aerospace industry product exports of Turkish manufacturers have soared
by 11.5 percent in the first three months of the year in spite of the
fall in March. The United States still dominates the arms exports but
the sector eyes to expand the variety of destinations as well as the
Turkey’s defense and aerospace industry exports in the first quarter
have surged by 11.5 percent compared to the same period last year,
reaching $272.2 million, with 39 percent of these exports going to the
United States. The chairman of the defense and aerospace industry
exporters union has said the year-end target is $1.5 billion.
the overall 10.2 percent fall in exports in March on a yearly basis,
Turkish arms manufacturers managed to raise their exports by 11.5
percent, thanks to the 33 percent increase in the first two months of
the year, according to data provided by the Turkey Exporters Assembly
The U.S. received the highest share of defense industry
exports with $105.2 million, while Bahrain was second with $24.7 million
and Italy followed them with $17.8 million.
$1.5 billion target
and Aerospace Industry Exporters Union Chairman Latif Aral Aliş said
the sector had been on the rise in recent years and exports had been
steadily soaring. Nevertheless, they still eye even higher rises. The
sector’s exports, which amounted to $600 million between the years 2008
and 2010, rose to $800 million in 2011 and soared to $1.3 billion in
The target for 2013 has been set at $1.5 billion, as Turkey
seeks ways to spread its success in exports of land vehicles,
communication systems, as well as electro optical and light weapons.
the completion of necessary infrastructure and financial systems, we
plan for at least 5 percent of Turkey’s overall exports to be in
defense, aerospace and security products, systems, platforms and
services in twelve years,” Aliş said.
The share of these industries among Turkish exports was 0.8 in the first quarter of 2013.
defense industry’s largest export items include plane and helicopter
parts, turbojets, tanks and armored combat vehicles, civilian passenger
planes, and rocket launchers, Aliş added.
Eyes on Africa
are still more grounds to overcome … The important thing is to present
the essential solution in various ways and with a wide range of
financial opportunities. We repeat this from time to time: the system is
globally settled and even trying to challenge this requires a lot of
effort,” he said.
Turkey also aims to expand the variety of its
export markets to Middle Asia and the Far East. Africa is expected to
join the high-priority markets of the defense and aerospace sectors,
Alış also said.
Turkey ranked the 24th largest arms exporter in
the world in 2012, according to data recording major arms transactions
worldwide collected by the Stockholm International Peace Research
Meanwhile, the same data showed Turkey had become the fourth-largest conventional weapons importer in the world.
Local helicopter plans
The tests of the first six of Turkish attack helicopters, the ATAKs, are
about to be completed and they will be delivered by this summer,
Defense Industry Deputy Undersecretary Faruk Özlü said yesterday.
ATAK, Turkey’s first attack helicopter, is one of Turkey’s three giant
national helicopter projects. One of the other projects is the Turkish
Utility Helicopter Program, on which Turkish arms manufacturer Turkish
Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been holding talks with the American aircraft producer Sikorsky for the manufacture of around 109 helicopters.
other program is the Indigenous Helicopter Program, which vows to
produce locally designed, 5-ton helicopters for the use of police
department and civilian