Defense industry ‘needs real growth in expenditures for new capacity, planning, investment,’ says Baykar CEO
NATO defense ministers have met with representatives of various defense industry firms, including from Türkiye, in Brussels on the sidelines of the two-day gathering.
Representatives of 26 defense companies from the US and Europe were invited to join a meeting in Brussels, where Türkiye was represented by National Defense Minister Yasar Guler.
The meeting was held on Thursday on the margins of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting that focuses on stepping up support for Ukraine amid an ongoing war with Russia and strengthening deterrence and defense.
The defense ministers are also preparing for NATO leaders’ summit to be held in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on July 11-12.
Baykar and Roketsan were the companies invited from Türkiye, with CEOs Haluk Bayraktar and Murat Ikinci, respectively, representing the firms at the reception.
During the talks, increasing production, ensuring supply chain continuity, and boosting cooperation were discussed.
Ukraine and the EU were also among the participants of the meeting.
Defense industry needs real growth in expenditures: Baykar CEO
“During the meeting, which aimed to support collaborations to enhance the defense production capacities of NATO members, we shared our thoughts on the future of our industry,” Bayraktar said on Twitter.
The Baykar CEO also said he pointed out that NATO’s share of expenditures is gradually decreasing while global defense spending is increasing.
NATO, he said, has lost 10% of its share of spending to China, Russia, and India in the past 20 years, but its expenditures “have only grown by a modest 2% in real terms since 2000.”
He added: “The defense industry, which supports the global security understanding, needs real growth in expenditures for new capacity, planning, and investment.”
For his part, Ikinci expressed his pleasure to be one of the representatives of the Turkish defense industry in Brussels.
“We have no doubt that the breakthroughs Türkiye has made in the field of defense are as valuable for the allied countries as they are for our country,” he said on Twitter.
Since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on allies to increase defense production.
Meanwhile, some NATO members’ arms stockpile is reportedly dwindling due to the military support to Ukraine.