Despite an 11.7 percent contraction in sales in the first quarter of 2017, Turkey's defense and aviation industry has expanded its market to include a new range of countries as export destinations. According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the country's defense and aviation sector had registered exports worth $419.4 million in the first quarter of 2016. However, in the first three months this year exports experienced an 11.7 percent decrease to fall to $370.3 million.
Last year, Turkey's defense and aviation sector had realized $118.6 million worth of exports in January, $136.6 million in February, and $164.2 million in March. This year, however, the export figures were around $100.3 million in January, $122.2 million in February, and $147.8 million in March. In the first quarter this year, the U.S. was the leading exports destination for Turkey with $167.3 million, followed by Germany with $57.7 million and Britain with $12.4 million.
During this period, while the sector showed a significant increase in performance towards some countries, new countries such as Rwanda, the Philippines and India were added to the existing list. While Turkey did not export to Rwanda in the first quarter of last year, about $10 million of equipment was sold in the same period of this year. In the first three months of 2017, Turkey also completed $4.5 million of exports to the Philippines, $5.2 million to Ireland, and $12 million to India.