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Havelsan has signed an agreement with Turkish Aerospace (TA) to join the team addressing Turkey’s National Combat Aircraft (NCA/MMU) development project, the companies reported in early May.

Cooperation between the companies will take the form of software development and training simulators for maintenance crews, as well as embedded tactical training simulation capabilities for the aircraft and engineering support under several headings: Virtual Test Environment; Project-level Software Development; and Cybersecurity.

Pointing out that there are only a few countries capable to manufacture 5th-generation combat aircraft, Havelsan General Manager, Ahmet Hamdi Atalay, stated “Hopefully, we will also be joining the league of such countries. The roll-out date is scheduled for the year 2023. This is a project where we will work very hard for years to attain our goal. This product can be referred to as a ‘flying computer’, being a 5th-generation combat aircraft. A flying computer on which software of about 20 million lines will run and hundreds of modular software will work together... Hence, Havelsan’s position as a key player in the project is highly expected […] We have in the past written codes surpassing many millions of lines in various large-scale projects. We have completed 10 million lines of code for the ADVENT Combat Management System, and over 15 million lines of code for the Turkish Air Force Information System. We have the experience needed to ensure modular development of programmes of such sizes and the operation of those modules at high levels of performance. Our competency in the field of aircraft simulation, where we have several ongoing projects as one of the established companies in the world, will make significant contributions to this project. We’ve delivered sophisticated simulators for various platforms, including the F-16, trainer aircraft, helicopters and other airborne and land vehicles of many types. We believe that our experience in the field of simulators will provide contributions and benefits of utmost importance for this project.”

Highlighting the fact that Havelsan has not till now been visible in the project, despite all these possible contributions, as the main focus has been on the concept and mechanical design of the platform to date, he added “Technological, software and operational issues of the project are now on the table; therefore, our role has become more apparent. As a consequence of this, a decision involving us in the project was made after evaluations with business partners including the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), the Turkish Air Force and Turkish Aerospace (TA). Thereupon, we established a directorate whose responsibility will be this project only. Hence, we believe that we can make great contributions to this project by combining the experience gained through the F-35 project together with the experience of the Turkish Air Force and Havelsan.”

Noting that a team is being formed for the project, he further stated “If you consider this task a software undertaking of more than 20 million lines of code, the size of the [task] will obviously require a work-force of some 4-500 engineers. [The] ultimate goal of the project will probably be around these levels. The team is currently working at our premises but soon will move to a new dedicated facility to be constructed for the NCA/MMU Teams at TA, where they will be working altogether.”

By the time the NCA Development Project takes shape, Turkey will secure its place among countries like the USA, the RF [Russian Federation] and China, with the infrastructure and technology required towards manufacturing of 5th-generation combat aircraft,” commented Professor Ismail Demir, President of Defence Industries. Stressing the highest level of measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have been taken by industry, he pointed out that the development project continues, without any deceleration in pace.

An artist’s impression of the NCA/MMU platform. (Images via Havelsan)

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