BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Turkish defense firm STM puts itself on a new target of developing unmanned submarines after delivering the second of the Agosta 90B class submarines owned by Pakistan’s Navy in Türkiye’s first and only submarine modernization export.
Özgür Güleryüz, general manager of STM told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they aim to become a strong player in the international arena with the work they carry out in submarine development.
Emphasizing that a submarine is a very complex system in terms of engineering, which includes very high technology, Güleryüz said: “We want to take an intense role in both modernization activities, design and construction activities by using our competence to the fullest,” adding that their work is not limited to the manned platforms.
“Unmanned submarines are also on the agenda,” he said, “where successful results can be achieved.”
“Our studies and research and development (R&D) activities continue intensively on these issues,” he said.
Commenting on the modernization of the Pakistani Navy’s submarines, Güleryüz said that the project started in 2016 after they won the tender in which they competed against the manufacturer for the half-life modernization of French-made Agosta 90B Class submarines.
Expressing that they delivered the first submarine in April 2021 and put the second one into use in December 2022, Güleryüz said what makes this project a critical one for them is that it’s a tender that they won against the manufacturer of the product that is to be modernized.
“There are not many companies with this competence apart from manufacturers,” he said, emphasizing that with this submarine modernization, “STM has proven its competence in submarines.”
Saying that they plan to deliver the last submarine before within two years, Güleryüz explained that some systems were renewed and updated and a comprehensive modernization was carried out in the submarines that are around 20 years old.
Güleryüz pointed out that submarines were modernized per the current needs by using the latest technologies in all changing systems and that systems and equipment such as electronic warfare (EW), war management systems, sonar systems, and sensors were integrated into the submarines and a very important part of them was developed by Turkish companies such as Aselsan and Havelsan.
Domestic submarine STM500
Referring to STM’s roadmap for submarine technologies, Güleryüz went on to say that the modernization of the Ay Class submarines was completed and delivered in 2015 and that the modernization of the Preveze Class submarines is currently underway.
Noting that the construction of Reis Class submarines continues, Güleryüz stated that STM is trying to contribute to the project in terms of localization, starting from the design.
Stating that the designs of the STM500 submarine are also continuing, Güleryüz said: “We are about to complete the detailed design, and we started the test production activities of the durable boat in June 2022. We are proceeding as intensely and successfully as we can to bring the STM500 into flesh and blood.”
Güleryüz emphasized that with the STM500, they will create the possibility of selling a submarine designed by Turkish engineers abroad, along with domestically developed systems, apart from their use by the Turkish Naval Forces Command.