The Turkish Defence Industry which generated exports worth an estimated US$1.68 billion last year, is eyeing the Central Asian defence market as an exciting prospect for future growth.
According to estimates by Turkish defence industry sources, more than 3,000 pieces of military equipment and hardware are now offered for sale and export by approximately 500 companies. Turkey’s top armoured vehicles manufacturers, Otokar, BMC, FNSS and the newly launched RBSS, Turkey-based joint venture between BMC, Germany’s Rheinmetall and Malaysia’s Etika, are aggressively seeking deals, while TAI’s T129 ATAK has attracted significant interest worldwide.
Turkish defence companies have also worked hard to reduce the foreign dependency in their defence products and this has made them attractive to export customers in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Some of the key defence products for the export market are; mine-protected vehicles, land-based remote electronic support / electronic warfare systems, armoured tactical vehicles and coast guard boats.
The export of electronic and electro-mechanical systems, software, management systems, cybersecurity solutions, and flight simulators also have strong potential and the Top Turkish exporters in these fields are Aselsan, Havelsan and STM. Over the last 15 years, the performance of exported defence equipment from Turkey has resulted in repeat orders and there is now a high demand for these equipment.
The open approach towards co-production, technology transfer and joint investment has also resulted in repeated export wins from countries in the region. The export of defence products from Turkey has dramatically increased by 145 percent in the period between 2008–12 and 2013–17 (SIPRI data).