, Egpyt, UAE, Maleysia and Pakistan.

The most disappointing presentation of the day was made by BAE Systems Surface Ships. They presented theirs Type 45 destroyer and Type 26 frigate. But the presentation was so dull and the presenter was so unimpressive, I got the feeling that BAE Systems was not interesting in promoting their ships and was here only by gun point.

The news and gossip of the day can be summaries as:
1. The second SAR ship being constructed by RMK will be launched in November and the sea trails of the first ships will begin in December.
2. The first NTPB AB-1200 is scheduled for commissioning toward the end of the year.
3. There is a lot of progress made regarding the sea based guided weapon systems. The rumor is that the Norwegians are short of achieving a sales and export break through for their NSM.
4. The right conjuncture is being waited for the TF-200 air defence frigate and next generation of AOR’s. In other words the funding of these projects is not secure yet.
5. The sixth ship to receive the Genesis is F-495 TCG Gediz. She will also have the Mk-41 VLS systems integrated. But the 3D Smart radar will not be delivered on time so she will receive another overhaul for the radar. She is estimated to be ready at the end of the year but this estimation may be a little too optimistic.
6. Network centric warfare is a buzz word here too. New combat management systems will have integrated Link-11-16-22 capabilities.

And my impressions in general are:
1. There was more excitement in the air during the last year’s event. The companies were more eager to show off their projects and capabilities. This year that excitement was not evident.
2. The UDI is still going on the road map and industrial master plan it had created for the Turkish ship building. And the rest of the industry is at least for the time being willing to follow it.
3. The ongoing projects are well funded and there is no problem there. But how secure the funds of the impending or planed projects were never ever mentioned. Thus it remains as a big question mark.
4. While I was visiting the exhibition booths, I come up to MAM’s. There was on display the first sonar transducer ever built in Turkey. There was a very lovely and talkative guy, who explained me how they have worked on the first Turkish built national sonar transducer and how they have build the first national sonar as a system. He also told me how they constructed the national Underwater Research Center at MAM for R&D projects and calibration of the national sonar. The only catch was that this nice guy spoke only English and that with a heavy Slavic accent. He was everything but Turkish. Yet he was obviously happy and proud to be a part of this project. Applied physic, money and nationalism make strange bedfellows after all.

For more click here

>3rd Naval Systems Seminar

>3rd Naval Systems Seminar will be performed under the auspices of Undersecretariat For Defense Industries between 11th and 12th of October 2010 at ODTÜ – KKM (METU CCC)

Sessions will cover the Naval Platforms (Ship and Machinery) and the Naval Systems (Weapon and Electronics).

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