Turkish Defense producer ASELSAN has held negotiations with Russian and European companies in a successful effort to expand its market, board member Sedat Nazlibilek told Anadolu Agency on Monday. 

Speaking at the international aviation and space exhibition MAKS-2015. Nazlibilek said that the company has held successful negotiations with representatives of several Russian and European companies. All sides have agreed to maintain communication and cooperation. We met with representatives of Rosoboronexport, Airbus, Sukoi, Izhevskiy Radiozavod, and 405 Aircraft Repair Center of Kazakhstan.

ASELSAN already partners with Rosoboronexport and its subsidiaries for electro-optical systems, which are designed and produced by ASELSAN, regional marketing manager Sencer Sahin said.

"ASELSAN was ranked 62nd in the world's top 100 defense companies, and, in few years, we expect to get into the top 50. The company demonstrates good dynamics, which allows us to be optimistic. For example, last year we were at the 67th place, and this year we climbed 6 points, Nazlibilek said.

It was the first time that ASELSAN had participated in the MAKS trade show,  and it is the only Turkish Company attending. Nazlibilek explained that the company's rapid growth depends on its active effort to break into new markets. 

At the moment, ASELSAN exports its products to nearly 50 countries on five continents. It produces radio systems for the U.S., as well as to many other markets.

In addition to production facilities in Turkey, the company has joint ventures in Kazakhstan, Jordan, and South Africa. About 20 percent of ASELSAN products are exported, and the company plans to increase this figure to 50 percent in the coming years. In this regard, the visit to the MAKS 2015 helped to establish new possibilities for cooperation with potential partners, Nazlibilek pointed out.

ASELSAN dedicates great focus and considerable resources to R&D. The company spends annually about 7 percent of income on research, and, in addition, the Ministry of Defense, Undersecretariat for Defense Industries and the Armed Forces provide significant financial support.

"The total figure that we spend annually on R&D reaches up to 30 to 35 percent of the annual turnover. This year, the company's income amounted to $ 1.1 billion. It turns out that in the year Aselsan spent about $400 million for research and development Sahin said.

The company employs approximately 5 thousand people,  of which 65 percent are engineers. Most have a master's degree, and about 10 percent have a doctorate degree. About two-thirds of all engineers are directly engaged in R&D.

Of the five thousand workers in addition to engineers, about 27 percent are technical staff. Thus, more than 80 percent of employees are purely technical.

"We are the technology base of Turkey," Sahin said.

 The head of the Avionics Systems Division, Yuksel Serdar, pointed to ASELSAN's long experience in the sector. "As ASELSAN, we have been in the avionics business since 1988. We develop and manufacture flight management systems, mission computers, multi function displays, cockpit control units, navigation systems, store management systems, airborne communication, electronic-warfare and electro-optical systems. We have also been integrating these systems to all kinds of air platforms. We have provided avionics modernization and integration solutions for more than 500 air platforms. Our avionics systems and technologies in use all over the world," he said.

Anadolu Agency