Asymmetric Dialogue

Turkish Contingent Showcases Defense Capabilities

Turkish Airlines ile ilgili görsel sonucu



Turkish Airlines’ (THY, Chalet B12) success in offering travelers an alternative to the Gulf "Big Three" has earned it industry-wide plaudits. For example, Australia’s Center for Aviation (CAPA) recently classed the airline as one of the world’s "super-connectors," along with Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad.
The airline flew 68.6 million passengers in 2017, compared to Emirates’ 58.5 million carried in the 12 months to the end of March 2018, and is believed to serve the largest number of countries in the world, at 120. With almost 170 aircraft on order, it is certainly in the major leagues.
Earlier this year, THY announced an order for twenty-five 787-9 Dreamliners with options for five more. “Boeing has directly delivered more than 240 new airplanes to Turkish carriers since 1968,” according to a Boeing statement issued in 2018. “Turkish Technic, a subsidiary of THY, is a world-class maintenance center for Boeing 737 airplanes, with certifications from regulatory authorities throughout the region and beyond.”
In addition to THY, TAV Airports and Pegasus Airlines are two other historically strong performing Turkish aviation-related companies. Pegasus Airlines is the nation’s number-one low-cost carrier and second-largest airline. TAV Airports operates Istanbul Ataturk, Ankara Esenboga, and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airports. Turkey is well into building the $200 billion New Istanbul Airport, set to have an ultimate annual capacity of 200 million passengers, and located 35 km northwest of the city center.
Several Turkish aerospace companies are attending the Farnborough Airshow, most notably Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI, Chalet A31, Outside Exhibit 29 and 30), Roketsan (Hall 4, 41488), and Tusas Engine Industries, Inc. (TEI, Hall 4, 4475).
Regarded as the Turkish version of NASA, TAI makes helicopters, airplanes, and satellites. Roketsan makes rockets and missiles. TEI makes aircraft engines and engine components and is regarded as the biggest parts producer in the country.
Founded as Turkish Aircraft Industries in 1973, TAI claims a role as “Turkey's center of technology in design, development, modernization, manufacturing, integration and life cycle support of integrated aerospace systems, from fixed- and rotary-wing air platforms to UAVs and satellites.”
The company's central campus is located in Ankara on a 4 million-sq-m site with an industrial facility of over 296,000 sq m under roof, housing parts manufacturing; aircraft assembly; enhanced laboratory and test systems; flight tests and delivery; design and development facilities; and factories, the company said. TAI Balgat is a management center, while TAI Middle East Technical University (METU) is a development zone for industry research and technology development.
The Yildiz Technical University (YTU) "technopark" zone is housed in Istanbul and serves as TAI’s headquarters in the city, acting as a base for engineering students being absorbed into TAI’s trainee engineering programs.
“[TAI] aims to improve the transfer of information between institutions, since it is believed that university-industry collaboration… [constitutes] the most important stage of R&D activities," the company noted, adding that such partnerships help "to capture rapidly advancing technology, and develop indigenous and competitive products,” the company’s website said. TAI’s Rotary Wing Technology Center (DKTM) and Defense Industry Researcher Training Program (SAYP) both serve to enhance this cooperation.
Engine-maker TEI has benefitted from a joint venture, originally launched in 1985, with GE Aviation, which announced in 2010 that it was renewing the agreement for 25 years. Under this agreement, TEI will continue to provide critical parts for commercial, military, and marine engines through 2035, with TAI retaining a majority ownership in the joint venture,” the U.S. company said in January of that year.
GE Aviation commenced cooperation with the Turkish company by establishing a facility to build F110 engines that power F-16 fighters for the Turkish Air Force. By 2010, TEI produced more than 560 different engine parts. TEI is primarily engaged in part and module production, engine design and product development, and engine assembly, test, and MRO.
The company attended the 2016 Farnborough Airshow and displayed 1:1 scale models of the TS1400 and PD170 engines. The former is Turkey’s first indigenous turbine engine and will power the Original Turkish Helicopter, while the latter is being developed for Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles.
About 30 other Turkish companies, most set up after 2010, and engaged mostly in aerospace and defense, are attending the show.
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