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Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector Has Managed to Increase Its Exports by 51.6% During First Five Months of 2021!

Having closed the year 2020 with export revenue of US$2.279 Billion, which represents a 16.8% decrease in export of defence and aerospace products compared to 2019, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has managed to increase its exports with considerable figures during the first five months of 2021.

June 15, 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.

Having closed the year 2020 with export revenue of US$2.279 Billion, which represents a 16.8% decrease in export of defence and aerospace products compared to 2019, the Turkish Defence & 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 & Aerospace Industry exports has increased 3.7% in January, 34.1% in February, 74.6% in March, 47.8% in April, and 51.6% in May 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 & 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$302.548 Million in April, and US$170.347 Million in May. According to TIM’s data, although the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Sector experienced a 56.5% decrease in May 2021 compared to the previous month, during January 1 – May 31 of 2021, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector still managed to export a total of US$1.120,091 Billion (represents a 48.3% increase compared to the US$755.272 Million realized during the same period of last year) worth of defence and aerospace products.

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, during January 1 – May 31 of 2021 Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has managed to export around 27.177kg weight of defence and aerospace equipment, which represents around 74% increase compared to the same period of the previous year (15.629kg). So as of the end of May 2021, the average price of Turkish Defence & Aerospace export products during the first five months of 2021 has reached US$41.2 per kilogram.

Providing more efficient, low-cost, combat-proven, and less problematic NATO-standard high-tech products for arms buyers, Turkey emerges as a new arms exporter. Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has managed to 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 16 countries (with over US$10 Million worth of purchase) that imported defence and aerospace products from Turkey during January 1 – May 31 of 2021 is composed of; the U.S.A., Azerbaijan, the UAE, Germany, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Jordan, the UK, Rwanda, Qatar, Russian Federation, Poland, Oman, the Netherlands, and China.

As in previous periods, the U.S.A. ranked first in the defence and aerospace industry exports from January 1 – May 31 of 2021. Exports to this country increased by 65.8% to US$476.173 Million (mainly military and civil helicopter and aircraft parts, component sales realized under offset commitments, and handguns). With a total of around US$135.889 Million in purchases, Azerbaijan the second-largest recipient/importer, followed by the UAE with around US$97.394 Million (represents a 20.9% increase compared to 2020). Germany, with US$58.571 Million, ranked 4th in the list. Bangladesh ranked 5th withUS$57.827 Million (represents a 9.882% increase compared to 2020 and mainly stemming from ROKETSAN’s undisclosed number of TRG-300 Tiger Guided Artillery Rockets and 18 Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Systems as well as ASELSAN’s radio sets for these vehicles, 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$22,734 Million (represents a 26.711% 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 Uzbekistan with US$20.975 Million, Jordan with US$19.232 Million (represents 19.102.5% increase), the UK with US$17.165 Million, Rwanda with US$16.460 Million (represents around 13.603206% increase compared to 2020 [jus at US$12.000 Thousand level] and mainly stemming from Katmerciler’s 4x4 HIZIR- ATES and KHAN wheeled armoured vehicles ordered under a Euro39.450 Million contract disclosed on February 1, 2021), Qatar with US$14.321 Million, Russian Federation with US$13.880 Million, Poland with US$12.968 Million, Oman with US$10.154 Million, the Netherlands with US$10.149 Million (represents a fall by 62.4% compared to 2020) and China with US$10.117 Million (represents a 37.768.3% increase compared to 2020).

According to TIM’s data during January 1 – May 31 of 2021, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has exported US$485.687 Million (represents a 63.9% increase compared to 2020) in defence and aerospace equipment to North America/U.S.A., US$121.173 Million (represents a 20.7% decrease compared to 2020) to EU Member Countries, US$28.287 Million to other European countries, around US$145.341 Million (represents around a 14.2% increase compared to 2020) to the Middle East countries, US$176.951 Million to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), around US$74.461 Million to other Asian countries, around US$61.207 Million to African countries and around US$10.300 Million (represents a 71% decrease compared to 2020) to countries in the Far East.