Turkey’s defense exports totaled $1.4 billion in 2013, marking a 10 percent rise from the previous year, Turkey’s Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association (SSİ) has said.
“While the country’s overall exports saw a stagnant year in 2013, defense and aerospace exports witnessed remarkable progress,” SSİ head Latif Aral Aliş was quoted as saying in a statement released by the association.
Aliş recalled that Turkey’s defense exports had seen a 43 percent increase from 2008 to 2012, during which time one-third of total production was exported. He said the sector’s 2014 objective was to reach $2 billion, with a 44 percent rise.
The momentum in 2013 was mainly achieved by the local defense manufacturer Tusaş Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), which undertook $537 million of overall exports.
The TAI is the maker of Turkish attack helicopter ATAK, indigenous trainer aircraft Hürkuş, and the country’s first indigenously built UAV Anka, and its exports constitute 40 percent of overall exports, Aliş stressed, dubbing the TAI a “source of pride” for Turkey.
He also noted that the United States, the world’s top defense industry manufacturer, topped the list of countries buying Turkish defense programs.
According to the ranking provided by Aliş, the Turkish defense sector’s top export markets are North America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the European Union, the Caspian region, Gulf countries and Southeast Asia, respectively.
With the plane and helicopter sectors at the top, the exports included plane engines, armored land vehicles, sips and speed boats, missiles, rockets, launching platforms, light weapons and electronic systems including transmitters, command and control systems, simulators, sensors and practical software.