Turkey's defense exports have now exceeded $1 billion, representing a 43 percent increase from 2008 while the country has exported one-third of its production, Turkey's Defense and Aerospace Industry Exporters' Association (SSİ) said Oct. 4 Hurriyetdailynews reported .
The defense industry has gained speed in production and exports in recent years, SSI Chairman Latif Aral said. "The export volume at $600 million in 2008 has risen to 1.3 billion today. We are exporting one-third of the sector's production," he said, adding that they had set a goal for exports to reach $1.5 billion by 2023.
Aral said Turkey had become a country that was able to manufacture and export a large part of its defense equipment such as helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, warships, training aircraft and missile guidance systems.
The United States tops the list of Turkish export destinations, followed by the European Union, the former Soviet Union and Middle Eastern countries.
Aral also said 2013 would be an important year in terms of cooperation with small- and medium-sized enterprises. The sector is being supported by the economy and defense ministries to raise exports, he added.