Turkey to eliminate defense supply dependence by 2023

Defence & Security News - Turkey
Turkey to eliminate defense supply dependence by 2023
In a speech at the inauguration ceremony of the Radar and Electronic Warfare Technology Center, launched by Turkey's leading state-owned defense system producer, ASELSAN, in Ankara, Erdogan said: "We plan to eliminate external dependency on defense equipment supply with ongoing projects and investments by 2023. We will not allow the use of any ready defense equipment without our being involved from design to production".
Turkey to eliminate defense supply dependence by 202335mm self-propelled cannon vehicle of Aselsan Korkut air defence system at IDEF 2013

ASELSAN's $157 million (€148 million) new facility in Ankara's Gölbasi district will employ more than 1,200 people, including 776 engineers, who will work on the development of radar and electronic warfare systems for land, air, sea, aerospace and unmanned platforms.

In his opening remarks, ASELSAN's board Chairman Hasan Canpolat said that the company ranked fourth among the fastest-growing companies in the defense industry worldwide. According to Canpolat, the company employs more than 30,000 engineers and collaborates with more than 24 leading universities in the region. Canpolat noted that with this new plant, Turkey's dependence on foreign resources for radar and electronic wartime systems will decrease, and Turkey will become one of the few countries that are capable of design and production in this field. He added that while ASELSAN continues to invest in research and development, technology and labor, and the company currently accounts for 34 percent of the Turkish defense industry's R&D activities as well as 4 percent of commercial R&D activities in Turkey.

Turkish defense producers aim at boosting exports to $25 billion (€23.5 billion) by 2023 from $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) last year, according to the undersecretary for defense industries.

The top export items were aircraft, helicopter parts, engines, armored land vehicles, speed boats, missiles, rockets, launch platforms, light weapons and electronic systems, including transmitters, simulators, sensors and software.

Ankara spent over $1 billion (€942 million) on defense, research and development in 2014.

Turkey's defense spending was TL 29.4 billion ($13.2 billion, €12.4 billion) this year, according to the Defense Ministry.

Turkey is currently negotiating a $3.5 billion (€3.3 billion) deal for a long-range air and anti-missile defense system, including local production, with suppliers from China and Europe. The country plans to spend around $70 billion (€66 billion) on military equipment by 2023, when the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the modern republic.