Defense exports of Turkey beyond record

Defense exports of Turkey beyond record

SAKARYA - Anatolia News Agency
Defense exports of Turkey beyond record

ASELSAN, founded by the Turkish Army Foundation at the end of 1975, is today a major Turkish exporter of defense materials. AA photo

Turkey is expected to break its defense industry export record of 2007 this year, according to Deputy Economy Minister Mustafa Sever.

The nation achieved a growth rate of 1.6 percent according to data announced Dec. 11 and exports have made a major contribution to this growth rate, Sever said at a conference on exports in the defense industry that was held by the Defense and Air Industry Exporters Association at Hotel Richmond in the northwestern province of Sakarya.

Approximately one trillion dollar is spent for this sector all over the world, Sever said, adding that the United States was the leading country to spend on this industry. “Turkey is in 15th place with its $17.7 billion of spending. Due to its location, Turkey has to be a deterrent force in land, sea and air. Within this scope, we’ve focused on research and development activities. The R&D spending, which was below $100 million before 2006, has now exceeded $600 million,” Sever said.

The defense industry has been able to meet 54 percent of the Turkish army’s requirements since 2011, Sever said. “Of course, we are not satisfied with that. We aim to achieve better [results]. Parallel to our 2023 targets, we want to be the sixth biggest country in the defense industry and we must achieve $25 billion worth of exports by 2023 for that. I have no doubt that we will realize this target,” Sever said.

According to Sever, the defense industry is the sector in which export rates increased most, adding that the products in this sector have a considerable added value. Sever also said their projects such as Anka and national tank Altay will be completed as soon as possible.

“I believe that we will produce and export our own aircrafts by 2023. Along with meeting all the requirements of our own army, we also conduct export activities. Our products in this sector have a very high added value, which is very important to us,” he said.

“Currently our exports in the defense industry have exceeded $one billion. We have achieved a considerable increase when compared to the past years. I hope this year we will break the record of 2007 with at least $1.5 billion of exports in the defense industry,” Sever said.