In an exclusive interview with defensehere.com, the President of the Presidency of Turkish Defence Industries (SSB) Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir introduces SSB’s latest plans with regards to the field of space.
This article is the third part of our interview with Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir. You can read here for the first and second parts of the interview:
Turkey's National Space Program has been announced lately. As space becomes a part of defense, the number of countries establishing space force commands is increasing. What are the plans of the Presidency of Turkish Defence Industries for space?
The president of SSB Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir:
The Presidency of Turkish Defence Industries became the institution that provided access to space through its own work. We made multiple launches of the SONDA rocket and we were eventually successful in launching it into space, and we continue to gain and acquire new technologies in that respect.
The space program will of course be carried out under the auspices of the Turkish Space Agency. We will support it not through the defense industry projects carried out under the auspices of the Presidency of Defence Industries, but though the capabilities of companies that serve the defense industry sector. There will be specific activities in line with the projects currently announced and beyond. There were already studies and project on satellite development carried out with the body of the Presidency of Defence Industries. Various satellites were developed and launched within our structure.
New satellite studies will continue, and our companies will contribute to the construction of the satellite development company that is to be established. As a result, companies serving the defense industry sector will take part in the space field through the technologies they have developed. Of course, the Presidency of Defense Industries has played an important role in developing these technologies until now and will continue to do so in the future, and our support will continue. Space programs/projects that focus on civilian areas will be coordinated by Turkish Space Agency.
The companies that do the actual work are companies that also serve in the field of defense industries, because they have matured different capabilities.
Activities and works directed towards gaining optical capabilities and exploring space, and creating new satellite capabilities and testing them, are carried out within the framework of projects carried out by these companies. We have utilized a part of these capabilities in the defense industry and will continue to utilize them. Of course, over the long run, these companies will support and contribute very effectively to the Space Program. Defense industry companies and the Presidency of Defence Industries are playing the role of the parties that secure the materials and skills needed for business.
The technologies that have been gained and acquired through the defense industry in the fields of communication satellites, surveillance satellites and specific rocket technologies will continue to be utilized. It is not possible for us as the defense industry sector to not be interested in space technologies and satellites, especially given that they will be of great importance for defense purposes in the future. Turkey cannot lay behind in developing space technologies, nor does it have the privilege to neglect this field.