ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s defense and aerospace industry exports have maintained their steady rise, posting a 37.5% increase in 2022, according to new industry figures.

SASAD, an umbrella organization for Turkey’s defense and aerospace exporters, said that total exports in 2022 reached $4.4 billion, up from $3.2 billion in 2021.

Ozgur Eksi, an Ankara-based analyst, attributed the rise in demand mainly to land systems and drones. “That’s all good news, but Turkey needs more exports to sustain its local industry, in view, especially, of research and development activity,” Eksi said.

The SASAD report, revealed on July 13, said the Turkish defense and aerospace industry sector reached $12.2 billion in revenue in 2022, a 20% increase over 2021.

The report highlights a rise in all defense and aerospace sectors. It said the research-and-development investments rose to $2.1 billion in 2022 from $1.6 billion, a 26% yearly increase.

Eksi, who leads the media outlet TurDef, predicted that exports would rise exponentially once Turkey’s ambitious indigenous programs reach serial production phase.

“Combat-proven is the key word to penetrate into new markets,” he said. “Most Turkish programs are moving ahead with delays before serial production.”

Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Presidency for Defense Industries recently said its export target for 2023 was $6 billion.

The SASAD report described the breakdown of Turkish defense exports by sector as follows:

  • Land systems: $835 million.
  • Naval systems: $561 million.
  • Air systems: $546 million.
  • Weapons, ammunition and missile exports: $ 534.86 million.
  • Security equipment: $65 million.
  • Maintenance, repair and operational exports: $86 million.
  • Other: $371 million.

Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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