Aselsan seeking to grow South African business


Turkish defence company Aselsan is looking to grow its presence in South Africa by seeking partnerships to form a private company out of its local branch Aselsan South Africa.

Aselsan South Africa was established as a branch of the Turkish company in 2011 after Aselsan had acquired a local engineering firm which it had contracted to develop high end electro-optical systems for airborne military use.

Aselsan South Africa now designs, develops and manufactures high performance electro-optical systems for its owner and also for the South African military aerospace and maritime markets.

Aselsan SA specialises in advanced opto-electro-mechanical design and related systems engineering including electronic and software engineering and image processing design.

Products designed and produced by the Aselsan South Africa over the past 4 years include high performance airborne thermal imagers, multi-spectral airborne sensors, in-flight boresighting systems and targeting electro optical payloads for airborne applications.

The company assembles, tests and does low volume production of its designs and products. Currently large volume production will be done at Aselsan Turkey but this is will be reassessed with the planned growth of the company in South Africa.

Speaking at the Denel Aerospace, Maritime and Defence conference last week, Oguz Yemisciler, Manager: Business and Market Development – Middle East and Africa at Aselsan said that in five years’ time Aselsan hopes to have a strong business presence in South Africa and Africa, with South Africa being a long term investment.

At present Aselsan is seeking partnerships for a Pty Ltd with the goals of inaugurating new premises (its facilities are currently at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria), complying with Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment mandates and increasing national and defence industrial participation.

Aselsan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Paramount Group at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition outside Pretoria in September last year. The agreement provides for future collaboration and cooperation between the two companies. At the time, Hasan Canpolat, Chairman of the Board of Aselsan, stated that “Aselsan sees South Africa as an important market and sees Paramount as a strategic partner.”

Aselsan specialises in tactical military radios, electronic warfare, avionic modernisation and defence electronic systems, primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces, but its sixteen business divisions are involved in things like radar, satellites, cyber security, air and missile defence, land weapons systems, traffic automation and transportation. The company employs 4 800 people and records annual sales of $1 billion. It has exported to 48 countries including South Africa and six other African nations.