Turkish officials said Tuesday the enhancing defense industry with domestically developed military equipment and vehicles has been contributing to the country’s economy and increasing the deterrent power of the Turkish military. Speaking at a panel organized by ASELSAN, Turkey’s leading state-owned company in the defense industry, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said indigenousness and domestic production are vital for Turkish firms to ascend to the top ranks in the sector. “Also, if a country’s defense capabilities are not derived from its own resources, you cannot maintain national security to the full extent,” Akar said.
“Also, if a country’s defense capabilities are not derived from its own resources, you cannot maintain national security to the full extent,” National Defense Minister Akar said.
In recent years, Turkey took a noticeable leap forward with innovative engineering moves in the defense industry and domestically-developed military equipment and combat vehicles in almost all fields of warfare, most notably the Altay Main Battle Tank, the ATAK T-129 Tactical Attack and Reconnaissance Helicopter and the ANKA unmanned aerial vehicle as well as other air and land platforms developed by Turkey’s leading private defense companies, primarily the TB2 Bayraktar developed and manufactured by Baykar Makina.
Pointing out that some Turkish companies have entered top 100 defense industry firms worldwide, Akar said Turkey’s own sufficiency rates have almost reached 70 percent; while Turkish defense and aviation industry exports have surpassed $2 billion last year.
According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) data, the export performance of the sector in 2018 increased by 17 percent compared to 2017. The industry broke its own record of $1.7 billion in November and moved the record up to $2.03 billion by the end of the year. The defense and aerospace industry, whose export performance has been hovering between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, exceeded the threshold of $2 billion for the first time.