The Turkish defense industry seeks to reach beyond its current markets, where it exports about $1.7 billion. After expanding rapidly in the Gulf region, the defense industry's new target is Europe. Nurol Holding, the conglomerate that contains Turkey's largest defense industry firms, is interested in entering EU member county markets starting with Romania. Nurol Makina, a subsidiary of Nurol Holding, has commenced talks with the Romanian Ministry of Economy in pursuit of manufacturing military vehicles. If the talks go well, Nurol is planning to build a manufacturing plant for armored and non-armored 4x4 military vehicles.
Nurol Makine operates with two different companies in the defense industry and produces vehicles such as the Ejder and Ilgaz models. Established in 1976, Nurol Makina has been operating in the first industrial zone in Sincan, Ankara, since 1992, and employs 266 workers.
FNSS, another subsidiary of Nurol Holding operating in the sector, manufactures in partnership with U.S.-based BAE Systems. FNSS was the first private sector establishment in the Turkish defense industry, and 49 percent of FNSS is owned by BAE Systems. A total of 240 employees work in FNSS's Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates operations, and 610 employees work in their production facilities located in Ankara, which was established in 1988. FNSS manufactures PARS vehicles, in 6x6 and 8x8 models.
FNSS conducted their first export back in 1997 to the UAE with 133 units of armored vehicles, and based their production in Malaysia, the Philippines, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, the U.S., Chile and Jordan. Recently, the defense industry recorded its biggest growth in exports with an 18 percent increase in 2014. The Turkish defense industry grossed about $1.65 billion in exports to 150 countries, with exports to the U.S. leading with $547 million, which makes up 33 percent of the sector's exports. Malaysia followed the U.S. with $120 million and the UAE was third with $106 million.