Local defense contractors boost exports
ANKARA - Anatolia News AgencyTurkish defense contractors and aviation companies increased their exports by 52 percent in the first 10 months of 2012 over the same period a year earlier, as the volume reached over $1 billion from $661 million in 2011.
Export items include spare parts for aircraft, tanks and helicopters as well as weapons and ammunition that are sold to nearly 100 countries around the world.
Some $230 million worth of spare parts for aircraft and helicopters were sold between January and October, according to data gathered by Anatolia news agency. The sales volume for tanks and armored vehicles amounted to $63 million in the same period. The United States was the top customer of Turkish defense companies, purchasing $396 million worth of mainly aircraft and helicopter parts and electronic warfare equipment. Saudi Arabia came in second with $84 million and the United Arab Emirates ranked third with $76 million. Other buyers of Turkish defense products included Italy, Spain, France and Britain. The highest increase in defense product exports was to Iraq. The export volume to Turkey’s southern neighbor shot up 30-fold in the first 10 months year-on-year, climbing from $1 million to nearly $31 million.
US mission coming
Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Francisco J. Sanchez is set to lead a U.S. Aerospace and Defense Trade Mission of 19 companies to Turkey, between Dec. 3 and 7. The mission will identify opportunities for U.S.-Turkish business partnerships, the U.S: Embassy to Ankara said in a written statement yesterday.