In these recent years, the Turkish Defense Industry’s development and its exportation rates gain big momentum. Efforts to build up Turkey’s defense industry date back to the 1970s. With Cyprus Crisis and embargoes of Washington made an urgent wake-up call for Turkey to produce its defense technology. Because before the crisis Turkey was relying on NATO and other countries for a long time. The companies started to develop in Turkey and the government established the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) in 1985 to re-organize the sector. Since then Turkish Defense Technology continues to develop itself.

Turkey increased its expectation about exports and the development of the defense industry for the next years. According to the SSB, the government aims to “make the Turkish defense industry 100 percent independent by 2053, increase its export capacity to $50 billion, and have at least 10 Turkish defense companies among 100 biggest companies in the world.”

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Report

   Last year according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Turkey is the world’s 14th largest defense exporter. In 2019, Turkey’s exports were mostly for the United States of America. The Ten States of exports are: 

  1. The United States of America: 595 million 248 thousand dollars  with an increase of 17.08 percent
  2. Germany: 184 million 776 thousand dollars with a 9.67 percent increase
  3. Oman: 180 million 356 thousand dollars with a 35.78 percent increase
  4. Qatar: 138 million 753 thousand dollars with a 1336.56 percent increase  
  5. United Arab Emirates: 96 million 454 thousand dollars with an increase of 1763.88 percent
  6. Netherlands: 62 million 269 thousand dollars with an increase of 10.81 percent
  7. United Kingdom: 44 million 647 thousand dollars with a  4.29 percent increase
  8. India: 40 million 445 thousand dollars with a  23.64 percent decrease
  9. Poland: 30 million 356 thousand dollars with a decrease of 20.53 percent
  10. France: 23 million 127 thousand dollars with a 44.05 percent decrease

 The Turkish Defense Technology caught the eyes of the public and other states with the operation of the Turkish military in Syria at the end of February 2020. Because Turkey used many types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, especially “Bayraktar TB2 Armed Tactical UAV” to explore the areas, observe and shoot the targets. It was very successful. We will be taking a look at some of the Turkish Defense System’s UAVs and their qualifications. 

  1. Alpagu by STM 

Alpagu is fixed-wing tactical loitering and attack UAV solution engineered for anti-terror and asymmetric warfare scenarios. It can be deployed and operated by single personnel. It can be easily used for exploration (reconnaissance) and observation (surveillance) to neutralize threats within a tactical range of 5 km.

2. Anka Multi-Role AUV System by Turkish Aerospace

Anka is an advanced Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class Unmanned Aerial System that can perform day and night, all-weather exploration, target detection/identification. It has a remarkable protection system for all-weather types and environmental conditions and it allows operational security and ease.

3. Arı-1T

Arı-1T, Rotary Wing Mini Unmanned Aerial System, is a lightweight system that provides military operations as an observation and exploration.  It can carry an Electro-Optics Payload to provide a near real-time video stream to the Ground Control Station up to a range of 15 Km.Air Platform is capable of vertical take-off and landing from marine platforms on the move, hover, as well as forward flight at altitudes up to 10,000 feet density altitude.

4. Bayraktar Aerial Vehicle Systems by BAYKAR 

a. Bayraktar Akıncı Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System

has a 40,000 feet service ceiling and 4.5 tons of take-off weight. The aircraft platform equipped with two turboprop engines and critical payloads such as EO/IR camera, AESA radar, Beyond Line of Sight (satellite) communication and electronic support systems, enabling a longer endurance and advanced reconnaissance and attack capability.

b. Bayraktar TB2 Armed Tactical UAV 

It has a medium-altitude, long-endurance- class UAS purposed for reconnaissance operations. With its triple-redundant avionics systems and sensor fusion architecture, it is capable of the fully autonomous taxi, take off, cruise, landing. The Armed Bayraktar is further capable of delivering up to 4 smart munitions and precise targetting is available by onboard laser designation.

Turkey has various types of air platforms and UAVs in defense industry race. In this particular article, I wanted to state and explain the important and active part of the Turkish Defense Industry. In the next article, we will be taking look at other air platforms, their qualifications, and their achievements.   

[1] https://www.mei.edu/publications/challenges-threaten-rise-turkeys-defense-industry


[3] https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2019/2/25/testing-the-turkey-qatar-military-partnership

[4] https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2019/ekonomi/savunma-sanayi-ihracati-rekor-kirdi-5371940/


Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations.
Posts created 7

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