Ismail Demir (THY Teknik)
ANKARA — Turkey’s new procurement chief has said the country should prioritize what he calls “smart systems” when planning future purchases.
Ismail Demir, a professor of aviation who was appointed as head of the procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), said Turkey would focus on the production, co-production and acquisition of “areas with high firepower and sensitive electronic technology.”
Demir, formerly a general manager of THY Teknik, the repair and maintenance subsidiary of Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines, took over as SSM’s undersecretary in April.
“We must favor quality rather than quantity [in our acquisitions]. This will be possible only with [investment in] sensitive technologies,” Demir said.
The procurement chief said that any investment in technology based on smart systems would pay for itself and remain in any service’s inventory for years.
“Such systems would be efficiently used in all services: air, sea or land,” Demir said. “I am talking about systems that can be easily integrated with each other, speak to each other and feature high firepower.”
Industry sources widely expect Demir to boost Turkey’s aerospace industry, including deals with foreign partners.
Turkey traditionally spends about $4 billion annually on weapon purchases. ■