Some 28 leading defense manufacturers from Türkiye are showcasing their military hardware at a defense fair that began in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Tuesday.
Over 500 international defense manufacturers and over 260 delegates from 64 countries are taking part in the four-day defense exhibition, a leading defense expo in South Asia.
The biennial event billed as “IDEAS 2022,” is taking place after a gap of four years as the 2020 fair could not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Apart from Türkiye, defense manufacturers from China, the US, the UK, European Union, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa are showcasing their products at the 11th edition of the fair, according to Maj. Gen. Mohammad Arif Malik, the head of the country’s defense exports promotion authority.
Together with Islamabad’s longtime strategic ally China, Türkiye has the largest representation in the fair with top Turkish defense companies, including the state-run STM and ASFAT, showcasing their products ranging from military hardware to modern drones to tactical mini-UAV systems and cyber security solutions.
The STM-Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret AS has naval platforms and tactical mini-UAV systems for the exhibition, according to Özgür Güleryüz, the company’s general manager.
The company, which is already involved in modernizing Pakistan Navy’s warfare fleet, including submarines, also offers critical solutions in various segments, including naval platforms, tactical mini-UAV systems, and cyber security.
The STM will also be displaying its “innovative and modern” defense technologies at the exhibition.
The STM will be presenting its Istif (I)-Class Frigate, its Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker (PNFT), and its STM500 – a small-sized submarine designed using national resources – to visitors.
The company, which produces leading and competitive platforms in the tactical mini-UAV system market segment, will also be introducing KARGU, Türkiye’s first mini-attack UAV; the TOGAN UAV surveillance system; and the ALPAGU fixed-wing attack UAV system, to the South Asian market.
“With its indigenous engineering solutions, STM is engaged in collaborative projects, technology transfer, and business development activities in more than 20 countries, from South America to the Far East,” Güleryüz said in a statement.
Commenting on the company’s participation in the event, he said: “While equipping the Turkish Navy and Turkish security forces with innovative and national systems, we share our experience and engineering capability with friendly and allied nations.”
Powering Pakistan’s defense
The STM, together with ASFAT, has been involved in a number of key projects over the years.
It built and delivered PNFT MOAWIN, a Navy Fleet Tanker designed for the Pakistani Navy in Karachi in 2018 as part of a project aimed at building a military ship with the biggest tonnage abroad.
“In addition, we are continuing with the modernization of Pakistan’s Agosta-Class 90B submarines,” Güleryüz said, adding the company has already delivered the first submarine under the said project, while the modernization of two remaining submarines is continuing.
This is STM’s first time acting as the prime contractor in a submarine modernization project being conducted in a foreign country.
Currently, the STM is taking part in a project for the production of four Ada-Class Corvettes for Pakistan.
In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with the ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Türkiye and the next two will be built in Pakistan which also involves technology transfer.
MILGEM vessels are 99 meters (325 feet) long with a displacement capacity of 24.00 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles.
MILGEM anti-submarine combat frigates, which can be hidden from the radar, will further enhance the defense capability of the Pakistan Navy.
In October 2019, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with the then Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.
Türkiye is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships, using its national capabilities.