In just two decades, Türkiye has made significant strides in its defense industry, reducing its foreign dependency from 80% to 20%, the country’s president said on Sunday.
Speaking at the delivery ceremony of new Altay tanks to the Turkish Armed Forces for tests in the northwestern Sakarya province, Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted Türkiye’s goal to be “fully independent in the defense industry.”
“We have reduced the foreign dependency in the defense industry from around 80% to some 20% in such a short time as 20 years. The number of defense projects, which was merely 62 in 2002, has today surpassed 750,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish leader also said that while Türkiye's total budget for defense projects was $5.5 billion in 2002, now it has reached a $75-billion project volume, including the ones in the bidding process.
Erdogan stressed that behind every product developed in the defense industry lies years-long efforts, patience, work, and financial power.
“This is how each of our UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles) – which stand out all across the world today – and our armored land vehicles, warships, frigates, and missiles, as well as other systems, which are greatly admired, have emerged," he added.
Türkiye has become a supplier country for the defense industry, with its products used by many armies, the president also underlined.