On August 21, Turkish defence electronics vendor Havelsan signed a contract with the Qatar Armed Forces to supply it with a ‘Joint Warfare Center.’
Havelsan is Turkey’s primary supplier of command and control suites, combat management systems (CMS) training centers and training simulators for land, naval and air applications.
Specifics were not provided. However, the description (i.e. Joint Warfare Center) appears to identify with Havelsan’s command, control, communication and intelligence (C4I) products and services. The potential scope of the program may involve each of Qatar’s armed services branches.
Earlier this in the month Havelsan opened an office in Doha to steward its business growth in Qatar.
Havelsan has recently supplied Qatar with a Full Mission Simulator for the Leonardo AW139 utility helicopter. Havelsan had delivered the Cabin Team Training Simulator, Tactical Control Center, Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer and Debriefing System delivered earlier.
Under the $40 million U.S. contract, Havelsan will also provide three years of maintenance support for the system. Although costly, Havelsan’s general manager Ahmet Hamdi Atalay claimed (via Defense News) that the savings Qatar will accrue from deferring AW139 training to the simulator (instead of the aircraft) will recover the acquisition cost “within three years.”
Havelsan has been a successful exporter. In 2016, it was contracted to supply a Naval Integrated Command Control System for the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B submarine upgrade program. Since 2009, Havelsan has delivered to Pakistan an Electronic Warfare Test and Training Range (EWTTR), GENESIS CMS (for the PNS Alamgir), Artillery Forward Observer Simulator and Military Enterprise Information System (MEIS).
Saudi Arabia had also acquired Havelsan’s EWTTR. Havelsan has also partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Elm to collaborate on a wide range of information technology (IT) ventures, possibly including cyber-security.
Besides offering stand-alone products and services, Havelsan has also integrated itself into the products of its fellow Turkish defence industry vendors, such as Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş. (STM) and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). Should Pakistan firmly sign onto the MILGEM Ada corvette and T129 ATAK, respectively, Havelsan will be poised to secure CMS and simulator system contracts.
Pakistan should get private sector involved in defence production. Government run organisations are always less efficient. We have some already, but we should eventually aim to hand over big ticket items.