IDEF Turkey to Show­case Cut­ting-edge Tech­nol­ogy

Over the years, it has been grow­ing in stature and size and this time it has at­tracted nearly 600 ex­hibitors from across the world

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - R. Chan­drakanth

Over the years, it has been grow­ing in stature and size and this time it has at­tracted nearly 600 ex­hibitors from across the world.

SINCE 1993, IS­TAN­BUL, TURKEY, has been host­ing the In­ter­na­tional De­fence In­dus­try Fair (IDEF), as a bi­en­nial event, at­tract­ing ma­jor de­fence play­ers to a lo­ca­tion which is of strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance. The IDEF which is held un­der the man­age­ment and re­spon­si­bil­ity of Turk­ish Armed Forces Foun­da­tion (TAFF) is the place for cut­tingedge ve­hi­cles, equip­ment and sys­tems that are pro­duced in the fields of de­fence, se­cu­rity, mar­itime, avi­a­tion and aero­space. IDEF 2017 will be held be­tween May 9-12, 2017, in Is­tan­bul, the city which is the cen­tre of his­tory, cul­ture, in­dus­try and trade at the cross­roads of Europe and Asia con­ti­nents.

Nearly 600 Ex­hibitors

Over the years, it has been grow­ing in stature and size and this time it has at­tracted nearly 600 ex­hibitors from across the world. Thanks to IDEF, the tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in these sec­tors are reach­ing out to the world which is in­creas­ingly look­ing at sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­na­tional de­fence co­op­er­a­tion and pro­mo­tion plat­forms in the world.

The 13th edi­tion of the In­ter­na­tional De­fence In­dus­try Fair is be­ing held un­der the aus­pices of the pres­i­dency of the Repub­lic of Turkey, hosted by Turk­ish Min­istry of Na­tional De­fence, un­der the man­age­ment and re­spon­si­bil­ity of Turk­ish Armed Forces Foun­da­tion and or­gan­ised by TÜYAP Fairs and Ex­hi­bi­tions Or­ga­ni­za­tion Inc.

The Turk­ish Min­is­ter of Na­tional De­fence and the Pres­i­dent of TAFF, Fikri ISIK said: “I would like to state that, as the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fence, we will be very pleased to host the com­pa­nies from de­fence, se­cu­rity, naval, avi­a­tion and aero­space in­dus­tries sec­tors, right along with the of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions of the friendly and al­lied coun­tries in our coun­try at IDEF 2017 Fair, which is a very im­por­tant event to cre­ate in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, and we will con­tinue to give ev­ery kind of sup­port for the suc­cess of IDEF Fair.”

For this year’s event, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 156 coun­tries, 353 of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions and sev­eral se­nior of­fi­cials of the armed forces of many coun­tries are par­tic­i­pat­ing. There are ma­jor del­e­ga­tions from the United States, Ger­many, Rus­sia, France, United King­dom, Italy and many other Euro­pean na­tions. In­dia is not on the ex­hibitor list while Pak­istan is.

The meet­ing be­tween del­e­ga­tions and ex­hibitors will be or­gan­ised this year again and the or­gan­is­ers have al­ready lined up nearly 50 meet­ings be­tween ex­hibitors and pro­cure­ment and de­ci­sion-mak­ing au­thor­i­ties at­tend­ing the event.

Ar­ray of Prod­ucts and So­lu­tions

The Turk­ish ex­hi­bi­tion will be show­cas­ing lat­est tech­nolo­gies to do with land, naval and avi­a­tion. Ex­hibits such as aero­space ve­hi­cles and all re­lated sen­sors and army sys­tems; bal­lis­tic ar­mour so­lu­tions and from small­est cal­i­bre to big­gest; re­mote plat­forms and their sen­sors; re­lated lo­gis­tic sup­port ser­vices; all kinds of elec­tronic sys­tems and its com­po­nents; rock­ets and mis­sile sys­tems and air de­fence so­lu­tions from land- to-land, from land-to-air, from air-to-air and from air-to-land; all kinds of elec­tronic war­fare so­lu­tions in­te­grated or stand-alone; train­ing and sim­u­la­tion so­lu­tions to­wards all kind of plat­forms and sys­tems; cy­ber de­fence; self-de­fence so­lu­tions and mil­i­tary medicine equip­ments.

The Gen­eral Man­ager of TAFF, Orhan Ak­bas, said that the Turk­ish Armed Forces Foun­da­tion (TAFF), founded in 1987, has 30 com­pa­nies, six of which are the lead­ing com­pa­nies of Turk­ish de­fence and aero­space in­dus­try and more than 50 per cent of their shares be­long to TAFF.

In the be­gin­ning, the pur­pose of IDEF Fairs was to pro­mote na­tional de­fence in­dus­try. How­ever, in a short time, IDEF Fairs be­came an im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional pro­mo­tion, mar­ket­ing and co­op­er­a­tion plat­form of de­fence, se­cu­rity, naval, avi­a­tion and aero­space fields and ranked to fifth big­gest de­fence in­dus­try fair in the world in terms of num­bers of ex­hibitors and del­e­ga­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fair.

Turkey is the sev­enth big­gest arms trader coun­try in the world. It was sixth be­tween 1950 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to the Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPRI), one of the most in­flu­en­tial think tanks in the world about the top­ics of con­flict, ar­ma­ment, and peace keep­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the SIPRI’s data, Turkey is not in the top 10 coun­tries that im­port arms in the world in 2016 alone. When the time scale is ex­tended, how­ever, Turkey is the sev­enth arms im­porter coun­try in the world within the pe­riod of 2010 and 2015. In the pe­riod be­tween 2010 and 2015, Turkey’s ar­ma­ment ex­pen­di­tures are close to $5.41 bil­lion.

Turk­menistan Key Im­porter

Turk­menistan was Turkey’s sin­gle largest weapons buyer over the past five years. The re­port said that Turk­menistan mainly bought ships from Turkey with some pur­chases of ar­moured ve­hi­cles as well. “The Turk­ish de­fence in­dus­try pro­vides a wide range of prod­ucts and ser­vices from ad­vanced satel­lite sys­tems to boots. In­vest­ment in the sec­tor has in­creased prod­uct va­ri­ety, thanks to which new ex­port items are be­ing added to sub­prod­uct groups. With the ad­van­tage of such a broad port­fo­lio, Turkey has a dis­tinct ad­van­tage of en­ter­ing new mar­kets soon.

The Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPRI) lists Turkey, which has NATO’s sec­ond-largest stand­ing army, as the world’s 16th largest arms ex­porter in terms of sales. The coun­try’s arms im­ports to­tal $2 bil­lion to $2.5 bil­lion per year. As re­cently as 15 years ago, Turkey spent much more on such im­ports. A com­pre­hen­sive drive to ex­pand the lo­cal de­fence in­dus­try since the early 2000s has led to a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in money spent on for­eign-made weapons and equip­ment.

Turkey Look at Ex­ports

In a re­cent cer­e­mony in Is­tan­bul mark­ing the start of con­struc­tion on Turkey’s first as­sault ship, the TGA Anadou, Er­do­gan said, “Our re­liance on [de­fence im­ports] has de­creased to about 40 per cent from 80 per cent in 2002. Our tar­get is to bring this down to zero by 2023 when Turkey cel­e­brates the cen­te­nary of the repub­lic. We’ll not only be meet­ing our own needs, but we’ll also be­come the main sup­plier of friendly and broth­erly coun­tries.”

Turk­ish de­fence com­pa­nies have teamed up with Ital­ian coun­ter­parts to pro­duce as­sault he­li­copters and with Span­ish coun­ter­parts for cargo planes and the as­sault ship, and talks on air de­fence sys­tems are un­der­way with US and Euro­pean firms. The Turk­ish de­fence sec­tor has al­ready put a do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced war­ship to sea and is pre­par­ing to put a main bat­tle tank in the field. A do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced in­fantry as­sault ri­fle and a drone have been tested suc­cess­fully and are be­ing show­cased at in­ter­na­tional fairs.

Fig­ures place the United States at the top of the Turk­ish de­fence com­pa­nies’ client list, with the Amer­i­cans pay­ing $30 out of ev­ery $100 the in­dus­try earns from ex­ports. Turk­ish de­fence ex­ports to the United States amount to $500 mil­lion a year, while such Turk­ish im­ports from the United States stand at about $1.5 bil­lion. Hence, Ankara can hardly be sat­is­fied with the cur­rent state of trade. The pic­ture is more or less the same vis- vis other West­ern coun­tries, in­clud­ing Bri­tain, Ger­many, France and Spain, from which Turkey buys more than it sells. Ac­cord­ing to 2015 fig­ures, West­ern al­lies bought more than half of Turkey’s de­fence ex­ports, while sup­ply­ing all its im­ports in the sec­tor, states Ufuk Sani, writer in Turkey Pulse.

In the light of this IDEF be­comes the big­gest de­fence in­dus­try fair in Eurasian re­gion and one of the top five in the world with an in­creas­ing trend in terms of the num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries, del­e­ga­tions and com­pa­nies.

Turkey is the sev­enth big­gest arms trader coun­try in the world It was sixth be­tween 1950 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to the Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPRI)

IDEF is big­gest de­fence in­dus­try fair in Eurasian re­gion and one of the top five in the world with an in­creas­ing trend in terms of the num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries, del­e­ga­tions and com­pa­nies

PHO­TO­GRAPHS: IDEF

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