Patent applications in the Turkish defense industry have increased 50-fold in 20 years. The inventions of local engineers range from conductive fabrics that prevent lightning strikes in airplanes to unmanned vehicles that can enter caves and tunnels.
In the defense industry, which has developed with domestic resources in recent years and has become one of Turkiye’s most important export trump cards, patent applications, which record original inventions, have also been on the rise.
While the defense industry achieved exports of $4.4 billion last year, the figure reached $2.3 billion in the first six months of this year, with an export target of $6 billion for 2023. The number of domestic patent applications in the defense industry, which was 7 in 2002, increased 50-fold to 359 in 2022.
In 2022, ASELSAN and TAI were among the top 10 companies with the highest number of patent applications with 139 and 68 patent applications, respectively. While there were two domestic patent and utility model applications in the field of arms and ammunition production in 2000, there were 125 in 2020, 181 in 2021, and 176 in 2022.
A conductive fabric, which received a utility model certificate last month on behalf of TAI,is being used to solve the possibility of lightning strikes in aircraft. According to an invention patented last month on behalf of ASELSAN, strapless ammunition can be loaded in the desired quantity and order from inside the vehicle without having to climb up to the gun turret.
The unmanned ground vehicle, for which Havelsan filed a patent application last month, can operate underground, in caves and tunnels, thanks to its articulated structure. With an invention for which a patent certificate was granted last month on behalf of Otokar, images are transmitted to military vehicles with close-range surveillance systems via 10 image receiver modules, and the images obtained can be displayed immediately to the operator in the vehicle.
Nearly 2,000 companies in the defense industry create significant value with their technology investments. In 2022, the unit value of exports of products of the defense and aerospace industry will be $57.50 per kilogram. This amount is 40 times higher than the average.
A device for which ASELSAN has filed a patent identifies organic materials behind inorganic or metallic objects in X-ray imaging systems. A system for which Havelsan has filed a patent application detects moving objects from UAVs at high altitude.
Meanwhile, Hulusi Ali Kasap, head of engineering and research and development at Sarsılmaz Silah Sanayi A.Ş., spoke to Milliyet about the agreement signed between Sarsılmaz and Asisguard.
“This is an armed drone system,” he said.
“We had previously integrated this system into our 5.56-millimeter guns. In this new agreement, we are integrating it into our higher caliber 7.62-millimeter gun. Our biggest advantage here is that we have a more effective armed drone system at a longer range. Whereas the old system was effective at about 100 meters, we will now increase that to 400 meters. At the same time, we are developing a remote fire control system,” Kasap added.