Sabah – Turkey’s exports of defense related materials are taking off with a steep climb thanks to the recent investments in high-tech and the availability of skilled engineering capability, according to the chairman of Turkish Defense & Aerospace Industry Exporters' Association (SSI). On its way to be a major contributor to the country’s overall exports, the defense industry plans to reach a figure of USD 1.5 billion by the end of this year, SSI Chairman Latif Aral Alis said.
The industry sold over USD 738 million worth of defense products in the first 8 months of 2012 to countries all over the world, including the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq and Italy. Aircraft and helicopter parts, as well as electronics, were exported to the US, largest customer of the Turkish defense industry with a share of nearly 40 percent. Speaking of recent projects, Alis said that Turkish companies are developing an unmanned naval vessel for the Malaysian Navy. “Creating a high added value by utilizing latest technologies in the defense industry contributes a great deal to Turkey’s economy. Turkey is in a position to dramatically increase its defense exports in the near future to become one of the top six defense exporters in the world. We aim to reach an exports volume of USD 25 billion by 2023…” SSI Chairman added.