The defense and aerospace industry, which offers technology-driven solutions to Turkey's needs, is improving its performance in overseas markets as well.
According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) data, the exports carried out by the defense and aerospace industry soared by 24.9 percent year-on-year in December, reaching $253 million – the highest monthly export figure seen throughout the year.
The export performance of the sector in 2018 increased by 17 percent compared to 2017. The industry broke its own record of $1.7 billion in November and moved the record to $2.03 billion at the end of the year. The defense and aerospace industry, whose export performance has been hovering around $1.5 billion to $2 billion for some time, exceeded the threshold of $2 billion for the first time.
With a 17 percent export performance, the defense and aerospace industry exceeded main industrial sectors of ready-to-wear clothing and apparel, automotive, ship and yacht, electrical electronics and services, cement, glass, ceramic and soil products, air conditioning and other industrial products last year.
The industry's exports stood at $1.2 billion in 2012, $1.3 billion in 2013, and $1.6 billion in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The U.S. took the lead in Turkish defense and aerospace industry exports at $726 million last year, achieving a 5 percent rise. The U.S. was followed by Germany at $226 million with an 8 percent upsurge compared to the previous year.
Defense and aerospace industry exports to Oman, which preferred to strengthen its inventory with Turkish armored vehicles, seen a noticeable increase, up to $153 million last year from $13 million in 2017. Exports to Qatar, which also supplies a range of Turkish defense industry products, especially armored vehicles, went up by 241 percent, reaching $83 million. Also, exports to the Netherlands skyrocketed to $75 million with a 455 percent rise. Despite a 33 percent fall, India was one of the countries at the top of the list with an export of $71 million.
The export of Turkish defense and aerospace industry products to Azerbaijan surged by 86 percent, reaching $63 million followed by the U.K. at $53 million , Poland at $51 million France at $46 million the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at $35 million and Ukraine at $32 million.