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Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector Has Managed to Increase Its Exports by 45.5% During the First Six Months of 2021!

Exporting its defence products to over 140 countries around the world, Turkey is targeting to become one of the top six countries in the world in terms of defence and aerospace exports. According to the “Strategic Plan 2019-2023,” document issued by the SSB on December 4, 2019, the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Sector’s annual turnover will rise to US$26.9 Billion, from US$8.761 Billion in 2018, defence and aerospace (both military and commercial) exports to US$10.2 Billion and the local content rate in defence and aerospace projects will reach to 75% by the end of 2023, the year that will mark the first centennial of the Republic of Turkey.

July 05, 2021

Having closed the year 2020 with an exports revenue of US$2.279 Billion (TIM figure, according to SASAD 2020 Performance Report, the total of export revenue in 2020 was US$2.266 Billion), which represents a 16.8% decrease in export of defence and aerospace products compared to 2019, Turkish Defence and Aerospace Industry has managed to increase its exports with considerable figures during the first five months of 2021. As per the monthly export data announced by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), Turkish Defence and Aerospace Industry exports has increased 3.7% in January, 34.1% in February, 74.6% in March, 47.8% in April, 51.6% in May, and 32.6% in June compared to the same period of the previous year, despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Export revenues are expected to increase further in 2021 and even exceed 2019 (US$2.740,144 Billion according to TIM data), which closed at a record high.

According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) data, the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Industry realized US$$166.997 Million in defence and aerospace equipment exports in January, US$233.225 Million in February, US$$246.973 Million in March, US$302.516 Million in April, US$170.346 Million in May and US$221.791 Million in June. According to TIM’s data, while the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Sector achieved some 29% increase in exports in June 2021 compared to the previous month, between January 1 – June 30, 2021, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector has managed to increase its exports by 45.5% to US$1.341.848 Billion compared to the US$922.528 Million realized during the same period in 2020. 

In parallel to steadily, even sharply, increase in export revenues, the total weight of products exported by the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry is also in an upward trend. According to data released by the TIM, while the Industry exported 3.627 tons of defence and aerospace equipment in June 2020, it increased to 5.654 tons in June 2021, represents a 55.9% increase. And between January 1 – June 30, 2021 Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has managed to export around 32.828kg weight of defence and aerospace equipment, which represents around 70.5% increase compared to the same period of the previous year (19.256kg). So as of the end of June 2021, the average price of Turkish Defence & Aerospace export products during the first six months of 2021 has reached US$40.8 per kilogram. 

Turkey emerges as a new arms exporter, providing more efficient, low-cost, combat-proven, and less problematic NATO-standard high-tech products for arms buyers. Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has put 7 firms (ASELSAN, TUSAŞ, BMC, ROKETSAN, STM, FNSS, and HAVELSAN) on the world’s 100 largest defence companies in 2020. According to TIM figures, the list of the top 15 countries that imported defence and aerospace products from Turkey between January 1 – June 30, 2021 is composed of; the U.S.A., Azerbaijan, the UAE, Germany, Bangladesh, Tunisia, the UK, Uzbekistan, China, Jordan, Rwanda, Russian Federation, Qatar, Poland, and the Netherlands.

As in previous periods, the U.S.A. ranked first in the defence and aerospace industry exports from January 1 – June 30, 2021. Exports to this country increased by 67.8% to US$582.084 Million (mainly military and civil helicopter and aircraft parts, component sales realized under offset commitments, and handguns). With a total of around US$163.930 Million in purchases, Azerbaijan the second-largest recipient/importer, followed by the UAE with around US$109.775 Million (represents a merely 3% increase compared to 2020). Germany, with US$79.360 Million ranked 4th in the list. Bangladesh ranked 5th withUS$57.480 Million (represents an 8.191,2% increase compared to 2020 and mainly stemming from ROKETSAN’s delivery of 3 TRG-300 Tiger Guided Artillery Rocket Batteries with 18 Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Systems (on KAMAZ 65224 tactical wheeled vehicle) as well as ASELSAN’s radio sets and MILMAST’s FHM-EM series telescopic mast which host wideband radio communication system antenna, Bangladesh is also said to have the interest to purchase 12 HURKUS-Bs and T129Bs from TUSAS, HISAR-O+ Air Defence Missile System from ASELSAN/ROKETSAN and BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAVs from BAYKAR DEFENCE). Tunisia with US$31.057 Million (represents a 12.201,9% increase compared to 2020 and mainly stemming from a US$150 Million contract awarded during the second half of 2020 and covers the deliveries of 5 Turkish Defense & Aerospace Industry companies’ products including TUSAS’ ANKA-S UCAVs, NUROL MACHINERY’s EJDER YALCIN 4x4 wheeled armoured vehicles and ASELSAN’s electro-optic systems) ranked 6th in the list. These countries were followed by the UK with US$21.677 Million, Uzbekistan with US$21.096 Million, China with US$20.486 Million (represents a 76.577,6% increase compared to 2020), Jordan with US$19.313 Million (represents 5.148,7% increase), Rwanda with US$16.460 Million (represents around 13.603.206% increase compared to 2020 [just at US$12.000 Thousand] and mainly stemming from Katmerciler’s 4x4 HIZIR, ATES and KHAN wheeled armoured vehicles ordered under a EUR39.450 Million contract disclosed on February 1, 2021), Russian Federation with US$14.530 Million, Qatar with US$14.346 Million, Poland with US$13.411 Million and the Netherlands with US$11.817 Million (represents a fall by 59.5% compared to 2020).

According to TIM’s data between January 1 – June 30, 2021, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has exported US$594.965 Million (represents a 66.4% increase compared to 2020) in defence and aerospace equipment to North America/U.S.A., US$153.919 Million (represents a 10.5% decrease compared to 2020) to EU Member Countries, US$33.737 Million (represents a 23.2% increase compared to 2020) to other European countries, around US$158.718 Million (represents around a 12.5% decrease compared to 2020) to the Middle East countries, US$207.226 Million to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, represents a 566% increase compared to 2020), around US$88.080 Million to other Asian countries, around US$71.051 Million (represents a 1.106,6% increase compared to 2020) to African countries and around US$13.437 Million (represents a 62.9% decrease compared to 2020) to countries in the Far East.