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Turkish arms pioneer CANiK buys British defense firm AEI Systems

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Turkish pioneering gun maker CANiK announced Thursday it had completed a purchase of well-established British defense company AEI Systems, in a move that promises to make Türkiye a major player in manufacturing medium-caliber weapons.

The merger of CANiK’s new-generation technology-backed high production capacity and AEI Systems’ 60-year knowledge of medium-caliber weapons was announced at a reception at the Consulate General of the United Kingdom in Istanbul.

The synergy will see cannons, which will be produced in high quantities both in the U.K. and Türkiye, be offered on remote-controlled weapon systems to the service of land, air and sea platforms of all friendly and allied countries, a statement by CANiK said.

Known as one of the leading light weapons manufacturers in the world, CANiK now seeks to have a say in the production of medium-caliber cannons, which are becoming widespread and gaining critical importance in the world.

The United Kingdom approved its acquisition of AEI Systems in December 2022, the statement said.

Britain’s Consul General and Trade Commissioner for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Kenan Poleo, hailed the partnership, which he said would bring many opportunities in new and existing markets.

“I know that both the United Kingdom and Türkiye are open to doing more together, supporting each other and opportunities that will bring advantages for both countries,” Poleo told the event.

For his part, CANiK General Manager C. Utku Aral said AEI Systems would continue to be a brand in medium-caliber weapons. He noted that the development, production, and assembly activities at the company’s facilities in the United Kingdom will increase.

“In five years, we aim to increase the annual sales revenue of medium-caliber cannons to over $100 million,” said Aral.

He also emphasized that Unirobotics, one of the company’s subsidiaries, will support AEI Systems’ operation.

“Unirobotics offers innovative and competitive weapon tower integration solutions that provide high-tech and necessary functions for medium-caliber cannons,” he noted.

Aral cited the remotely controlled stabilized weapon system TRAKON 30 equipped with a 30×113 mm cannon as the first result of these solutions.

“Due to its ability to launch various ammunition and low recoil, the 30×113 mm cannon can be integrated with all platforms, including 4×4 land vehicles and small boats, using a remote control or operator-controlled bearings,” he said.

“Although the use of 30×113 mm cannon in land and sea vehicles has been increasing in recent years, these weapons have long been the basic weapon of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and have become an important force multiplier, especially with their capability of firing high explosive ammunition,” Aral said.

In addition, Aral stated that they would achieve new momentum in exports with AEI Systems.

“We believe that the 30×113 mm cannon is a critical product for both Türkiye and the United Kingdom. After the integration of the cannon and Unirobotics’ TRAKON 30 mount, we will start to collaborate with all major platform manufacturers we are currently working with,” he noted.

“With the acquisition of AEI Systems, we have completed all of our investment planning for the next five-year period. From now on, we will invest in developing and producing products, rather than acquiring companies.”

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