“Establishing an R&D center enabled us to focus on advanced technologies”

MDN Editör

Mehmet Ünal - Yüksel Yıldız

We had a conversation with Yüksel Yıldız, Research and Development Director at Akım Metal which is a subsidiary of A Group, which carries out the domestic production of Helicopter Visual Landing Support Systems, which are very important in naval aviation, and Mehmet Ünal, Overseas Sales and Business Development Manager at YMB, about their company vision, technology investments and the features of the system

How did the establishment and technology development process of Akım Metal progress? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?

 As Akım Metal, we have been playing an important role in the supply chain of the home appliance and automotive industries for 50 years with our experience. Our commitment to excellence, which has sustained us in this long adventure, led us to establish a research and development center in 2011 and we have become a group of companies producing advanced technologies in various fields, including the defense industry.

Working with enthusiasm and meticulousness on limited production projects in unexplored regions has always been our priority. As a company, we work with a focus on innovation, and this determination, combined with our long history, allows us to continually evolve to maintain our leadership in the industry. We continue our journey by leveraging our pioneering role in the metalworking industry to add value for our customers, helping them achieve the highest standards of quality and continuous improvement.

How was Akım Metal’s transition to the defense industry?

We started entering the defense industry in 2011 by establishing our R&D Center, where we’ve developed our latest technology products. We offer domestic production services from design to production, eliminating foreign dependency in servo motors, which are critical in defense industry production. 2018 In 2019, we carried out the modernization of the helicopter visual landing support systems in the inventory of the Naval Forces Command and the systems to be included in the new shipbuilding projects under the TÜBİTAK project as a fully indigenous and domestic production. We have also successfully completed the testing of these products under real conditions.

Can you also tell us about the production process of the Helicopter Visual Landing Support System? 

The Stabilized Landing Angle Indicator System (SGSI), which is part of the Helicopter Visual Landing Support Systems, creates a corridor of light with three different colors that continuously spreads parallel to the horizon line so that the helicopter can approach the landing platform at a safe angle. Launched in 2019 as a TÜBİTAK project, the SGSI system was successfully completed in May 2023.

Another part of the system, the Horizon Line Reference System (HRS), is used to show the pilot the angular difference between the helicopter landing platform and the horizon line. The HRS project was started as a TÜBİTAK project in 2019 and was successfully completed in December 2022.

“The entire system was produced domestically throught expertise in LED Lighting Technologies”

The SGSI and HRS systems have been field tested on helicopters at the military airport under real-life conditions in accordance with the standards. We’ve found that their performance far exceeds expectations.

The entire system was completed including the lighting elements in line with our expertise in LED Lighting Technologies and was produced indigenously and domestically.

To give a brief overview of the Helicopter Visual Landing Assistance System, it is a system that is a completely indigenous design and has been put into operation with the combination of our domestic and national engineering and production power in line with the best practices and experiences of our Naval Forces and Coast Guard Command. We would like to say that we are very proud to have successfully completed the Helicopter Visual Landing Assistance System, which greatly contributes to increasing the safety and operational efficiency of naval aviation.

What is your domestic product usage rate in your productions? 

The amount of domestic goods in our productions is 90 percent and above. 

What are the areas you prioritize in your R&D investments?

Our R&D investments focus primarily on servo motor and driver systems under Motion Control Technologies, street and road lighting fixtures, helicopter visual landing support system and search and rescue lighting systems under Lighting Technologies, and investments in CNC machines designed for special needs.

Do you benefit from defense industry incentives, and if so, how did they affect the pace of development in this field?

We carry out all of our defense industry product studies with our own resources. I recommend companies that want to benefit from these incentives to create an independent and strong infrastructure with their own resources. While government incentives are important, it is necessary to adopt a growth strategy based on own resources for sustainable success.

How did the transition to the defense industry affect your technological development? 

The factor that enables us to reach the best quality in our work in the defense industry is our R&D center, which we established in 2011. Thanks to this transition, our technological development has accelerated and we have been able to move towards more innovative and advanced technologies.

Are your naval investments and productions focused solely on the defense industry, or do you also work in the civil navy? 

Our naval investments and productions are not only focused on the defense industry. We also have products and studies targeting international markets for the civil navy. With our investments in this field, we aim to contribute to the civil maritime sector.

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