INTERVIEW: Turkish defense sector leader eyes key role in ongoing modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces
Turkish defense industry company ASELSAN has been expanding its presence on the Ukrainian market since 2015

Leading Turkish defense industry company ASELSAN has been expanding its presence on the Ukrainian market since 2015, and established a local LLC company 100% owned by ASELSAN Inc in Kyiv last year to help further advance this deepening cooperation.

Founded in 1975, ASELSAN currently occupies forty-eighth position in the global Top 100 Defense Companies ranking by Defense News magazine. Professor Dr. Haluk Görgün has served as Chairman, President and CEO of ASELSAN since 2018. Under his leadership, the company has implemented significant improvements in organizational structure and partnership strategy, while also placing an emphasis on expansion into global markets and increasing international sales.

Dr. Görgün spoke to Business Ukraine magazine about the company’s activities in Ukraine and shared his vision for ASELSAN’s role in the modernization processes currently underway in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the country’s defense industry.


ASELSAN first began cooperating with Ukraine in 2015. How has this cooperation evolved over the past six years?

Our journey in Ukraine started in 2015 when we began cooperation on military communication solutions. Six years on, we are now engaged in a range of additional areas as well. We continue to expand our presence in Ukraine with our state-of-the-art capabilities in technologies such as weapons systems, radar and electronic warfare solutions, electronic optics, and command and control systems. We have also established a locally registered company, ASELSAN Ukraine LLC, in order to represent the company in Ukraine and to seek out new opportunities for further cooperation.


How do you see the role of your Ukrainian representative company as you look to expand your cooperation with the Ukrainian defense industry?

ASELSAN Ukraine LLC is based in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. It was established in October 2020 in order to carry out marketing and business development activities in Ukraine. We envisage a range of key functions including following up on existing projects, maintaining direct contact with end users, and ensuring that partners are satisfied with every aspect of our cooperation. Furthermore, I am also proud to announce that we are currently working hard on plans to establish an independent service center in Kyiv. The main focuses of this MRO Center (maintenance, repair, and overhaul center) will be after sales support, maintenance, and repair services.

At ASELSAN Ukraine LLC, we give the highest priority to local needs. This means offering a selection of services spanning from industrial collaboration to after sales support provided locally in Ukraine. With our wide range of engineering, defense, and commercial solutions, we expect to make significant progress in the Ukrainian market and will continue to seek out new opportunities to develop local cooperation further.


The Ukrainian military is currently engaged in a major modernization drive. What opportunities does this present for ASELSAN and how do you see your role in this ongoing modernization process?

As Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, ASELSAN has a long record of playing a significant part in joint NATO projects. We consistently apply the highest internationally recognized military standards as well as NATO standards during our design, production, and modernization efforts. For many years, we have successfully modernized land, air, and naval platforms for our domestic as well as international users. With this experience in mind, we are confident that we are the right partner for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the country’s defense industry as they seek to make further progress in their modernization efforts.

The Ukrainian and Turkish defense industries both have fields of expertise where they possess valuable know-how and technologies. Our record of successful export projects together with the Ukrainian defense industry has already demonstrated that we are able to develop tailored solutions together and compete in the international market.
ASELSAN Ukraine LLC has a key role to play in helping to facilitate this collaboration and making sure we realize the full potential of new platform projects together with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We are ready and willing to take part in major modernization projects in Ukraine and we are currently exploring new areas of potential cooperation together with our partners in the Ukrainian defense industry.


In addition to its defense sector activities, ASELSAN also serves a range of civilian clients. How is this shaping the company’s plans for future development in Ukraine and on the global stage?

With almost half a century of experience in the development of sensors and algorithms, ASELSAN has been continuously combining emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality with the company’s strong technological base. In other words, we have an accumulated body of know-how that offers significant advantages in new product development in both the military and civilian sectors. Our commercial product line currently spans from medical equipment to smart transportation. This product line will continue to expand as we offer solutions to partners and clients in more than 71 countries around the world.

About the interviewee: Professor Dr. Haluk Görgün is Chairman, President and CEO of ASELSAN

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