Airbus to invest over $5 bln in Turkey by 2030
Turkey and Airbus have maintained a strong and successful collaboration in civilian and military aviation for some 30 years, Turhan added.
Speaking at the ceremony for a retrofit agreement for A400M model aircraft at an airbase in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, Turhan noted that Turkey is Airbus’s fourth-largest customer, with some 270 passenger and freighter aircraft in service with nine local operators.
“Airbus also has interests in seven companies in Turkey. Those investments yield concrete results: Every commercial and military Airbus aircraft flying today has parts produced by Turkish suppliers,” Turhan said.
The minister also underlined that 144 of the total 344 aircraft in the fleet of Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines are Airbus jets.
“Turkish Airlines also placed orders for 84 A321 NEO and 30 A350-900 model Airbus jets.”
The list price of those 114 aircraft to be delivered in batches until 2024 is around $20.9 billion, according to the minister.
Turhan also noted that close cooperation between the aviation company and Turkey’s satellite communications firm TÜRKSAT.
In 2017, Airbus and TÜRKSAT signed a contract to develop Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B satellites.
Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B satellites are planned for in-orbit delivery in the first quarters of 2020 and 2021, respectively.
According to the minister, the newly launched Turkish Space Agency plans to develop commercial as well as research and development ties with Airbus in the period ahead.
Turhan also noted the progress the Turkish defense industry has made over the past years.
“At present, Turkey is carrying out a total of 700 defense projects. The size of the local defense industry - in terms of project volume - has reached $60 billion. Five Turkish companies ranked among the world’s top 100 defense companies,” he said.
The local defense industry’s dependence on foreign sources has declined to around 30 percent from as high as 80 percent, the minister noted.
Turhan also said that the Turkish defense industry’s research and development spending is around $1.5 billion.
“Today, we are producing our own ATAK helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, ALTAY tanks and infantry rifles. Turkey has become one of the 10 countries which design and build warships.”