Despite difficulties caused by Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Turkish defense industry kept growing, according to a report published by Sabah.
Ankara fostered a defense industry from scratch now capable of exporting products worldwide while also driving the development of cutting-edge systems, like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
The industry saw its exports soared 34.6% and hit $2.7 billion (TL 20.09 billion) in 2019 from $2.03 billion in 2018. It was the first-time defense exports had surpassed $2 billion. The sector recorded a very successful year in 2020 in terms of exports, despite the pandemic taking a heavy toll on global export chains. Various defense firms separately made statements throughout the year on how they boosted production despite the pandemic. They continue to conduct meetings to ink new foreign sales deals, while some cinched agreements right up to the last days of the year.
On Dec. 31, ASELSAN reported via Twitter that the company has signed a $38.2 million export deal for the sales of command and control systems, anti-tank missile launch systems, inertial navigation systems and firing point detection systems with an undisclosed foreign customer.
Turkish defense companies among Top 100
The Turkish defense industry has made it to the list of top global defense industries with its record turnover in 2020, according to Anadolu Agency.
The number of Turkish companies included in the Defense News Top 100, which is considered to be the most prestigious defense industry list in the world, rose to seven.
Aselsan, Turkey's largest defense firm, was ranked 52nd last year, but this year the company's annual turnover rose by 21% to $2.172 billion and now ranks 48th among the top 50 companies.
TUSAS, also known as Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), BMC, Roketsan, STM, FNSS, and Havelsan are among the companies on the Defense News Top 100 list.
Developments in ""Turkish aviation engines
Strategic developments have also taken place in 2020, particularly in the field of production of indigenous aviation engines. The first national helicopter engine TEI-TS1400 as well as Turkey's first domestic and national aviation turbo-diesel engine TEI-PD170's, used in unmanned aerial vehicles, were delivered to the TAI.
Defense sources were quoted by Daily Sabah as saying that Ukraine is set to provide know-how for different kinds of turbine engines to Turkey and that the establishment of a joint company is on the agenda for the technology transfer.
Engine projects that would be acquired from Ukraine could cover many different products, including UAV engines, frigate turbines and turbofan engines for Atmaca long-range, precision strike, anti-ship cruise missiles, which were developed domestically and tested in 2020.
The first P-72 Naval Patrol Aircraft was handed over to the Naval Forces Command.
Karakulak High-Frequency Estimation and Listening System was introduced by Aselsan, entered the Turkish Armed Forces inventory for the first time.
Turkey's first national armed drone device, Songar, has also been added to the Turkish Armed Forces inventory.
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