Istanbul set to realize potential in arms sector

Istanbul set to realize potential in arms sector

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Istanbul set to realize potential in arms sector

This file photo shows a ‘Kirpi’ model armored military vehicle produced by BMC. AA photo

Turkey wants to benefit from the nation’s industry in a bid to produce all needs of the Turkish Armed Forces domestically, Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar said yesterday at the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (İSO) to lure more members of the chamber to join defense projects.

Noting that the defense industry is mainly located in the Central Anatolia and particularly Ankara, he said, there is an effort to increase the domestic contribution in the defense industry.

“We want to benefit from the power of the nation’s industry. We need to widen the circle [of the local defense industry in terms of geography]. We have arrived at Istanbul after Eskişehir, Konya and Sakarya. Ship building projects were assumed in Tuzla in recent years,” he said, adding that the total turnover in defense projects has hit $2 billion making the government one of the largest employers in the region. “But the industry of Istanbul has much more potential,” he said.

Turkey used to produce licensed armed F-16 fighter jets, but now it has started to carry out design and technology engineering in projects such as national tanks, he said, noting that the private industry should take part in the mass production of arms. He also emphasized the importance of possessing all rights of a defense product to export it without boundaries, unlike in licensed products.

Speaking at the seminar İSO Chairman Tanıl Küçük said the goal of the government is to become one of the world’s top 10 defense industries by 2016 and increase the defense and aeronautics exports volume to $2 billion and total turnover of defense sector to $8 billion. Defense industry is a significant impetus for a country’s growth and development, he added.