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Strategic Capability of TÜBİTAK-SAGE: Thermal Battery

TÜBİTAK Defence Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE), one of the leading organizations of the Turkish defense industry, is achieving significant gains thanks to studies in the field of Thermal Battery

Thermal battery produced by TÜBİTAK-SAGE are the heart of smart ammunition. They are used both in products developed by the Turkish defence industry and foreign countries. TUBITAK-SAGE, which has produced 38 different thermal battery so far, has saved 91 million USD, and critical information regarding these products has not gone abroad.

The successes Turkey achieved in thermal battery technology that power smart ammunition during flight is not used in products developed by the Turkish defense industry only. TÜBİTAK-SAGE has exported these products to a number of critical countries, including Germany. In addition, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank stated that in recent months, a pre-order has been received from an EU country after Germany.

What is Thermal Battery?

A thermal battery is a single-use electrochemical power supply that is widely used as the main power source in guidance kits, rockets, missiles, decoys/jammers, guided artillery ammunitions and aircraft ejection seat systems. There is no alternative to thermal battery in military applications where requirements such as wide operating temperature range, long shelf life, being maintenance-free during shelf life, rapid triggering, non-exhaustion, high reliability, resistance to harsh environmental conditions, and high energy density must be met at the same time.

TÜBİTAK-SAGE Director Gürcan OKUMUŞ, recently made a statement about thermal battery: “The heart of all the products we have talked about so far is our thermal battery. As TÜBİTAK-SAGE, while working on system development projects, we also work on sub-systems. Thermal batteryis among the most critical of these subsystems. Thermal batteries are the systems that provide the energy of all the ammunition we are talking about after they leave the plane. It is a technology owned by only 3-4 countries around the world, therefore we cannot easily obtain these from abroad. This technology was developed by TUBITAK-SAGE in Turkey, and at the moment, thermal batterİES are not necessary for only TUBITAK-SAGE’s own products but for all products in the defense industry. Thermal batteries developed by TUBITAK-SAGE meet these needs. It is a strategic product, a must.”


These statements by Mr. OKUMUŞ, help us understand better how thermal battery are a critical subsystem. Keeping critical information domestic, economization and exports are definitely important parameters. However, there is a much more important situation here: “Embargo”. According to the information I have obtained from some external sources, thermal battery also received their share of the implicit embargoes on the Turkish defense industry a while ago. Following this, TÜBİTAK-SAGE stood out as a domestic supplier and invalidated the embargo.

SOM Cruise Missile

In fact, it is necessary for me to hand it to the thermal battery team of TÜBİTAK-SAGE here… Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the center where the production activities of thermal batteries were being carried out. Indeed, a highly specialized team continues its production and R&D activities tirelessly. The product portfolio is really wide and the achievements are even bigger than you can imagine. Moreover, comprehensive studies also continue. The excitement they feel for their work is evident from the eyes of our engineers and technicians who carry out these activities and the way they describe them. In my opinion, the secret of this success lies within the excitement and the wonderful “frequency” between engineers and the executives.

It seems that Turkey’s thermal battery developments that are being carried out by TUBITAK-SAGE, will be effective in the export market in the future.

Author: Anıl ŞAHİN   |   Source: TurkishDefenceNews.com

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