Turkey defense industry eyes full national development
"It is essential that we use our own resources in an effective and productive way to make progress in the defense industry field," Fuat Oktay told a summit held by defense firm Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Turkey has a rich history of arms technology from the Ottoman era to the War of Independence, and it maintains this trend to the present day, he said.
Turkey, due to its geopolitical and geostrategic position, needs to improve its defense technologies, as dependence on foreign countries harmed Ankara in the past, said Oktay, citing malfunctioning drones and the arms embargo following Turkey’s 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation.
"In the defense industry, our local production rate increased from some 15 percent to 65. Using the experience we got with the ATAK [T-129] helicopter, for instance, we opened a whole new page with heavy-class attack helicopters," he said.
"In 2023, we will take our first national aircraft out of the hangar, and in 2026 it will be in the sky. In 2031 it will be in the inventory," he added.
Oktay stressed that Turkey's moves on national technology, in line with the country's long-term goals, would continue to improve and develop the defense industry sector in accordance with Ankara’s needs and aims.