Azerbaijan increases defence imports from Turkey
By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The volume of Azerbaijan’s defence-related imports from Turkey surged 39.85 percent year-on-year in January-February to $88,675,000, the Turkish Ministry of Trade told local media.
In December 2019, export of Turkish defence industry goods to Azerbaijan also increased by 103.03 percent, amounting to $52.672 million. Overall, in December 2019, Turkey’s defence-related exports worldwide grew by 1.9 percent compared to $288,660,000 million.
It should be noted that Turkey exported defence-related products worth $2,74 billion in January-December 2019.
Earlier President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will strengthen the defense industry and become one of the world leaders in the production of defense products.
Azerbaijan and Turkey have stepped up military cooperation in the recent years. The two countries’ armies conduct military exercises with the aim of developing coordination between the armed forces. The joint exercises held in May 2017, brought together 1,000 military personnel, 80 tanks and armored vehicles, 60 cannons and mortars, 12 attack and transport helicopters Mi-35 and Mi-17 and air defense systems.
Azerbaijan has been actively strengthening its armed forces in recent years. It's army is equipped with modern weapons from the best manufacturers.
Azerbaijan ranked 23rd globally for the volume of imports of weapons in 2014-2018. The country spent $22,7bn on defence-related products in 2009-2016, thereby becoming Europe’s largest weapons importer, according to Bloomberg.
Azerbaijan has the strongest army in the South Caucasus, according to Global Fire Power ranking 2020. The country ranked 64th among 138 countries considered for the annual Global Fire Power review this year.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces have three branches: the Azerbaijani Land Forces, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force, and the Azerbaijani Navy. Associated forces include the Azerbaijani National Guard, the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan, and the State Border Service, which can be involved in state defense under certain circumstances.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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