Turkey is increasingly leading the arms industry

Industrial exports were nearly five billion dollars, a year-on-year record a month before year-end.

Turkey’s military industry broke its previous annual export record with a month left in the year. According to data from the Turkish Exporters Council (TIM), the sector’s revenue reached $4.8 billion between January and November.

Turkey’s automotive capabilities, led by its combat drones, have fueled unprecedented demand, and after a peak of more than $4.4 billion in 2022, this year is one of the new records. Estimates for the end of 2023 now stand at 5.5 billion.

“Due to the initiatives of our defense sector, our exports are increasing exponentially. Our goal this year is to exceed six billion,” Erdogan said at the end of September, citing the enormous growth: two decades ago, arms exports did not exceed 248 million dollars. Turkey currently exhibits about 230 different products in about 170 countries.

In the aviation sector, the country is a leading manufacturer of aircraft structures and equipment and a provider of maintenance services to the world’s leading platform manufacturers.

A profound change in Turkiev’s defense sector was spurred by Western sanctions. Over the past 20 years, the transformation aimed at reducing external dependence on Western arms has been driven by indigenously developed innovative engineering initiatives and technologies.

The thrust led to continued development of domestic air, land and sea bases, which helped reduce Turkey’s external defense dependence by about 80%. Currently, only 20% of security requirements are sourced overseas.

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