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SaSaD - The Competitive Power of Turkish Defence and Aerospace Industries

The Defence and Aerospace Industry Manufacturers Association (SASAD) was established in 1990 in Ankara by 12 major companies active in the defence industry, with the encouragement and support of the Ministry of National Defence. In line with the amendment to its statute in 2012, the SaSaD added the civil aviation and space industries to the sectors it represented and adopted the title “SASAD Defence and Aerospace Manufacturers Association”. 

SASAD has been conducting its activities with the mission of fulfilling the demands of the Turkish Armed Forces with indigenous products, enabling the development of sector players in defence and aerospace and contributing to their competitive power in the global markets.  

The number of members in the association has reached 197 as of April 2019 and SASAD provided support for the establishment of clusters and cluster associations by gathering together small and medium scaled companies that are the keystones of the technological infrastructure according to their regions and capabilities, gathering them under its umbrella.  

SASAD acts as an interface between manufacturer companies, users and procurement authorities. It is the nongovernmental organization representing the industry in our country and foreign countries. 

The international defence industry fair IDEF is a market where the products of our country’s prestigious defence and aerospace industry products are displayed. Since 1995, this event was being held biannually in Ankara, but due to the lack of convenient facilities for a fair and since Ankara is not available for the demonstration of naval platforms , and in addition to its attraction the event has been organized in Istanbul since 2009.

Without doubt, Istanbul being selected for IDEF has especially attracted foreign companies and increased the participation of companies from Istanbul and the regions surrounding the city. On the other hand, this creates a problem particularly for the small and medium scaled companies with insufficient financial structures. Therefore, increasing incentives and support of IDEF and similar fairs in an internal sense and support for similar international events would be beneficial.  At minimum, a provision of support for stands and transportation fees would spark an increase in participation.

We assess the exclusion of the industrialists in the planning of the fair organization as a major deficiency. Taking into consideration the fair output report, prepared at the end of every fair by the planners and the timely execution of required regulations would also increase participation. 

2018 Turkish defence and aerospace industries data was collected and evaluated by SASAD. As a result of these assessments, the consolidated data of the member institutions and associations and the industry’s performance of 2018 were reported and published to public and private authorities. 

The collected data includes the topics of turnover, export, import, orders received, product development – technology development and employment. The total figures are summarized in the table below based on the increases and percentages.

With a turnover of US$ 8.7 billion in 2018, exports of US$ 2.188 billion and the orders received, which amounts to US$ 12 billion and the budget spent from its own resources on R&D and technology, the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Industry’s competitive power increases every year and the industry gives the impression that it will continue to develop.

The Defence and Aerospace Awards of 2018 were delivered to the companies selected amongst major companies, small and medium scaled companies at the plenary session held on 19 April 2019. The decisions were made according to the individual performance of the companies, institutions and associations assessed based on accumulated data.