Turkish defense giants devote huge budgets to R&D
Managers of Turkey’s largest defense companies underlined the importance of research and development activities during a panel in Turkey’s major defense event.
Speaking at SAHA EXPO, managers said their firms allocate a significant amount of budget for R&D activities.
The four-day event kicked off on Nov. 10.
Temel Kotil, the head of Turkish Aviation Industries (TAI), highlighted that TAI gives great importance to R&D activities, and added that more than 3,000 R&D personnel are employed by the firm.
"40% of the firms budget is consumed for R&D, we employed 7,000 staff during the last five years and around 5,000 of them were engineers," he added.
He said the firm is building one of the two important wind tunnels in Europe now.
"The most important wind tunnel of Europe was built by the Netherlands and Germany, now the second will be in Ankara," he noted.
Haluk Gürgün, the chairman of Turkey’s largest defense firm ASELSAN, said his company has seven different officially-registered R&D centers, where nearly 6,000 R&D staff work.
The firm allocates 7% of the total budget for R&D activities annaully, he stressed.
"Almost a source of $300 million was allocated for ASELSAN’s R&D activities per year," he added.
Mehmet Akif Nacar, the head of HAVELSAN, said his firm invested 434 million Turkish liras (around $62 million) - 7% of the firms’ total revenues - last year in R&D activities.
This year the figure is expected to increase by around 15%, and reach 30% the firm’s total budget till 2023, he added.
Saying that the firm has five R&D centers, he noted it employs some 1,500 R&D personnel, who conduct 91 R&D projects.
Murat Ikinci, the general manager of Turkish missile producer ROKETSAN, said investing in R&D is not an option but it is necessity.
The most important thing for increasing the welfare of the country is R&D, he underlined.
He added that ROKETSAN is one of the three largest R&D institutions with 1,500 R&D staff in Turkey.