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Round-up on IDEA '89 in Ankara; the Turkish defense industry in search of partners.

Round-up on IDEA '89 in Ankara

IDEA 89, Turkey's second International Defence Equipment and Avionics Exhibition, took place in Ankara between 2-6 May against a background of progress in some of the major programmes for the modernisation of the country's armed forces. Peace Onyx, the programme for co-production of 152 F-16 aircraft is on track, and the programme for 1 600 FMC-Nurol AIFVs is moving ahead. Likewise the Memorandum of Understanding for the production of MLRS was signed in 1988, contractual negotiations begun for new EW systems for the Air Force and headway made with a new tactical communications system.

A number of key decisions must be taken soon, notably as regards new transport aircraft, recovery tanks, and long-range field artillery. However, at IDEA these were overshadowed by the need for complex decisions on the 3D Mobile Long-Distance Radar and Low-Level Air Defence programmes. IDEA reflected the various proposals on offer for the former, with Westinghouse, General Electric and Thomson-CSF contesting the radar equipment requirement and Thomson-CSF, Westinghouse and Aydin the related [C.sup.3]I systems. Although the missile component of the LLAD programme appears to have acquired the highest profile, it is believed that the radar programme will be the No. 1 priority, followed by the LLAD gun systems and their fire-control. Only when these are in train will the contract for the LLAD missile system be confirmed.

Probably the most complex relationship between the two programmes is that between the two parts of the LLAD procurement. The choice of gun is already firm: Oerlikon has licensed manufacture of its 35 mm air defence cannon to the Turkish MKE concern, which expects to deliver the first eight guns by the year's end. MKE also has a parallel programme to refurbish the Army's existing 20 mm Oerlikon twin mounts and hopes to deliver these at a rate of 10 guns per year (it displayed the first refurbished gun at IDEA). The imminent delivery of the 35 mm guns has added an element of urgency to the competition to provide a fire-control system. Bids were submitted by three contenders in March and a decision is expected by the year's end. At IDEA Philips subsidiary Signaal showed details of the evolutionary version of its Flycatcher system, and has linked up with two of the Turkish exhibitors, Havelsan and Gamma in the HAGAS team; it is hopeful that production costs would be reduced by its use of a vacant Havelsan plant.

Philips USFA exhibited a wide-range of high-tech products including proximity fuzes in addition to its more familiar range of electro-optic equipment. Another Philips company, MBLE, has a leading role in the BAMS Belgian combat net radio system.

Contraves brought its Skyguard to the exhibition, and Racal showed details of the third contender, Eagle, which it has developed in partnership with Marconi.

The LLAD missile procurement is closely related to that of the gun system and it might be two years before an order is placed. Here too final submissions were made at the end of March by three shortlisted contractors. Oerlikon showed its first production ADATS from its Canadian contract, and discussed its plans for the ORTEK group it has formed with Turkish companies Aselsan (radars/electronics), Gamma (electro-optics), MKE, FNSS (vehicles) and Rocketsan to undertake co-production. Euromissile had a mock-up of its final entry, Roland 3 with Stinger, which it intends mounting on the FMC tracked carrier already used with the MLRS. The addition of Stinger and the increase in speed and range (out to 8 km) of the Roland missile, plus a new IR sight/laser rangefinder have considerably improved Roland's claims for the contract. Euromissile's IDEA exhibit also outlined Roland's ability to operate in netted configurations and to accept cues from man-portable Stingers or other air defence turrets - a feature which Euromissile maintains enhances its usefulness in ECM environments. The third contender, Thomson-CSF, showed its highly praised Crotale NG (Nouvelle Generation) system and reported the completion of a series of 10 firings of its LTV-developed Mach 3.5 High Velocity Missile, which it claims secured acceptance of the system by the RNAF and one other European user. However, the main thrust of Thomson's argument is that Crotale NG offers a state-of-the-art alternative to beam-riders, and that electromagnetic remote control with uprated frequency-agile ECCM is a more appropriate solution to European all-weather operational requirements.


Dassault-Breguet provided a large French presence with its by now customary Mirage 2000 flagship.

Although Turkey is committed to a major F-16 programme (Peace Onyx), Dassault was talking of the possibility of some work on Mirage 2000 as a follow-on from that programme after 1991. Meanwhile, the Egyptian delegation to IDEA promoted the view that its country could become the logical regional centre for overhaul and maintenance work on the Mirage, while Turkey fulfilled a similar role for the F-16.

Other projects exhibited at IDEA, when translated into firm orders, ought to provide continuity for domestic manufacturers. Top of the list is a Light Transport Aircraft. CASA showed its CN-235 and Aeritalia the G-222, both of which are competing for in-country co-production in a proposed 52-unit Light Transport Aircraft programme. A decision is expected later this year. In the helicopter field there was talk of a requirement for a further 200 general-purpose aircraft. Agusta showed a mock-up of the Mangusta which it would co-produce with its licensee Koc if it is awarded a contract for the combat role. Sikorsky underlined its claims by showing an example of the six MH-60 Black Hawk derivatives it has already supplied to the Turkish Gendarmerie, which has need of armed helicopters. The AH-64 Apache was also being touted as a contender for the combat role, but, as in Turkey's other major procurements, co-production would be a sine qua non and this may present problems.

An exhibit which attracted considerable interest both in the air and on the ground - and could be an alternative to the helicopter for some roles - was the HB-Aircraft Industries (Austria) Porsche-engined Scanliner surveillance aircraft.

The Scanliner is similar in concept to the Brooklands Optica which has attracted interest for nearly a decade - but with a less pronounced "fish-eye" profile: its notably quiet and agile aerial performance at IDEA showed why its manufacturer claims that the market is beginning to take notice of alternatives to less easily maintainable helicopters.

Ferranti International Signal made a particular point of highlighting its 360 (degrees) Seaspray 3 radar installed in Turkish naval AB212 helicopters. The system is also installed in Sea Skua missile-equipped West German Sea King and South Korean Lynx helicopters. Ferranti thought that pressure might eventually develop for its adoption by the UK.

Matra came to IDEA with a comprehensive range of systems and technologies which it believed were particularly appropriate to the Turkish market. Top of the list was its BGL, laser-guided bomb which is not only suitable for use on F-16 and F-4 aircraft but, so Matra claims, well-suited to the type of technology transfer Turkey requires. The French manufacturer considers that the Magic 2 air-to-air missile could also form the subject of a future co-production programme. It also reckons that political pressures could develop for a second-source alternative to the AIM-9 Sidewinder, in which event the Magic would be well-placed to meet the demand. However, these specific proposals are only part of a more broad-based attack on the Turkish market, and Matra is currently said to be in negotiation with a number of leading Turkish contractors, including Rocketsan, MKE and Aselsan, with a view to joint ventures.

Armoured Vehicles

NORINCO (PRC) gave a prominent place in its exhibit to its new Type 85-II MBT: it is distinguished by a new welded turret in place of the previous cast unit, which has the advantage of being able to accept a new PRC-developed composite armour. A new fire-control system with 2-axis stabilisation and a new turret stabilisation system give the latest Type 85 a full fire-on-the-move capability. It is powered by an uprated turbo-charged engine delivering around 800 bhp.

The presence of Armscor (South Africa) gave most visitors their first chance to see the new 8x8 Rooikat armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Members of the SADF and Armscor teams which developed the 76 mm/62 calibres-armed Rooikat reckon that its exceptional mobility, 50 km/h average cross-country speed, 1 000 km on-highway range and capacity for 48 rounds of APFSDS or HE add a new dimension to armed reconnaissance. Drawing on their experience in Angola they see it operating deep behind enemy lines where the destruction of air defence sites, airbases and logistic facilities can erode enemy combat capability more effectively than head-on combat.

OTO-Melara representatives reported good progress with the joint development with SMAI of their anti-aircraft tank which incorporates the Otomatic 76/62 with an Officine Galileo fire-control system. The latter, currently undergoing testing on the Italian Army ranges, is said to be capable of acting in an anti-missile role and simultaneously engaging as many as eight targets between ranges of 3-5 km. It will also be able to fire anti-tank projectiles and the course-corrected round currently under joint development by OTO-Melara and British Aerospace.

Creusot-Loire showed details of the autoloader which it is producing for the prototype of France's AMX Leclerc main battle tank. With a high electronic content it is a significant departure from the company's traditional role in mechanical engineering. The company has recently increased productivity at its St. Chaumond plant by introducing laser cutting techniques for armour plate, and hopes to move into laser welding within two years. Its increased competitiveness may be reflected in its bid for the turrets in a possible upgrade programme for around 800 of the Jordanian M113 APC fleet.

Although they had no new product developments on display SMS Renault V.I./Creusot-Loire Industrie representatives were talking enthusiastically about their success with the 4x4 VAB in the competition for the supply of new APCs for Brunei's army.

Trackpower and Perkins Engines had also been attracted to IDEA by the prospect of M113 upgrade programmes. The Trackpower vehicle on show - albeit Cummins-powered and fitted with a Cadillac Gage turret which might not form part of the eventual proposal - is being offered via a joint venture with Turkish-based Hema Hidrolik.

MTU has recently secured a central role as engine supplier for the Turkish M44 SP howitzer upgrade. The first batch of MB 833 Aa-501 diesels is currently being assembled in-country and MTU is hopeful that its solution, a six-cylinder powerpack based on the Series 183 6V 183 TC22 engine and ZF LSG1000 transmission offered by the Otomarsan/ZF/GLS/MTU consortium, will be accepted for the M113 upgrade. Essentially the same powerpack could be adapted to fit the FMC-Nurol AIFC if required. Although the Turkish authorities have confirmed their intention to proceed with the AIFV programme there was a good deal of scepticism among exhibitors lest the programme be watered down. Among possible options may be the comprehensive modernisation of at least some M113s and a fairly mild reconfiguration of the AIFV to allow the incorporation of a greater proportion of locally-sourced automotive components. In either case some very delicate trade-offs could be required.

CMI (Cockerill Mechanical Industries), traditionally specialists in larger calibres, showed their new turret for 25 mm cannon including Oerlikon types and the M242 Chain gun. Recently re-shaped, CMI has an assured role in the Turkish AIFV programme via the BMF business which it acquired last year. BMF built the Belgian Army's AIFVs and its experience on that contract earned it the order for the first 20 units for Turkey: thereafter all manufacture will be incountry.


The Turkish Army's requirement for 400 + state-of-the-art 155 mm howitzers provided the target for leading Western artillery specialists attending IDEA. Santa Barbara (SB 155/39), GIAT (155 TR), Noricum (GHN-45 APU) and Armscor (G5 155/45) each displayed examples of their latest systems, Armscor in particular impressing with its systems approach to long-range artillery. However, VSEL and Sitecsa are also in the running. The latter's STO 12 not only satisfies the preference for a 45-calibres gun, but its close ties with fellow ERT group company Expal have led to the development of a range of ERFB and ERFB-BB projectiles for use at ranges out to 39.6 km.

The interest in the howitzer programme meant that there was particular interest in SIG's exhibit of a flick rammer system for 155 mm howitzers developed in partnership with the Swiss Federal Armament Works. The system is said to permit significantly higher rates of fire by hydraulically boosting the projectile through the first part of its passage through the loading tray.

Artillery rockets were much in evidence. NORINCO (PRC) illustrated how it has enhanced the performance of its vehicle-mounted systems. Typically, its 273 mm system with a fixed fin and rotating missile body can now reach targets at ranges of 80 km yet still be fired from the box-type launcher originally developed for its 40 km range predecessor. An entirely new development disclosed was a single-tube launcher for the 122 mm artillery rocket usable by mountain troops. A similar launcher is under development for the 107 mm rocket, the range of which has been extended to 10 km.

Less familiar to Western eyes was the range of artillery rockets exhibited to show the production capabilities of the Iranian Ministry of Defence. This comprised three missiles - Nazeat, a 355 mm 90 km-range weapon weighing 950 kg and incorporating 400 kg of propellant, the intermediate Oghab weighing 360 kg and with a range of 45 km, and the Shahin 2 with a range of 20 km.

Noricum's exhibit included its truck-mounted 120 mm four-barrelled salvo mortar, which has been trialled on a M113 for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Contraves placed particular emphasis on the Ranger Mini-RPV. Its responsibilities within the consortium that developed the system against a Swiss MoD requirement include sales to Third Party nations. Not suprisingly, it stressed how the Ranger could be integrated with its Fieldguard artillery control system. The RPV is hydraulically launched from a 6x6 All-Terrain Vehicle (the Steyr Pinzgauer has been used in the development programme), and powered by a remarkably silent 2-cylinder, 2-stroke Hirth engine and has a maximum endurance of up to six hours carrying a day/night mission modular payload.


Visitors were able to see various types of off-route mines currently being vigorously promoted in Europe. Matra Manurhin showed the APAJAX, based on its successful APILAS anti-tank missile, and recently demonstrated to the French MoD. Hunting Engineering displayed the Adder, a device for remotely firing its LAW80 AT missile, the Addermine, which converts the LAW80 into a tripwire-actuated off-route mine, and the Addermine AJAX which, like the APAJAX, uses British Aerospace Dynamic's AJAX fire-control unit for detection and automatic firing.

Rocketsan had a model of the production facility that is to build the Stinger and MLRS rocket motors. The company, which is in effect the pacesetter for Turkish participation in a variety of missile programmes, anticipates going into prototype production on the Stinger programme in 1990-91 and MLRS in something over 3 1/2 years' time.

Astra Holdings made the first showing of its GECAL .50 Gatling-type gun, the subject of a recent co-production agreement with the original designer General Electric. However, in the near-to-mid term Astra's best chance of a contract from Turkey may be in a forthcoming competition to supply artillery fuzes, which would probably be produced in the United States by its Accudyne subsidiary.

Degen, which might also be a contender for future artillery fuze contracts, showed its comprehensive fuze product line.

Beta Company stressed the robust qualities of the 100-round plastic drum magazine it has developed for 5.56 mm infantry weapons.

Siemens displayed details of its HELLAS ELINT system, which it considers well adapted to the situation on NATO's southern flank. Although it focussed on a vehicle-borne system, the HELLAS is equally applicable to sea or air applications, and is currently being offered to the Netherlands Army in shelterised form. The system is based on the use of a channelized filter bank receiver and Siemens says is also attracting interest in the US. Siemens is also addressing a possible Turkish requirement for a strategic communications network based on some elements of its proven higher transmission rate HERMES system.

Iveco displayed a shelter-carrying version of the 40.10 1.5-tonner, already in service with the Belgian Gendarmerie. Other countries said to be interested are the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden - plus the United Kingdom where it has been successfully trialled as a Rapier tractor.

Steyr and ACMAT also showed their latest truck products, Steyr stressing its success in reaching the final stages of the competition for the US DoD FMTV medium-truck programme (in partnership with US-based Steward & Stevenson).

Daimler-Benz trucks exhibited by Turkish builder Otomarsan included a Model 2628 fitted with a Bennes Marrell Ampliroll load-handling system.

Other companies represented included Dornier with its range of mobile bridging equipment and transportable shelters, and AEG, which displayed a range of EW/SIGINT equipment mounted on trucks and in shelters.

Krupp Atlas Elektronik is strongly represented in the Turkish Navy with weapons control and sonar systems. It will be offering integrated fire-control systems for forthcoming frigate and FPB new-build programmes - competing against Signaal on the latter.

Krupp Atlas was also discussing proposals for the adaptation of its ATLAS VTC shore-based radar system to shipping control in the Bosphorus. A possible requirement for a dual-purpose strategic/traffic control system has been the subject of some low-level discussions in Turkey for some time. Raytheon is expected to be among the leading contenders.

Worthy of note were exhibits from two Swiss firms, Inter Elektronik and Tirax. The former, a cyphers specialist, showed its One-Time Key DCE-8000C cypher machine, portable PCE-8025 cypher terminal and DOS-8025 cyphering system. Tirax, a well-known manufacturer of training simulators, presented its latest developments in laser target aiming systems in the visible and invisible light spectrum and a very small (thumb-size) pistol Target-pointer with a 50 m range.

The impending handover of the fourth MEKO 200 to the Turkish Navy meant that there was particular interest in the Blohm & Voss exhibit. There are plans for further MEKOs to be built in-country.

Likewise HDW will deliver the first of the Turkish Navy's 1 400-tonne submarines with vertical missile launch capability. Construction will thereafter be undertaken locally by the Golcuk shipyard.

Intermarine's presence at IDEA, like that of Netherlands-based Royal Schelde, was clearly related to plans to acquire an as yet unspecified number of mine-sweeper/hunter vessels for construction in Turkey.

HDW's parent Salzgitter illustrated the expertise of its subsidiaries in developing underground bunkers and storage facilities.

In much the same field the Swiss companies Luwa and Andair showed details of a wide range of blast protection valves and blastproof doors for hardened shelters.

PHOTO : The Aeritalia G-222 twin-turboprop aircraft, in service with the Italian Air Force since April 1978, was at Ankara. The Turkish Air Force has a requirement for 52 light transport aircraft.

PHOTO : Signaalapparaten's Flycatcher, if it wins the Turkish LLAD contract, would be locally built by the Havas consortium.

PHOTO : Thomson-CSF's new-generation Crotale NG was much admired. It offers an uncluttered and ergonomic operator's station.

PHOTO : The CASA/Nurtanio CN 235 is another contender in the Turkish competition for a local production of 52 transports.

PHOTO : Matra is prepared to offer licence-production agreements. Seen here is a pair of BGL bombs dropped by a Jaguar.

PHOTO : The complex autoloader module developed for the French Army AMX Leclerc could be admired on the Creusot-Loire display.

PHOTO : Turkey also has a requirement for 400 155 mm howitzers. GIAT, amongst many others, was proposing its 155 TR unit.

PHOTO : This is believed to be the first document showing the Noricum 120 mm salvo mortar installed on a Canadian M113.

PHOTO : The Ranger, proposed by Contraves, is a remote-control drone based on an Israeli design for reconnaissance missions.

PHOTO : The Turkish Army may adopt the Otomarsan-built Mercedes-Benz 2628A truck, here with a Bennes Marrel Ampliroll system.

PHOTO : The Siemens HELLAS electronic intelligence system was a prominent feature of the German company's stand at the show.
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Title Annotation:Turkey's International Defense Equipment and Avionics Exhibition; includes related article
Author:Reed, John
Publication:Armada International
Date:Aug 1, 1989
Previous Article:New hard-target munitions for the US Air Force.
Next Article:A brief survey of the seventh Mostra Navale; a gloomy year for Italy's naval industry.

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