Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 21, said, “In many fields of the defence industry, we now have national technologies. We successfully eliminate many internal and external threats by means of domestic and national production. If we needed someone else’s support in Afrin, we would not be at this point, now.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony in Ankara.
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“Yet we need to be able to manufacture unmanned tanks, and we will do this,” he added.
The Vision for 2023 for the centenary of the Republic of Turkey, declared by Erdogan, is a list of goals that includes ranking in the top 10 economies in the world and becoming a self-sufficient state in terms of defence.
There are many private companies and public enterprises working on producing high-tech military equipment such as ASELSAN, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Havelsan, Roketsan, TUBITAK, Baykar, Tusas and FNSS Defence Systems.
Turkey has three companies among the world’s 100 largest defense industry companies, Altunyaldız said. “ASELSAN, TAI and ROKETSAN are impressive regarding production and exports. The defense industry has reached a production capacity of over $6 billion per year today, up from $1.3 billion in 2002, and an export capacity of $2 billion, up from $248 million.”
Altunyaldız said that production and research and development (R&D) are the two elements that stand out and that have played an important role in the development of the defense industry.
There is currently TL 24 billion of R&D spending in Turkey, Altunayldız said, adding that TL 5 billion ($1.33 billion) of that amount was made in the defense industry.
“R&D expenditures in Turkey in 2016 increased 20 percent compared to the previous year to TL 24.6 billion. Compared to 2010, this figure has grown over twofold. Sixty percent of workers in this industry are engineers and technical staff,” he added.
He also said that out of 100 companies working in the defense industry around the world, three are Turkish firms and there is a very rapid increase in R&D spending and exports.
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