The main indicators of a naval force’s level of advancement are technological superiority and also well-trained crew for effective use of its platforms.
The fire and damage control skills of personnel serving in surface, subsurface and air platforms and ashore are critical both for combat-related and also for routine skills. The Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) will continue to develop and improve these critical skills in the coming period with the aid of the Fire and Damage Control Training Simulators developed by Meteksan Savunma, for which the delivery ceremony was held on June 16, 2016.
Within the context of the Fire and Damage Control Training Simulators project, conducted by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) Meteksan Savunma being the prime contractor, the required simulators have been developed and their associated facilities constructed.
The simulators were built in three separate buildings on the Gölcük campus of the Yıldızlar Naval Surface Training Centre Command, which operates under the Fleet Command. In addition, an administrative and classrooms building was also constructed for administrative activities and theoretical training. The result was an integrated complex with a total indoor area of over 10,000 square meters, in which there are two main simulator groups with different subcomponents.
The fire fighting simulators provide training for fires that may break out due to various reasons on surface platforms, submarines, helicopters and ashore during times of peace, tension or war, or in cases where the platforms take a hit. The damage control simulators, on the other hand, provide training for damage that may occur should the platform be hit, and for damage that may cause the platform to take in water or result in the breakdown of the vessel’s internal fuel, oil and water circuits.
The ceremony for the delivery of the Fire and Damage Control Training Simulators was attended by Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, the Commander of the TNFC; Admiral Veysel Kösele, Fleet Commander; Süreyya Yiğit, Head of the Communications, Electronic and Information Systems Department at the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), as well as many other guests.
At the ceremony, Tunç Batum, President of Meteksan, delivered the first speech. “At Meteksan, we carried out a detailed evaluation and analysis of similar training systems around the world. As a result of the dedicated and consistent work carried out by our highly accomplished and experienced personnel, and in cooperation with SSM and the Technical Department of the TNFC, we have succeeded in establishing this facility that stands out as a brilliant example to the rest of the world. Building on this achievement, we have also exported to Oman the damage control simulator, a fully indigenous by-product of the project. In the international arena, these references have enabled us to become a leading company in the field of damage control training, and we are closely following all international damage control projects currently on the agenda. In the coming years, when follow-on projects appear in the agenda of our country, we will be ready to meet the TNFC’s requirements with our much more advanced products and solutions” Batum concluded.
The final speech of the ceremony was delivered by Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, Commander of the TNFC. Admiral Bostanoğlu began by emphasising the importance of fire and damage control: “Fire and damage control is of vital importance for maintaining the combat capability of our surface, diving and flying platforms, and directly affects their combat strength. As a consequence, fire and damage control is as important as the combat capabilities of these platforms. For this reason, all personnel in a unit, from the level of unit commander to the lowest ranking soldier, should always be trained, so they are ready and prepared for fire and damage control. Fully aware of this necessity, the TNFC has always given priority to fire and damage control, as evidenced by the opening of Turkey’s first Fire Training Centre, the Fire Control School, in 1949. Since then, the TNFC has also provided training to civilian institutions, and continues to assume a leading role in this area. The fact that the Yıldızlar Surface Training Centre Command has today acquired Turkey’s first modern and comprehensive Fire Simulator and Damage Control Simulator is a tangible indication of this continuing role.” Admiral Bostanoğlu also stated on the export potential and the future of the Fire and Damage Control Simulators: “As can be seen from the example of the Damage Control Training Simulator that was developed by Meteksan and commissioned by Oman in 2013, these simulator projects have considerable export potential. To ensure that this potential can be met, the TNFC will help promote and support these projects on every platform. In addition, we plan to keep these simulators active 24/7, and take measures to prevent them from becoming idle when not being used by the TNFC. To this end, we are continuing to hold talks with Meteksan regarding operation and maintenance contracts. When this contract is signed, it will be the first of its kind for the TNFC.”
Following these speeches, Bahadır Güngenci, Vice Chairman of the Board and Managing Director at Meteksan Savunma, presented plaques to Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, Admiral Veysel Kösele and Süreyya Yiğit. The guests then toured the
complex, after which the programme ended.
Meteksan Savunma is a Turkish defense technology company, based in Ankara specializing radar systems, laser systems, communication data links, underwater acoustic systems and simulators. It is part of Bilkent Holding, a large conglomerate funded by Bilkent University, which is Turkey’s 15th largest industrial group, and privately held. Meteksan is one of the suppliers of the Turkish Armed Forces, and has been involved in projects such as missile defense systems, attack helicopters, UAVs, corvettes and underwater weapons systems.