On December 14, the Turkish electronics giant Aselsan and Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia inaugurated their jointly-owned electronic supplier – Saudi Defence Electronics Company (SADEC).
SADEC was formed with an initial $6 million U.S. investment to market Aselsan’s range of electronics, such as radar, electronic warfare (EW) systems and electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors in Saudi Arabia.
SADEC says it will manufacture this equipment, suggesting that should Saudi Arabia (and/or third-party customers) select from SADEC the systems would be produced under license in Saudi Arabia. It is unclear in what capacity (e.g. assembly or subassemblies manufacturing) this would occur.
SADEC’s product range includes the gamut of Aselsan’s product catalogue.
It also includes the Turkish company’s proposed solutions, such as the Common Aperture Targeting System (CATS) EO/IR turret, KASIH (Aselsan HAVASOJ) dedicated EW jamming aircraft, ESHAR (Aselsan MULTI-INT) multi-mission intelligence aircraft, RASID (Aselsan SERHAT) counter- mortar radar and others.
Notes & Comments:
Under its Vision 2030 roadmap, Riyadh is banking on its defence industry to support the country with jobs and export growth, especially in a post-carbon fuel market. In fact, Saudi Arabia is aiming to have at least 50% of its defence procurement sourced through the Saudi industry by 2030.
Offsets generated through the Saudi military’s big-ticket defence purchases is an element of this effort, but shared-equity partnerships with Turkish and Ukrainian companies are also a factor in Riyadh’s efforts.
Initiatives such as SADEC are not new to Aselsan, which has been using partnerships and investments in its key markets to build its presence and to facilitate offsets and local workshare for its customers.
In Kazakhstan, Aselsan maintains a joint-venture with Kazakhstan Engineering called Kazakhstan Aselsan Engineering (KAE), which manufactures Aselsan’s thermal imaging sights under license. In November, KAE announced that it was aiming to export $96 million in products and services to Turkey.
For Saudi Arabia, having SADEC supply components and services to Turkish and third-party export users would be an ideal step, one that would help attest to Vision 2030’s objectives. However, the matter is in its early stages, with SADEC just entering the market with Aselsan’s solutions.
Despite an open cold conflict between turkey and saudi arabia on qatar,turkey has managed to do this and multiple sales to saudi arabia.
In contrast ,despite almost shameless grovelling over many decades ,pakistan has been unable to conclude any defence sales worth mention to saudi
There is something very wrong in the way pakistan and its establishment interacts with other countries. Unable to negotiate, unable to compete, unable to sustain anything
Even non state actors get out of hand and bite back
The chinese will probably also bite back sooner or later
There is something very wrong !
I’ve had diplomats agree with me that Pakistan is very weak when it comes to negotiations and safe guarding own interests even between so called “brotherly” countries.
They have mentioned some unfortunate examples also.
I too have serious concerns about the Chinese “deep friendship”.
Pakistan unfortunately is an orphan country in many respects.
Part of the problem is perception of Pak. They had dictators so often that foreign Govt’s found easy to do business with them, no need to get approval from parliament or other strings. For example if a Gulf businessman wanted to build a hotel in Islamabad he would just speak to the main man and everything would be sorted. Now a civilian Govt answerable to a parliament is handicapped in that potential customers firstly do not know what the power of the Prime Minister, President or any minister is or whether they can do favours. Pak needs a Mr Fixer as an enterprise minister. I suggest a well known media personality or even a Cricketing hero for the role.
As an outsider living in the UK but with many Pakistani friends, I have always felt that Pakistan has huge potential, perhaps more so than any other muslim country – because of its large population, resourceful and entrepreneurial people, and diaspora (British Bangladeshi’s and Pakistan’s are making huge leaps forward in educational achievement).
From what I have read it seems that many blame it on low levels of tax collection, which means there is not enough money to fund a decent education system and you end up in a vicious circle. Would that be a fair summary?
This is an example of not allowing politics get in the way of business. KSA can buy top of the range equipment where as Pak’s market is affordable equipment without the frills. It is not about Pak being unable to sell but producing the right product, for example KSA buy the super Mushshak. I am sure if there were other products that could be realistically marketed in the Gulf Pak would get serious consideration.
The amazing (or bizarre depending how you look at it) is that the Aselsan dedicated EW/ECM and ISR planes don’t even exist in real life!
This is not say Aselsan didn’t do the requisite work to make sure the system will work if asked to put it together, but neither has Turkish adoption (at least not yet). On top of that, SADEC is marketing this (which belongs to Aselsan) and has yet to even open its production site.
If anything, one has to credit these guys with initiative. We in Pakistan tend to really deride the “marketing” defence companies do … we say the turboprop COIN planes are all marketing, LIFT is all marketing, etc, etc … yet who’s making the sales here and who’s just standing?
Whether it’s just FC-31 or a new design, PAC should just throw out a preliminary design of the Proj. Azm fighter. Who cares if it has to change later or whatever, “just do it” and stand by the fact that you’re undertaking this work.
Turkey does have dedicated EW/ECM and ISR (MILKAR-2U) planes based on C-160 and CN-235 platforms systems developed by Aselsan.They aren’t publicised so it’s fair that you don’t have knowledge of them. However, those planes are getting a bit long in the tooth so development of next generation was expected.