Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar accompanied by Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander General Ümit Dündar, Air Force Commander General Hasan Küçükakyüz, Naval Forces Commander Admiral Adnan Özbal, Deputy Minister Muhsin Dere and ASFAT General Manager Esad Akgün and 12th Air Force Command in Kayseri. At the Air Transport Main Base Command; A400M attended the FASBAT Aircraft Maintenance Facilities opening, the delivery of the first retrofit aircraft and the Strategic Cooperation Agreements Certificate Ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also addressed the people in the field via video teleconference, Minister Akar reminded that the retrofit agreement of the A400M aircraft was signed here again in 2019. Minister Akar said, “This facility, which has international standards, was completed much earlier than the planned time and within the anticipated budget, despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, which affected the whole world. In this way, both the needs of the TAF were met in a very short time and a significant amount of resources was kept in our country.” he said.
Minister Akar, who pointed out that this situation once again revealed the level reached in the world with the technology, experience, engineering infrastructure and project management systematics of the contractor companies that have successfully completed almost every project they have undertaken, congratulated the companies and conveyed their wishes for success.
Minister Akar stated that the TAF continues to operate intensively and effectively on land, at sea and in the air, at home and across borders, in a process where significant developments are experienced at the global and regional level, and said, “In this context, our heroic army will ensure the safety of our homeland, our Blue Homeland, our skies and our 84 million citizens. It continues its struggle with determination and determination at home and beyond the borders against all kinds of risks, threats and dangers in order to ensure In such a critical period, every step taken in the field of defense and aviation, every project implemented contributes significantly to the struggle, opportunities and capabilities of the TAF, and to increasing its effective, deterrent and respectable qualities. used his statements.
Stating that the A400M transport aircraft also meet a very important need, Minister Akar said:
“From the moment they entered our inventory, A400M aircraft have not been limited to meeting the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. A400M aircraft have also been a helping hand reaching far lands in the delivery of medical supplies sent to our friends and allies in order to slow the spread of the epidemic, which has turned into a global problem, and to prevent loss of life. So far, 28 of the 36 flights to 24 friendly and allied countries have been carried out with A400M aircraft.”
Describing the presence of an important part of the A400M project in Kayseri, which was initiated to meet the next generation tactical and logistic air transport needs of the European Air Forces, as "a separate occasion of pride", Minister Akar said that Kayseri, one of the strongest cities in the industrial field, also has a deep-rooted experience in the aviation sector. expressed.
Stating that the basis of the 2nd Air Maintenance Factory Directorate was Tayyare ve Motor Türk AŞ (TOMTAŞ), which was established in 1926 with the partnership of the German Junkers company, Minister Akar said, “It started production in 1928 and was one of the best aviation factories of the period with the aircraft it produced until 1941. Unfortunately, the activities of TOMTAŞ have failed due to some reasons and TOMTAŞ has remained a painful memory in our aviation history. This sad story of Kayseri and TOMTAŞ has been turned into a book with the efforts of Kayseri Governorship, Metropolitan Municipality, Erciyes University and Ministry of National Defense Archives and Military History Department and will be published in the coming days.” he said.
Minister Akar also thanked those who contributed to the preparation of the work in question.
GREAT AND IMPORTANT GAIN FOR OUR COUNTRY
Stating that the Air Force Command has a deep-rooted experience in combat aircraft maintenance, repair and system integration at the 1st Air Maintenance Factory Directorate in Eskişehir, Minister Akar said that Kayseri will also achieve significant gains in transport aircraft technology.
Expressing that the A400M project, which enables the defense industry to move to a new dimension, will carry the maintenance capability of the Air Forces Command and military factories to the next level in transport aircraft, Minister Akar made the following statements:
“Here, first of all, the retrofit of the A400M fleet of our Air Force will be carried out. We aim to retrofit not only our own aircraft, but also all our friends and allies' A400M aircraft in the near future, in Kayseri, with the support provided by our facilities, experience, defense industry companies and our state in all matters. We also plan to expand this study, which will contribute significantly to the Turkish economy, and especially to the economy of Kayseri, in the coming years in cooperation with ASFAT and AIRBUS. In this direction, we hope that we will be able to carry out retrofit activities not only of A400M aircraft but also of CN-235 aircraft with our facilities and capabilities here.”
Emphasizing that significant progress has been made in the domestic and national defense industry with the leadership, determined attitude and support of our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister Akar drew attention to the fact that 100 Turkish companies are among the world's top 7 defense industry companies.
Minister Akar stated that their aim is to increase the number of these companies every year and to increase the domestic and nationality rates in the defense industry.
“For this reason, we are making reform-like structural changes in order to properly use the capacity of our public institutions and military factories, to meet all the needs of the TAF, while at the same time gaining a strong position in the international market. We have adopted a more efficient and effective business model that envisages public-private partnership in line with our national interests, in line with the conditions of the age. Thus, we are trying to increase our capabilities in areas where technological development is needed in the defense industry and to ensure sustainability. I would particularly like to point out that we owe our 2nd Air Maintenance Factory Directorate to this business model to share its experience as a solution partner with an international company. Likewise, thanks to this business model, we have implemented the Strategic Cooperation Agreements and the Approved Supplier System, for which we are performing the certification ceremony today. With this study, it is aimed to meet the needs of the TAF in the long term and to reduce its technological dependence on foreign countries by supporting our national and domestic production companies, which are deemed sufficient in terms of technology and similar aspects.
Minister Akar stated that they want to strengthen the institutions and organizations they own with this business model and continued as follows:
“These are great and important gains for our country. It should be known that the gains we have made in the defense industry belong to Kayseri Aircraft and Engine Factory; We will never again allow Nuri Demirağ, Vecihi Hürkuş's aircraft factories, Nuri Killigil's national arms factory and Devrim cars to be like the fate of them again. Hopefully, under the leadership of our President, we will be able to continue their unfinished success stories and bring them to a conclusion. No one should doubt that we will overcome the obstacles and reach the destination we want to reach, working together to ensure the safety of our country, our 84 million citizens, the more prosperous life of our future generations, and the needs of our friends and allies at the same time.”