By Vugar Khalilov
Turkey made a revolution in the defense industry in the last 19 years, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the opening ceremony of IDEF21, Turkish media reported on August 18.
Addressing the ceremony, Erdogan stressed that Turkish defence industry has significantly reduced its foreign dependency since 2002.
He said that the defence budget has grown from 5.5 billion dollars to 75 billion dollars and the number of defence products has increased from 62 to 750 during the past 19 years.
Erdogan underlined that the number of defence industry companies has also increased from 56 to 1500 with 11 billion dollars annual turnover.
“Our defense industry now has its own unique products in a wide range thanks to its main contractors, subcontractors with advanced capabilities, SMEs, research institutions and universities, which are in the top 100 list in the world”, he said.
Erdogan stated that Turkey is not only self-sufficient, but also one of the main providers of the defence industry products for its friends and allies.
The president said that Turkey’s defense and aviation exports, which were less than 250 million dollars earlier, have already surpassed the 3 billion dollars.
The factor behind this success is that the state allocated over 1.5 billion dollars to research and development in the defence industry field, he added.
“We are among the top 3-4 countries in the world, especially in the design, production and sales of armed unmanned aerial vehicles that have actually proven their success in the field”, said Erdogan highlighting Turkey’s UAV production.
He stated that Turkey is willing to invest in innovative projects and to produces advanced vehicles on the basis of artificial intelligence.
Addressing the ceremony, the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar also stressed the importance of artificial intelligence and robotic systems in the future development of defense technologies.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz