Turkey, which has become a country that sells aircraft platforms with the domestically developed ATAK T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter, is also increasing its export performance in aircraft and helicopter parts.
This positive development in the defense and aerospace industry, which exceeded the export figure of 2017 before year-end, is reflected in aircraft and helicopter parts as well.
The number of Turkish companies working with international companies, such as Boeing, Airbus, Sikorsky and Honeywell, and their responsibilities are growing.
According to Turkey Exporters' Assembly (TİM) data, between January and October this year the sector reached $513.8 million in exports of aircraft and helicopter parts. Imports, on the other hand, were $375 million in the same period.
In the meantime, undertaking important export contracts throughout the year, the defense and aerospace industry has achieved the highest export figure before even seeing the full impact of these developments. The Turkish defense and aerospace industry reached its year-end export target before December, hitting $1.8 billion, official data showed.
The U.S. topped the list in the export of aircraft and helicopter parts with $179 million, followed by Germany with $167 million, the Netherlands with $67 million, Italy with $29 million, the U.K. with 29 million, Poland with $14 million, South Korea with $6 million, France with $5 million, Spain with $2.5 million and Iraq with $2 million.
Meanwhile, exports to Sweden, Mexico, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain exceeded $1 million in this period.
The number of countries that Turkey sells aircraft and helicopter parts worth more than $100,000 reached 32.
In the said period, Turkey imported the most from Italy at $179 million, followed by the U.S. with $122 million and France with $28 million.
Most exports of aircraft and helicopter parts are carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), TÜSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI), Pratt & Whitney Turkish Technic Aircraft Engine Maintenance Center and Alp Aviation.
Turkish companies are providing supplies for many military-civilian aircraft and helicopters, including the new generation cargo plane Airbus A400M, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and Sikorsky and Cougar helicopters.
In addition to exporting parts, Turkey also stands out as an exporter of platforms in the field of aviation.
The domestically developed ATAK helicopter recorded Turkey's largest single defense export when Turkey and Pakistan inked a deal for 30 of them in July. Now, the homegrown helicopter is eyeing the same success with the Philippines. On Monday, a Turkish delegation visited the Southeast Asian country and signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation.
The memorandum of understanding has paved the way for broadening defense cooperation and the trade of military platforms between Turkey and the Philippines. The agreement will also facilitate export of the ATAK helicopter to the country.
Developed by TAI, the ATAK is a new generation, tandem, two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance.
Developed from the combat-proven AgustaWestland A129CBT, the new aircraft incorporates a new system philosophy with a new engine - the LHTEC CTS 800-4A - new avionics, sight systems and weapons, a modified airframe, an uprated drive train and a new tail rotor.
Recently, TAI Corporate Marketing and Communications Head Tamer Özmen said the company applied for a license to export 30 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan, and the firm expects to receive the license in a short while.