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Aselsan aims to thrive in small arms optics

Aselsan, Turkey’s defence giant, is enthusiastic about the market prospects of its new 5000 square metre Precision Optics Factory in the Sivas Industrial Zone.

The Precision Optics Factory was established in 2014 with the aim of researching and developing optics technology for small arms and other applications (including optronics). The facility is a 50:50-partnership between Aselsan and Sivas Optic Materials Sanayi, an existing optics manufacturer in Turkey.

Aselsan’s optics catalogue includes a range of man portable products, such as red-dot sights for assault rifles, night vision goggles, night vision sights and thermal cameras. The Sivas factory will certainly help towards expanding this catalogue, though it will be interesting to see how far Turkey engages in the area of helmet mounted display and sight (HMD/S) systems.

Comment and Analysis

Aselsan is certainly in the position to become a market leader in optics, especially if its line-up of weapon sights (e.g. A940/A960) offer reasonable performance at a competitive cost for end-users.

With a number of major powers increasingly focused on raising the capabilities of individual infantrymen/women on the field, controlling cost – without compromising on quality – will be important.

The relatively expensive nature of high quality sights can make mass distribution, especially in large armies, prohibitive. Aselsan could make a strong entry in this area, especially in the developing world market. In fact, with the MKEK MPT-76, Turkey is in a position to offer prospective customer end-to-end solutions – i.e. rifles as well as accompanying sights/optics.

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