Turkey’s defence industry is experiencing tremendous growth, as the country set a record $4.4 billion in arms exports in 2022, surpassing the annual defence budgets of some European nations. With 2,000 companies operating in the sector, the country’s defence industry had a turnover of $10 billion in 2021. This trend is the result of Ankara’s two-decade project, in which the state continues to invest heavily in local firms, to create a modern and self-sufficient defence sector. Turkey aims to raise its defence exports to $6 billion in 2023 after exceeding this year’s export target.
According to The Turkish News Portal, The country’s military production, which is still small compared to major players such as the US, Russia, and China, has won great attention for the effectiveness of its weapons, such as the Bayraktar drone. Drones, in particular, have helped improve ties internationally, particularly with “states such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, and even establish new ties with various other countries such as Poland, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.”
Turkey’s presence was unmistakable at IDEX, the Middle East’s largest arms fair, held in Abu Dhabi in February, with massive pavilions showcasing a range of equipment. In addition, Turkey’s defence manufacturers say they have secured orders to help replenish NATO stockpiles and are also counting on high demand from the Turkish military alone, which is the second largest army in NATO after the United States.