Turkey nearing $4 billion in annual defense exportsBy Burak Ege Bekdil
Jul 19, 07:19 PM
ANKARA — Turkey’s defense and aerospace exports in the first half of 2022 reached a record high of almost $2 billion, up 48 percent from the same period in 2021, official statistics revealed on July 19.
According to the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM), Turkish exports may come close to or exceed the $4 billion mark by the end of 2022, an annual all-time high.
“The rise in exports, which came after two years of decline during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, should be attributed primarily to aerospace, and home-made drones in particular,” said Ozgur Eksi, an Ankara-based defense analyst. “These numbers tell us that the Turkish industry’s dependence on local sales is diminishing and exports are helping Turkish companies to become self-sufficient.”
Turkey has supplied 96 drones to international clients, including Poland, the first European buyer of the famed TB-2, developed by Baykar Makina. Defense industry officials say potential buyers of Turkish-made drones include the United Kingdom, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovakia, Uruguay, and Albania.
According to SaSaD, an umbrella organization for Turkey’s defense and aerospace manufacturers, total business in 2021 reached $10.1 billion. Exports totaled to $3.2 billion, exceeding imports, at $2.6 billion, by 23 percent. Turkish companies won new orders worth $8.5 billion in the same year. The industry employs 75,000 people and spends $1.6 billion annually on research and development.
About Burak Ege Bekdil
Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.
“The rise in exports, which came after two years of decline during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, should be attributed primarily to aerospace, and home-made drones in particular," one Turkish analyst said.