Türkiye will allocate TL 1.13 trillion (around $40 billion) to its defense budget in 2024, a presentation by Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz showed Tuesday, marking a 150% increase from this year’s budget, indicating another move to bolster its defense capabilities in the ever-developing sector.
This year, Türkiye allotted around $16 billion for defense and security. Along with raising its budget, Türkiye seeks to boost exports, employment and localization in the defense and aerospace industry through the policies and measures to be implemented in the 2024-2028 period, according to the newly presented “12th Development Plan.”
“Defense industry exports will be increased from $6 billion to $11 billion, and the defense industry’s self-sufficiency rate will be increased from 80% to 85%,” Yılmaz said during a presentation on Tuesday.
According to the development plan, the number of innovative, technology-driven entrepreneurial firms developing high technology in the defense industry is set to increase. In contrast, the large-scale defense industry firms are set to work on boosting the development of domestic supply ecosystems and supporting entrepreneurship.
Among policies to be implemented, platforms boosting cooperation among the sector’s stakeholders and efforts to increase the industry’s global competitiveness are to be established.
With these policies and measures, the defense and aerospace industry’s turnover, which was $12.2 billion last year, is set to reach $26 billion by 2028.
Exports, which gained momentum in recent years and reached $4.4 billion last year, are set to hit $11 billion in 2028 at the same time.
Türkiye’s profound transformation in the defense industry has been spurred by a score of Western embargoes. The transformation since 2002 has aimed at reducing external dependency on Western arms through innovative engineering initiatives and domestically developed technologies and ensuring self-sufficiency.
The drive prompted the development of a range of homegrown air, land and marine platforms and unprecedented demand, particularly for its drones that were exported to dozens of countries in the past couple of years.
Drone manufacturer Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2 drones garnered international interest after they helped swing conflicts in multiple countries, such as Azerbaijan and Libya, and lastly in Ukraine, where they played a pivotal role in countering Russian forces early into Moscow’s invasion.
Among significant projects, Türkiye has this year unveiled its domestically developed 5th-generation fighter named “KAAN,” which is expected to take wing in the upcoming period.