Turkish defense industry sets $6B export target for 2023
Türkiye’s defense industry has exceeded its export target in 2022 and is looking forward to reaching $6 billion (TL 112.53 billion) in 2023, which “can also be much higher,” Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) head Ismail Demir said while speaking at the “Defense Industry 2023 Goals” news conference held in Teknopark Istanbul.
“Today, the Turkish defense industry continues its efforts to meet the needs of our security units with domestic resources, with project activities carried out under the supervision of our Presidency, from design to mass production, from R&D and innovation to industrialization policies, and various ecosystem coordination studies that will ensure financing and sustainability,” said Demir, noting that the upright stance and determination in the defense industry accelerated domestic projects against embargoes.
Noting that there are nearly 2,000 companies that operate within the industry today, Demir said: “This is an ecosystem that makes the biggest contribution to our country in terms of economics and added values. We have more than 750 successful projects. As a result, we have reached a turnover of over $10 billion, and exported $4.4 billion worth of products.”
“While domestic products are successfully used in the domestic and international operations of our security forces, we also carry out important activities to meet the needs of friendly and allied countries,” Demir added.
As per information shared by the SSB, the defense industry’s 2023 targets diversified from aviation and space to land vehicles or missiles. Under the aviation and space category, the National Combat Aircraft (MMU), will be taken out of the hangar. The Jet Training and Light Attack Aircraft Hürjet will also make maiden flights. Various flight maneuver tests and ammunition integrations of Bayraktar Kızılelma, Türkiye’s first unmanned fighter jet, will be carried out.
Within the scope of the Özgür project, avionics modernization of current F-16 fighter jets in the country’s inventory will be completed and the aircraft will be delivered to the air forces. The deliveries of the first batch of the Gökbey helicopter will be made to the Gendarmerie General Command. The Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) feature scheduled for deployment with the flagship-to-be Anadolu, will undergo its maiden flight.
With the delivery of the sixth and last P-72 Marine Patrol Aircraft, the Meltem-3 project will be completed.
The KILIÇSAT Cube Satellite, which will enable the domestic LNA module production to make history in space aviation and gather position and route information of ships, will be launched into space.
For naval projects, Türkiye will launch the landing helicopter dock (LHD)-type Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship Anadolu, the largest military ship in the inventory. The Marine Supply Combat Support Ship (DIMDEG) Derya will be delivered to the naval forces.
The Istanbul Frigate, the first of the I Class frigates developed as part of the MİLGEM (National Ship), will be inducted into service. The Piri Reis, the first of the new type of submarines developed domestically, will also be put into service.
As part of land vehicle projects, Türkiye will make the first delivery of the Armored Amphibious Assault Vehicle ZAHA. The Domestic Motorized Shooter, 8×8 Wheeled Container Carrier Vehicles and Amazon armored vehicles will also be delivered to security forces for the first time.
The production of the first Altay tank, meanwhile, which is developed as a main battle tank (MBT), a first in the country, will also be completed, after “localization of some subsystems that are subject to foreign export licenses.”
Other 2023 targets of the Turkish defense industry under the air defense, weapons, missiles and ammunition category include inducing the long-range air defense and missile system Siper into service. The first deliveries of Bozdoğan In-Sight and Gökdoğan Over-Sight Missile will also be made in 2023.
The country is set to start to integrate the Gökdeniz Close-in weapon system (CIWS) into ships. Şimşek Target Aircraft will be delivered with cruise missile configuration for the first time, and mass production of the submarine torpedo, Akya, will begin.
In electronic systems, the AESA radar will be used for the first time in an Akıncı UCAV and the country will start its integration with F-16s for the first time. The F-16s will perform duties by integrating the locally developed Electronic Warfare Pod and Electronic Support Pod.
The first deliveries of the early warning radar system Eralp will also be made.
Mert Portable Electronic Attack Systems will be available for the first time.
All installations will be completed within the scope of the City Security Management System and License Plate Recognition System Project.
Demir further commented that they achieved the defense industry sector’s targets in 2022.
“We have made various deliveries to meet the needs of our security forces locally on land, in the air, at sea, in cyberspace, from platform production to air defense systems, from various weapons and ammunition to missiles and electronic warfare systems. We worked without leaving any gaps in every field we needed. That included a series of issues, from communication and information technologies to various engine types, from military equipment and equipment production to R&D and training activities,” he said.