Turkish defence contractor Rocketsan and the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) have signed an agreement that intends to transform Turkey into a space launching state, as well as a satellite manufacturing hub, according to a 5 November 2018 report in Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.
According to a statement released by the SSB, the deal provides Roketsan with the go-ahead to develop the Micro Satellite Launch System (MUFS), which was among the goals named in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 100-day action plan earlier in the year.
The signing ceremony was attended by SSB President Ismail Demir, representatives from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), and Roketsan.
The project will involve the development and testing of the MUFS, which is designed to deliver micro satellites weighing 100 kilograms or less in to low-Earth orbit to an altitude of at least 400 kilometres.
According to the SSB announcement, Roketsan will also build satellite testing and production facilities as well as the launch infrastructure and complex.
Roketsan is owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF – TSKGV), and was ranked 96th by the “Defense News Top 100,” published every year by the U.S.-based military news publication, Defense News magazine. The rankings are based on the sales of the previous year, with Roketsan achieving a turnover of U.S.$376 million in 2017.
Established in 1988, Roketsan started production in 1992 under the auspices of the Stinger European Joint Production Project. Since then, the company has developed a number of defence and aerospace projects, with the rate of domestically developed programmes and products reaching 87 percent.