Turkey on the Top 100 List with Five Defence Industry Companies

Date: Issue 94 - September 2019

The most prestigious defense industry list, the “Defense News Top 100 List 2019”, published by Defense News magazine every year based on the previous year’s defense industry sales, was announced on July 23, 2018. Aselsan, Turkish Aerospace (TA), Roketsan,STM and BMC were included on this year’s list. Thus, Turkey stood out with five companies ranking on the list for 2019. The total domestic and foreign defense revenue of the 5 Turkish companies in 2018 was recorded as US$ 4.486 billion.

Having entered the world’s top 100 defense industry companies list for the first time in 2006 and rising from 93rd place, Aselsan maintained its stable upward trend on this year’s list. Ranking 55th on list, Aselsan moved up to 52nd place as Aselsan increased its defense turnover by 26% in 2018 compared to the previous year and raised its defense turnover to US$ 1.792 billion.  Aselsan achieved a defense turnover of US$ 1.424 billion in 2017, US$ 1.195 billion in 2016, and US$ 1.025 billion in 2015, the year in which oil and natural gas prices had fallen sharply.

According to 2018 data, Aselsan’s total turnover, which constitutes 93% of defense sales, was realized as US$ 1.917 billion in 2018. In 2017, the company achieved a total turnover of US$ 1.470 billion, increasing its commercial and military sales by US$ 447 million over a one-year period. According last year’s list, Aselsan increased its total turnover by US$ 227 million when compared to the previous year.

Having ranked 64th in 2018, Turkish Aerospace (TA) fell to 69th place on this year’s list. The defense revenues of the company have decreased in the last two years, while revenues from civil and commercial projects have increased significantly. Accordingly, as per 2018 data, the total turnover of the company was US$ 1.665 billion, while defense turnover was US$ 1.055 billion. The defense turnover of the company declined by 4% compared to the previous year, while structural component manufacturing for civil aviation increased notably. Having entered this prestigious list for the first time from 84th place in 2012, TA obtained an average of 85% of its total turnover from defense revenues during 2012-2017, and this rate dropped to 77% in 2018 and 63% on this year’s list. This indicates that the company will invest more in the manufacturing of structural components within the framework of new strategies, and in light of the recent data, TA has manufactured a total amount of US$ 615 million for the civil aviation market.

STM, another successful Turkish company that entered the Top 100 List for the first time, from 97th place in 2018, ranked 85th this year – up 12 positions from last year. STM realized defense sales of US$ 369 million in 2018 and increased its defense sales by 56% to US$ 563 million in 2019. The total turnover of the company was recorded as US$ 586 million.

Roketsan which entered the list from 98th place in 2017 and ranked 97th last year, with defense revenues of US$ 376 million, rose to 89th place on the 2019 list – up 8 positions from the previous year. Having achieved its total turnover from defense revenues, Roketsan’s defense turnover was recorded as US$ 522 million.

The last Turkish company that entered the list this year was BMC, which manufactures armored vehicles for its domestic and foreign customers. The company’s defense revenues of US$ 298 million in 2017 increased by 86% in 2018 reaching US$ 554 million. Thus, BMC entered the list for the first time in 85th place in 2019.

18 new companies, most of them Chinese, entered the list this year and U.S. Lockheed Martin once again placed on the top, #1on the list as it has last year well.  Lockheed Martin increased its defense revenue by 5% and achieved US$ 50 billion 536 million compared to the previous year, while Boeing, which ranked 5th on the list last year, ranked 2nd with US$ 34 billion 50 million in defense revenue this year. U.S. Northrop Grumman took 3rd place on the list with US$ 25 billion, 300 million in defense revenue, while Raytheon ranked 4th with US$ 25 billion 163 million. Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) was one of the Chinese companies that was new to the list this year , ranking 5th with US$ 24 billion 902 million in defense revenue.

Amongst the top twenty ranking of the Defense News 2019 Top 100 List were 8 American companies, 7 Chinese companies, 1 British company, 1 Russian company, 1 French company, 1 Italian company and 1 Dutch / French company.