Turkey’s Highly Visible Presence at DSEI 2019

13 Kasım 2019
A total of eight vessels owned by the British Royal Navy, the French Navy, and the Dutch Royal Navy were on display at the outdoor exhibition area of the event.

You can read the intro of the DSEI 2019 Special Coverage / Part 1 published in the October 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:

 

Representing Turkey at the DSEI 2019 exhibition were 42 firms from the Turkish defence and aerospace sector and the Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association (SSI), led by Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB). All visitors to the event were given badges sponsored by SSB and SSI. The event, held in London in the United Kingdom, witnessed a high turnout with high expectations, and was covered by a six-strong team from MSI Turkish Defence Review.

A total of eight vessels owned by the British Royal Navy, the French Navy, and the Dutch Royal Navy were on display at the outdoor exhibition area of the event.

A total of eight vessels owned by the British Royal Navy, the French Navy, and the Dutch Royal Navy were on display at the outdoor exhibition area of the event.

 

The biennial DSEI exhibition, held on 10–13 September this year, is one of the leading global events for the sector, and achieved the following numbers:

The DSEI 2019 Special Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review served as a medium for bringing Turkish and British authorities and firms together.

The DSEI 2019 Special Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review served as a medium for bringing Turkish and British authorities and firms together.

  • More than 1,700 firms and organizations from 58 countries opened stands.
  • National pavilions established by 44 countries.
  • More than 3,000 high-level guests from 92 countries visited the exhibition.
  • Some 113 official delegations from 59 countries took part.
  • Over 36,000 visitors from 114 countries were in attendance.
  • More than 400 speakers from 20 countries made presentations at the conferences.
  • Over 4,500 scheduled meetings were held with high-level guests.
  • More than 1,500 meetings were held related to the DSEI Supply Chain Program.
  • More than 380 members of the press covered the exhibition.

The activities and events targeting the supply chain and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) were among the highlights of DSEI 2019. Over 4,000 participants from more than 1,900 firms attended the DSEI Supply Chain Program. Companies involved in the Program had the opportunity to meet with representatives of such prime contractors as General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Babcock, Leonardo, Boeing and Turner & Townsend, and with officials from the UK Ministry of Defence.

 

Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, visited stands, attended meetings and met with the media as part of his agenda at the event.

Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, visited stands, attended meetings and met with the media as part of his agenda at the event.

 

Turkey’s High-Level Participation

The Turkish delegation was led by Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries. Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir and the SSB delegation held meetings with eight official delegations, international organizations and institutions. These included meetings between Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir and Lieutenant General Nicolò Falsaperna, Secretary General and National Armaments Director of Italy, Marcos Degaut, President of Brazilian Defence Industries, Anne Marie Trevelyan, UK Minister for Defence Procurement, and Delfin Lorenzana, Defence Minister of the Philippines. Speaking to the press during the event, Prof. Dr. Demir said: “A look at global defence sales indicates that a handful of countries account for 90 percent of sales.

The SSB held a series of meetings on the sidelines of the event.

The SSB held a series of meetings on the sidelines of the event.

 

The remaining countries are not generally known as exporters of defence equipment, and so their products go unnoticed. Turkey must clearly demonstrate where it stands today, for which it must display its products. It should be able to demonstrate its current capabilities, and although we cannot say that this will produce results overnight, it should persevere in these efforts. The more you attend such events and exhibitions, the more your presence will capture attention.” Prof. Dr. Demir also spoke about a project being carried out with BAE Systems for the TF-X National Combat Aircraft, as part of their cooperation with the United Kingdom. Commenting on the TF-X’s engine, he said: “Rolls-Royce has submitted various proposals for the supply of the engine for the TF-X, and these were discussed at certain phases. We may have another meeting here.” He added that there was potential for cooperation with TEMPEST, and that involvement in the TF-X program was open for discussion.

 

The mock-up of TEMPEST, the UK’s new generation combat aircraft, was on display with a cockpit simulation.

The mock-up of TEMPEST, the UK’s new generation combat aircraft, was on display with a cockpit simulation.

 

Major Developments

Italy’s participation in the TEMPEST program and the selection of a team led by Babcock for the Type 31 frigate of the UK Royal Navy were among the major developments announced during the exhibition. A cooperation agreement concluded between AEI Systems, ANOVA and Unidef was the highlight of the exhibition from the Turkish perspective.

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Milrem Robotics’s THeMIS unmanned land vehicle was exhibited at four stands, being those of Milrem Robotics (top left), Qinetiq (top right), MBDA (bottom left) and Konsberg (bottom right).

 

Expected and Actual Developments

Several of the Turkish firms that attended the exhibition stated that they had achieved their goals in terms of their promotional activities and business development operations, although others expressed disappointment, particularly with the low number of delegations present. It was worthy of note that an overwhelming majority of the participating Turkish firms chose not to release press bulletins or notes. Moreover, none of the Turkish firms held press conferences or signing ceremonies, except for one, and no products were launched during the exhibition despite the wide participation, which constituted a serious contradiction.

From a broader perspective, it was observed during DSEI 2019 that the Turkish defence and aerospace sector may be overlooking simple issues, despite its successes on the export front. An unmanned land vehicle produced by Milrem Robotics was, for instance, displayed on the stands of four different firms and, in a sense, sent the message that it was emerging as the leading unmanned land vehicle platform provider in Europe. The Turkish defence and aerospace sector has, however, already manufactured and unveiled products that could be regarded as pioneering in that field. Only time will tell if a chance has been missed, although the picture at DSEI 2019 was not very promising in terms of the sector’s exports in that field.

Against this backdrop, MSI Turkish Defence Review’s DSEI 2019 Special Issue provided a setting for the bringing of the Turkish and British parties together, and supported the promotional aspect of their participation at the event. This special issue contains messages from Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries; Sir Dominick Chilcott, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Turkey; Latif Aral Aliş, Chairman of the Board of Directors, SSI; and members of the DSEI administration. The special issue also contains interviews, exclusive reports and informational articles, giving both Turkish and British firms the opportunity to showcase their products and capabilities.

We will share our Special Coverage, in which we report on the highlights of DSEI 2019, in two parts, attached to our October and November issues. We present to you the first part of this special dossier in the following pages.

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