Turkey to boost defense ties with Oman, UAE
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Oman is particularly interested in Roketsan, Turkey’s missile maker, according to a procurement official.Turkey is seeking to bolster defense industry ties with Oman and the United Arab Emirates as part of efforts to boost defense industry cooperation with Islamic states following a recent high-level visit to the two countries.
“Oman is particularly interested in the products of [Turkey’s missile maker] Roketsan, [the private armored vehicle maker of] FNSS and [the ammunition maker] MKEK,” said one Turkish procurement official. A team consisting mainly of officials from the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) visited top officials from the two countries under the direction of Deputy Defense Minister Kemal Yardımcı last week.
“They are also interested in our gun boats,” said the official, adding that the total value of the systems in which Oman has expressed serious interest amount to several hundred million dollars.
UAE interested in Turkey
“In the UAE, a top company is interested in investing in one of our defense companies,” the official said.
The UAE is already a leading country with whom Turkey has strong defense ties. FNSS, a major Turkish armored vehicle maker, is in talks with Al Jabir, a UAE company, to conduct the joint production of armored vehicles. Kaya Yazgan, secretary general of the Defense Industry Manufacturers Association, has said there are Islamic countries dealing with the Turkish defense industry, whose exports are believed to have been well over $1 billion last year.
Turkey’s defense exports amounted to 250 million dollars seven years ago and surpassed the 1 billion figure a year for the first time in 2010.
The Turkish Defense Exporters Union said Islamic countries topped Turkish defense exports last year. The union’s list includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United States, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Italy as Turkey’s main 10 buyers; eight of the countries are Muslim.
Among Islamic buyers, Saudi Arabia buys armored vehicles, military radios and rocket systems, while Turkmenistan purchases small navy vessels made by the Yonca Onuk and Dearsan shipyards.
“Actually, you can find Indonesia, Malaysia and Qatar among Turkey’s real and prospective buyers,” said one Turkish procurement official. Last year, Turkey sold armored vehicles worth $600 million to Malaysia in the largest single defense export and is seeking to sell U209 and U214 submarines to Indonesia in partnership with Germany’s HDW shipyard. k HDN