The third of Kaşif unmanned underwater vehicles, one of the most critical elements in Türkiye’s deep-sea drilling activities, was showcased for the first time. Thanks to its national software, the platform, which is not affected by embargoes, can only be produced by 3-4 countries in the world.
Türkiye carries out very successful works in the domestic and national defense industry. When it comes to the domestic and national defense industry, the first ones that come to mind are SİHAs, weapons, ammunition and missiles, but the successes are not limited to these.
Kaşif unmanned underwater vehicles are one of these valuable projects… One of the leading actors of Türkiye’s deep-sea drilling activities, Kaşif is actually an underwater worker. We heard his name frequently in the works of Fatih and Kanuni drilling ships. The 3rd series of Kaşif, who can successfully perform the commands given to him with his robotic arms, even under very difficult conditions at a depth of hundreds or even thousands of meters, is counting the days to start the task.
As it will be remembered, Türkiye’s 4th drilling ship docked at Taşucu Port on 19 May. Preparations for new drillings have begun. On the other hand, work on the remote-controlled underwater robot that will take part in the new ship continues at full speed. TRT Haber displayed the new platform, called Kaşif-3, for the first time.
The information and images he obtained are classified as ‘state secrets’.
We will come to the process about the Kaşif-3, but before that, it is useful to make a short reminder… Actually, it is possible to compare these vehicles to Türkiye’s SİHA journey. Just as Türkiye has experienced serious difficulties while using the unmanned aerial vehicles of other countries, unmanned underwater vehicles of foreign countries also have similar risks in this field.
Because these vehicles clearly display the areas where search and scanning activities are carried out, and report the results to the ship. In a way, it has access to the most sensitive information of drilling activities. If you do not carry out such an operation with completely domestic and national vehicles, it is inevitable that critical information will be in the hands of other countries than you. For this reason, Kaşif not only performs very important duties, but also ensures that information and images, which are perhaps ‘state secrets’, are kept ‘inside’ in Türkiye’s drilling activities.
It tightens the screw with a depth of 3 thousand meters.
Armelsan is one of the companies that undertake very important responsibilities in Türkiye’s domestic and national defense industry journey. They do not only support the process with Kaşif. At the same time, they carry out critical works in many different fields, from mine hunting ships to anti-submarine warfare sonar, from diver detection sonar used in TCG Anadolu to submarine rescue device.
We are meeting with Armelsan General Manager Can Emre Maintenance to talk about Kaşif-3… Maintenance defines Kaşif as “the hand, foot, eye and ear of drilling activities”. We learn that Kaşif can work even at a depth of 3,000 meters, transmits live images to the drill ship, and performs gasket replacement, wellhead cleaning, cutting and mowing activities on his own, within the framework of the instructions from the drilling ship.
Kaşif, which can carry out its activities on a 24-hour basis, is a platform that takes responsibility even if things turn into an undesirable place. Can Emre Maintenance explains this process with the sentence: “If an adverse event occurs and the platform has to leave the area due to some risks, Kaşif also undertakes the task of closing the well.”
“We are one of 3-4 countries that can make these vehicles”
Can Emre Maintenance says that Kaşif-3 has a hybrid engine and underlines that there are 3 or 4 countries in the world that can produce this platform as a hybrid. We learn that Türkiye has been promoted to this league with Kaşif-3 and we continue to listen to Maintenance:
“Recently, there was a technological break in underwater robots… In the past, these systems were hydraulic. As a result, many countries could produce it. However, a transformation similar to that in the automotive industry also took place in underwater vehicles. The hybrid era has begun in unmanned underwater robots. Soon we will see fully electric systems.
Thousands of hours on the job
Can Emre Maintenance gives another interesting information. He points out that Türkiye is the second country that uses unmanned underwater vehicles most actively in the world. Kaşif-1 has been working on the Fatih Drilling Ship for nearly two years and has served more than 10 thousand hours. On the other hand, Kaşif-2 worked for over 5,000 hours at a depth of thousands of meters on the Kanuni Drilling Ship.
Care states that the Kaşif platform will have very important duties in the process of bringing the gases Türkiye finds in the Blue Homeland to the shore, and said, “We will bring the gas we find in the Black Sea to the shore in 2023. After this point, underwater robots are needed for the monitoring and repair of the pipeline and the operation of the field. In this respect, the number of underwater unmanned vehicles, which we call Kaşif, will probably increase in the coming years and will be used more actively in the field.
It is not affected by embargoes because its software is completely national.
During the search-and-scan activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, we saw how some countries united against Türkiye. Even at that time, they were exposed to very different embargoes, some directly and some covered. We ask Maintenance about this process and wonder about the locality rate of Kaşif.
He mentions that they rolled up their sleeves in Kaşif 1 with a 53 percent locality rate, Maintenance and continues:
“With Kaşif 3, we exceeded the 70% locality rate. In the coming years, this rate will increase even more. Our primary goal was to have the brain of the system local. In this context, we developed all the electronic cards used on the device and the software of these cards completely domestically.
Why is this important? If you can make the software domestic, you can integrate the additional parts you bought from other countries into the system as you wish. If your software is not native and you are faced with an embargo, you will hardly have the opportunity to use the system.
Kaşif has completely local and national software. If we can’t get a part we want from country A, we can procure it from country B and integrate it into the system immediately. This gives us a lot of relief against possible embargoes.”
The export potential of Kaşif is very high
Emre Can Maintenance is of the opinion that the support and contributions of institutions such as the Ministry of Energy and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to localization efforts in this field are very important.
So, what is the Kaşif potential of a product like Kaşif, which has such opportunities and capabilities? General Manager Maintenance gives the information that we can see it on the Explorer platforms in friendly and brotherly countries soon and concludes his words as follows:
“We are making the final preparations for Kaşif-3. After a period of about 2 months, we will move the platform to Taşucu Port and integrate it with Türkiye’s 4th drilling ship waiting there.
Kaşif is a product with a very serious export potential. At the point reached today, we see that the resources on land are very low, and some of them are depleted. In addition, the costs have increased a lot here. As a result, countries turned to the sea. In this context, the works previously carried out in shallow waters have now been transferred to deep waters.
There are gas-oil explorations in the deep sea. But on the other hand, deep-sea mining is coming in very strongly… There is a need for underwater robots all over the world. We have made significant contributions to our country’s resources by localizing a system that would cost millions of Euros more if it was procured from abroad. Our next goal is to export this product and earn a serious foreign currency inflow to our country. Kaşif is a proven product. There are friendly and brotherly countries with which we meet. We can give good export news soon.”
Source TRT HABER