Turkey’s defense and aerospace sectors generated exports tipping over $2 billion in value for 2018. This marked the first time that Turkey reached or surpassed the $2 billion export milestone and marked a 17 percent year-on-year increase from the $1.685 billion in exports achieved in 2017. The surge in exports followed four years of relatively flat growth after reaching $1.648 billion in 2014.
The largest market for Turkish defense and aerospace goods was the United States at $726.7 million, followed by Germany at $226.1 million. The largest single market increase occurred in Oman, where exports rose by over 1,000 percent year-on-year to reach $153.4 million.
Turkey has made a point of targeting developing countries in the sub-Saharan, Middle East and Central and South Asian regions as fertile markets for Turkish defense products after long relying upon its NATO partners and Israel as the go-to markets for lower-end Turkish products and hardware. But the increase in defense industrial capability since a sweeping development effort was instituted in the mid-1980s has allowed Turkey to improve its product line beyond rockets, munitions and services to include corvettes and armored vehicles.
The end-goal for Turkey has always been to reduce dependence on outside sources for its own military hardware. Today Turkey’s defense industry provides up to 65% of the systems and hardware used by the armed forces according to Turkish authorities.