The national and local products that the Turkish defense industry has developed have provided significant added value to the country's economy, becoming a favorite in the region. The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Defense Industry Sector Assembly Speaker Yılmaz Küçükseyhan said that approximately $2 billion of exports were carried out in 2017, and added: "Defense companies cannot satisfy foreign demand. The aerospace sector aims for $25 billion in exports by 2023. The Turkish defense and aviation industry is among the top-12 countries in global exports and is considered a leader in the region."
Sharing information regarding Turkey's efforts for domestic production in the defense industry, Küçükseyhan said that although the 2017 data is yet to be officially announced, defense industry exports stand around $1.744 billion. He said that management and technology exports are not included in this figure, but that "if these two items are added, the figure will reach $2 billion." Küçükseyhan announced that defense industry production in 2017 will be around $7 billion. "When Defense and Aviation Industry Manufacturers Association [SASAD] was founded in 1990, there were only 12 firms operating in the sector. The number of firms has reached 166 today, showing growth in the sector."
He said that the industry has a rich technological infrastructure: "To the extent that Turkey can nationally achieve developing technological infrastructure technological information package and production information package, it can protect the originality of easily marketing and selling products in accordance with the international legislation. Otherwise, the country with the imported product, which has the smallest input, can object to the use of the product in all aspects. The rate of locality and domestic production that Turkish and foreign companies have signed with the procurement authority extends to 100 percent from 70 percent."
Indicating that equivalent products of all kinds of imported light weapons and ammunition can be produced, Küçükseyhan said that imports of these products should be strictly avoided and needs, including software, should be directed to the domestic supply. "Domestic solutions are created in many areas such as C4ISR, electronic warfare and logistical support elements. We export to Asia-Oceania, the Middle East and Central Asia on the system basis and to Europe and the U.S. within the scope of industry participation offset," he said.
He said that defense, aerospace and civil aviation sectors aim for $25 billion in 2023: "Although this export target looks very big at first glance, we make efforts to achieve it. Currently, the Turkish defense and aviation industry is among the top-12 countries in global exports and is considered a leader in the region. The success we have achieved today is also a guarantee that we will achieve our goal in the future."
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