HAVELSAN: A Key Player for Combat System Integration onboard Turkish MILGEM Type Corvettes

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HAVELSAN: A Key Player for Combat System Integration onboard Turkish MILGEM Type Corvettes
 
Turkish Defense Industry has accelerated efforts to enhance local industrial participation in the Turkish Armed Forces defense contracts during the last decade. Especially, Turkish naval industry has been the most robust to accommodate with this revolutionary development. Turkish Navy’s MILGEM program is being managed smoothly on the schedule. The first corvette, TCG HEYBELIADA, was delivered to the Turkish Navy on 27 September 2011. This is an unprecedented success on the Turkish side, since MILGEM is the first attempt of the Turkish Navy to design its own combatants. HAVELSAN plays a critical role in designing, developing and delivering high-tech combat systems for those combat vessels.

During the first decade of the 21st century, Turkish defense industry has been subjected to a radical reorganization along with a renovated infrastructure to meet the reshaped demand of the sector. The driving authority who orchestrates this change, Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSM), issued a Strategy Paper (2007-2011) in 2006 in order to harmonize formulation of arms acquisition policies and to realize a calculated increase in the local contribution on defence production and services. Now, at the expiration time of that paper, it is not easy to say whether the set goals have been attained or not. But, if we look at the last two years’ developments on the Turkish maritime industry, focusing on the naval sector, several events seem to be remarkable to conclude that the SSM efforts have finally been paid off. Namely, in 2010, the first platform of New Type Patrol Boat (NTPB) was launched on 9 April and the first corvette of MILGEM commenced sea trials on 12 November as the outcomes of the most important naval programmes of SSM acquisition agenda. And in 2011, beside TCG HEYBELIADA, three more boats of NTPB were delivered to the Turkish Navy.

In fact, Turkish civilian and military shipyards have been long building commercial and naval platforms since the Ottoman era. But, those two projects should be regarded as exceptional because;
• The hulls are based on indigenous Turkish design,
• “Local content” is well over 50% as targeted by SSM.
• Local companies have mostly been preferred by SSM to undertake related contracts and sub-contracts as main and sub-contractors.
     
Turkish Defense Industry has accelerated efforts to enhance local industrial participation in the Turkish Armed Forces defense contracts during the last decade. Especially, Turkish naval industry has been the most robust to accommodate with this revolutionary development.
     
Integration and CMS – Where HAVELSAN Come into the Game

As the largest software producer of Turkey, HAVELSAN is one of those local companies who involves extensively in both projects. Originally, as the name implies , HAVELSAN has been founded mainly to provide software and some electronic spares for the Air Force. But, over the years, HAVELSAN has successfully expanded its customer portfolio to include civilian sector and, of course, the Navy. First introduction of HAVELSAN to the Navy was the MELTEM project in which the company was responsible to produce software components of Command and Control System for newly acquired Maritime Patrol Aircrafts as the sub-contractor of THALES.

After MELTEM project, HAVELSAN has earned a very good reputation by its well- known success with the GENESIS project. In short, GENESIS is an extensive upgrade and modernization program for Combat Management Systems of 8 Turkish FFG-7 class frigates. GENESIS served as a springboard for HAVELSAN to be assigned as the main system integrator and software provider for naval projects by SSM . Besides other current and potential naval acquisition programmes such as NTPB and New Type Submarine projects (NTSP), HAVELSAN is now creating another good reputation by its significant contribution to the success of MILGEM project.

     
Turkish Defense Industry has accelerated efforts to enhance local industrial participation in the Turkish Armed Forces defense contracts during the last decade. Especially, Turkish naval industry has been the most robust to accommodate with this revolutionary development.
     
MILGEM Project – HAVELSAN Role

As outlined above, MILGEM is extremely important for the Turkish naval community since it constitutes another milestone in the history of Turkish shipyards where warships have been built for more than nine centuries. After the collapse of Ottoman Empire, Turkish shipyards had lost most of their capabilities. Founder of the Republic, M.Kemal ATATÜRK, has strongly promoted the establishment of a national naval industry in 1930’s. After almost 80 years of “pause”, ATATÜRK’s vision is finally being realized by MILGEM project.

On the other hand, HAVELSAN plays two critical roles in MILGEM as;
• the Combat System and Combat Management System provider and
• the main system integrator together with ASELSAN, its Sister Company in Turkish Armed forces Foundation

As for the Combat System, HAVELSAN basically offers an updated and tailored version of the GENESIS CMS to meet the requirements of the Turkish Navy. The summation of HAVELSAN CMS activities includes;
• Track Management
• Combat Management
• Navigation
• Sensor/Weapon Control
• Training & Simulation
• Subsystem Integration

And as main system integrator, HAVELSAN combines all related systems, weapons and sensors with the ships Combat System which should be as complicated and challenging as it sounds. Main integration efforts include;
• Weapon/sensor integration to the CMS.
• Procurement and integration of;
- Combat Management System hardware including various number of Multifunction Operator Consoles , Cabinets, work stations and Main Processor units
- Torpedo Countermeasures System
• Design/production and integration of;
- Ship Data Distribution and Time System
- Combat System Data and Video Network
- Message Handling System
- Ship Information System

Ship Data Distribution System – Another Success Story

Among all of the above systems and accessories, HAVELSAN’s own Ship Data Distribution System (SDDS) deserves a closer look. First of all, SDDS should be regarded as a milestone in the history of Turkish naval electronics sector, since it is the first locally designed and developed product of its kind. SDSS has already proved itself by successful implementation not only on MILGEM but also onboard the first four boats of NTPB project.

Basically, MILGEM SDDS collects the data (such as position, time, speed, heading etc.) from the sensors all around the ship and distributes that information to sensors, weapons and other systems. It also provides very important advantages by adopting ship position sensors (e.g echo sounder, INS, GPS, LOG, meteorological units) with other Military Off- the-Shelf sensors and units without any need for modification on these subsystems. Consequently; a good deal of man-day and cost has been reduced during integration phase. SDDS operates on two identical electronic control cabinets providing full redundancy. More reliability is also provided by performing the same task at two different locations on the ship.

Owing to its flexible and open-architecture design, HAVELSAN SDDS offers two important advantages over the other similar systems;
• SDDS could easily been modified to be deployed on any type warships.
• A simplified and affordable SDDS may also be made available to be used onboard merchant vessels.

Providing a low-cost and easily available alternative to the imported systems, HAVELSAN SDDS seems to be very popular among shipyards constructing naval platforms. HAVELSAN has already received several orders for ongoing and future projects.
     
Turkish Defense Industry has accelerated efforts to enhance local industrial participation in the Turkish Armed Forces defense contracts during the last decade. Especially, Turkish naval industry has been the most robust to accommodate with this revolutionary development.
     

Recent Developments on MILGEM

Naval construction projects are generally very expensive, complex and frequently prone to the mismanagement and financial constraints as were the case for the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship project. As a unique contradiction to this hypothesis, MILGEM project is carried out smoothly with only a few months delay. The prototype of the project (TCG HEYBELIADA) was laid on 27 July 2005, and launched successfully on 27 September 2008 when the second keel of the program was laid. Her first live demonstration to the international market took place during IDEF-2011 in Istanbul on 17-21 May 2011. Exactly 3 years after launch, TCG HEYBELIADA was delivered to Turkish Navy on 27 September 2011.

On the other hand, HAVELSAN has been working hard for the second MILGEM combatant and has already delivered hardware and software components of combat system and focused on the integration part. Meanwhile, SSM has recently requested offers from local shipyards for the remaining 6 MILGEM platforms. Of course, proven success makes HAVELSAN a preferred business partner.

Critical Support from Turkish Navy

While becoming one of the biggest local contractors for naval defense contracts, HAVELSAN has been heavily supported and promoted by the Turkish Navy. In particular, recent leasing of a R&D center inside the naval shipyard premises, close cooperation in research and development for future CMS technologies and harmonized efforts for high technology transfer are remarkable.

Conclusion

HAVELSAN portion of the MILGEM program has not only contributed to the success of the project, but also helped SSM to realize the set goals for local industrial participation. With the successful execution of this project, HAVELSAN has already been a reliable and experienced partner for the Turkish Navy and for the local shipyards as well to prefer for oncoming naval construction programmes. HAVELSAN now offers an indigenous, flexible and affordable alternative in modern naval combat systems engineering and system integration.

 

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