Türkiye eyes $10B in defense exports: Vice president

Türkiye eyes $10B in defense exports: Vice president

Cevdet Yilmaz addresses opening ceremony of 16th International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) - Türkiye eyes its defense exports to soon exceed $10 billion, the country's vice president said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, Cevdet Yilmaz said Turkish defense exports totaled $2.4 billion in the first half of 2023, and are expected to reach $6 billion by the end of the year.

The IDEF, one of the largest global defense events, which will continue until Friday, is exhibiting a range of defense products including land vehicles, weapons, simulators, radars, sonars, naval platform solutions, aviation systems, missiles, logistic vehicles, supply equipment, and security systems.

Yilmaz said Türkiye is located in a geography where conflicts are intense, adding that "past experiences show Türkiye's independence depends on the design and production of defense products."

The Turkish defense industry is a large ecosystem that develops its own products with its worldwide contractors, SMEs, research institutions, technology and industry clusters, he added.

The vice president said Türkiye had a defense industry budget of approximately $5.5 billion in 2002, which has now reached $90 billion.

Pointing out that the sector has 3,000 companies and more than 80,000 staffers, Yilmaz said: "The number of our national defense projects has increased to around 850."

He said Türkiye is among the top three countries in drone technology, and among the top 10 which produce warships.

"We are ready to offer the knowledge, experience and technology we have gained in the defense industry to the benefit of our friends," Yilmaz said. "We are not a country that shows jealousy and stinginess like others."

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