It is known to those who at least follow the Turkish press on matters of defense industry and capabilities of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), that pompous headlines abound, such as the following, "Critical development for Mavi Vatan - The dependence of the Turkish Navy on foreign in this area it will stop", according to a Turkish media article which points out:
The Turkish sonar ORKUN-2053
Turkey, which has implemented serious projects in the defense industry in recent years, is also conducting gold projects under the sea, one of the darkest areas of the war zone.
The ORKUN-2053 submersible sonar, first presented at IDEF, is one of them, which will also be integrated into an unmanned surface vessel (USV) this year.
The International Defense Industry Exhibition (IDEF'23), one of the largest defense industry events in the world, started in Istanbul which gathered not only the domestic but also the world's leading foreign companies under one roof.
Platforms and systems, which are vital to the future of "Mavi Vatan", attracted attention at the exhibition, where very important products were displayed in many areas, from land-based navigational and marine systems, from unmanned platforms to complementary products.
One of them was ORKUN-2053, which bears the signature of ARMELSAN and carries the feature of our country's first domestic/national submersible sonar.
Explaining that they specialize in underwater acoustics and are one of the few companies not only in Turkey but also in the wider region, ARMELSAN General Manager Can Emre Maintenance summarizes their overall goal which is to "end the dependence of the Naval Forces Command on foreign in some places".
Sharing the information that all the helicopter-borne sonar in the inventory of the Turkish Navy is procured from abroad, he stressed that there are problems not only in buying the system from another country, but also in providing support when needed.
Submarines are the most significant underwater threat
Diving sonar from anti-submarine helicopters was an R&D program of the Defense Industries Bureau.
“One of the most important underwater threats is submarines. Different sonars are used to detect submarines and these are foreign products. We started the Orkun-2053 project to produce a homegrown/national solution and we brought it to fruition today. The purpose of this product is to detect submarines operating in deep seas from long distances, which are well hidden," said Can Emre Maintenance
Helicopter diving sonar is a product used on existing anti-submarine warfare helicopters. On the other hand, we know that the naval version of Gökbey is being studied. As ARMELSAN, we want to integrate Orkun-2053 with the sea version of Gökbey. This is one of our goals."
It will be mounted on an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)
The battlefield environment is becoming increasingly diverse and indeed the methods, platforms, requirements and solutions are changing as well. We observe a similar process for airborne immersion sonars around the world.
We know that, although very rarely, sonar diving of some of the leading countries in the world can be done not by helicopters, but also by unmanned marine vehicles (USVs).
Can Emre Maintenance reports that they will take a similar step, pointing out that this year they will conduct the first test of the Orkun-2053 with an unmanned surface vehicle.
Maintenance concludes on Orkun-2053, which is expected to enter the Navy's inventory in the near future:
“Orkun-2053 was met with great interest at IDEF. We may hear good news about exports to friendly and sisterly countries in the short term.
Orkun-2053 is the first and only domestically developed helicopter pointing sonar.
It can submerge to a depth of about 500 meters. It has a locality rate of over 85 percent.
By producing this system, Turkey not only broke new ground, but also became one of the few countries in the world in this field. Mavi Vatan gained another extremely critical capability, an extremely powerful system.”