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FNSS Details R&D Centre

Providing High Technology Solutions for Land Systems


At Eurosatory 2018, MONCh had the opportunity to speak with Can Özelci, Chief Technical Officer at FNSS, about the company’s research and development (R&D) centre.

When it became operational in the late 1980s, FNSS realised that it needed to build up its own R&D capability, in order to be able to meet the evolving requirements of the Turkish armed forces and to tailor products to meet international customer needs with indigenous solutions, and thereby realise its aspirations to become a global player, competing in the international arena. By 1994 the company had already initiated R&D studies with internal financing focusing on developing variants of existing platforms & weapon systems: this effort resulted in FNSS receiving its formal R&D Centre certification in 2009.

Located in dedicated facilities at Gölbaşı/Ankara, the FNSS R&D Centre today boasts a workforce of 302, whose background encompasses a wide range of engineering disciplines: 99 of this number holds a post-graduate degree. Consisting of state-of-the art laboratories (Dynamometer, Materials, Electronics, Hydraulics, Testing & Verification), offices, prototype workshops (welding & assembly) and vehicle test tracks for land and amphibious performance testing and survivability evaluation, the dedicated new R&D Centre became operational in 2013.

The company commits roughly 10% of its annual revenues to R&D programmes, with projects being defined under the umbrella of the FNSS Strategic Plan, the Business Plan and the Technology Roadmap initiative. The Project design goals support customer requirements as defined by contracts, as well as technology development for future programmes. The main focus of the R&D efforts are technology areas encompassing survavibility, structural design, mobility, lethality and vehicle electronics. R&D projects undertaken include Vehicle prototype as well as sub-system development.

The R&D organisation consists of System Design and Integration; Core Engineering; Electrical & Electronics; Systems Engineering; Supportability Engineering; Weapon Systems Development; Survivability; Product Life-Cycle Management (PLM) & Configuration Management; Analysis, Test & Materials; and Safety Engineering functions. Integration of these functions leads to the creation of high technology solutions in the Land Systems area providing optimized mobility, survivability and lethality solutions. Examples of the R&D efforts currently underway in cutting edge technology domains include: high performance armoured hull design emphasising protection against ballistic, mine and IED threats; optimum structural solutions for meeting operational and environmental requirements; and complex system level modelling and simulation for survivability, amphibious mobility and structural optimisation.

In addition, the FNSS R&D approach brings together local strategic partners, including universities, research institutes and small- to medium-sized enterprises. Some of the current strategic partnerships include but are not limited to: amphibious vehicle design and verification studies conducted with the Istanbul Technical University [ITU] Faculty of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering; and high strain rate material characterisation studies, conducted with the Atılım University and the İzmir Institute of Technology. The R&D Centre also participates in the SAYP (Researcher Development Programme for the Defence Industry) protocols, supervised by UDI (SSM). A total of 6 SAYP projects are underway in collaboration with the Middle East Technical University (METU), Gazi and Atılım Universities.

The FNSS R&D Centre currently has a total of 25 national/international patents in the registration/acceptance phase, and has been awarded nine national/international Industrial Design Certificates for indigenous land system designs. Furthermore, a total of 107 scientific papers have been published and presented by Centre researchers in the five years since its establishment.


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