ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey plans to boost its defense and aerospace exports to $10.2 billion by 2023, from $2 billion in 2018, according to a government document.
The “Strategic Plan 2019-2023,” released by the country’s procurement agency, SSB, is also aiming for the annual revenue of the defense and aerospace industry to rise to $26.9 billion in 2023, from $6.7 billion in 2018.
Also by 2023, domestic industry will meet 75 percent of military requirements, up from 65 percent in 2018, according to the plan.
To his these targets, the government plans to restructure its defense export incentive system. In addition, Turkey is to launch a government-to-government sales scheme, whereas SSB will open defense export promotion agencies in 20 countries.
Other critical targets detailed in the document include switching to a new procurement model; prioritizing programs that minimize dependency on foreign-made systems; and supporting models that bolster Turkey’s ability to compete in high-tech markets internationally.
Since coming to power in 2002, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sharply increased local input in defense procurement. The government’s strong priority to drop off-the-shelf procurement options and instead go for indigenous design and production has produced scores of local programs including drones, naval vessels, armored vehicles, helicopters, trainer aircraft, a new-generation main battle tank and an ambitious program to locally build a fighter jet.
But an Ankara-based defense analyst warned that some of the government’s targets do not look feasible.
“Take the export target, for instance,” the analyst told Defense News. “The original export target for 2023 was $25 billion. Now they have come down to a still-difficult $10.2 billion. That’s a long way from the current level of around $2 billion.”
Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.