Turkish defense industry exports grew 27% last year 10/01/2024 | Fabio Di Felice

Following last month's Turkish Exporters Assembly’s report, President Erdogan announced that the country's exports reached a new all-time high in 2023 despite global challenges, local crises, and devastating earthquakes striking the region.

Nested in this terrific data, Ankara’s Defense and aerospace exports reached $5.5 billion in 2023 (TL 163.8 billion), up 27.1% from the previous year. The results have been confirmed by the Turkish President of Defense Industries, Haluk Gorgun, who confirmed that the total value of contracts signed by the national defense companies in 2023 reached $10.2 billion.

Throughout the year, these exports had been led by the defense industry worldwide excelling in exports of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), armored vehicles, naval platforms, helicopters, ammunition, and weapon systems. Turkey exports more than 230 defense industry products to approximately 170 countries, strengthening its markets in many of them and gaining new customers during the entire year. The highlight of 2023 was the signature of the largest defense export contract in Turkey's history with Saudi Arabia by unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer Baykar. According to President Gorgun, the top 10 Turkish exporters contributed to nearly 80% of the total export revenue, in detail:

- Baykar (drones): $1.8 billion

- Turkish Aerospace Industries (aerospace systems): $864 million

- Machinery and Chemical Industry (ammunition, explosives, and guns): $439 million

- Tusas Engine Industries (aerospace engines): $337 million

- BMC (military vehicles): $255 million

- Roketsan (missiles): $161 million

- Ram Dis Ticaret (military vehicles): $160 million

- Pratt & Whitney’s Turkish Technik (repair and overhaul services): $111 million

- Aselsan (electronics): $108 million

- Samsun Yurt Savunma (aerospace and firearms): $104 million

In terms of products, some significant new exports had been reported during 2023: local UAV turbodiesel engine PD170’s first export, the 8 contracts signed for the Bayraktar AKINCI, the first export of the BAHA and TOGAN UAV to Africa, and the first-time export of the domestically developed fixed-wing strike (kamikaze) UAV system ALPAGU. The sector also signed production contracts for tanks, helicopters (ATAK), land and sea air defense systems, as well as the first international delivery of the HAKIM Air Command and Control System developed by Aselsan. Thus, confirmations came from the already exported Baykar's unmanned aerial vehicles – Bayraktar TB2 (armed ISTAR) and Bayraktar AKINCI (UCAV) – which exceeded 10 international customers.

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