The aerospace and Defense Industry have been on the rise in recent years, and it is not only in Turkey but also all around the world. It employs many people in the world as a result of huge production numbers. Today, the Turkish aerospace and defense industry has been producing %60 of its own needs while %40 comes from international companies.

In the table below, you will see the top 25 Turkish defense and aerospace companies with their turnovers (2015), who are significant players in the sector, and some of those companies are among the top 100 global companies in this industry as well.

Here you can read more about the first 10 companies in the sector:

  • ASELSAN was established in 1975 to meet the communication device needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. It is an organization of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation. It completed its investment activities in a short time and started production in Macunköy, Ankara facilities in early 1979. With more than 6,000 employees and a qualified engineering team, ASELSAN devotes 7% of its annual turnover to R&D activities financed by its equity.
  • TURKISH TECHNIC is Turkey’s national flag carrier and the airline company, Turkish Airlines’ maintenance, repair, and modification center. Turkish Technic Inc.’s facilities are located at the headquarters of Turkish Airlines at Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), Atatürk Airport (IST) and Esenboğa Airport in Ankara. The international brand name is the Turkish Technic.
  • TAI (TUSAŞ) (TAI – Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.), the design of aerial platforms in Turkey, development, production, completion, and technology center in the field of regeneration and after-sales service. The company manufactures parts for the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, and the military transport aircraft, the Airbus A400M. Besides, the company started to produce ailerons for the Airbus A350, which made its first flight in 2013.
  • TEI was established in 1985 by TUSAS and other partners for the assembly and maintenance of F110-GE-100 engines of F-16 aircraft. Turkish partners are TUSAŞ, TSKGV, and THK. The other partner is American General Electric. The transfer of the production technology of aircraft engine order established under the leadership TUSAŞ and TEI also serves customers from outside the country.
  • ROKETSAN is a defense industry company established in 1988 with the decision of the Defense Industry Executive Committee to lead national rocket and missile research and production programs. Since its establishment, Roketsan has been designing, manufacturing, training, and operating personnel in line with the needs of missile/rocket systems, including design and technology infrastructure development projects, product development and production programs, launch platform, and command units. ROKETSAN has become the most competent institution in Turkey with all the things mentioned above and logistic support to meet the needs of the system.
  • FNSS is the first private sector organization for the defense industry in Turkey. 51% of FNSS is owned by Nurol Holding and 49% by BAE Systems. The company was established in 1986 for the design, production, and sale of Track and Armored Combat Vehicle families and Weapon Systems for the use of the Turkish Armed Forces and the Allied Armed Forces. FNSS, which started its first production in 1990, has produced and sold over 4,000 armored combat vehicles to date. Apart from Turkey, the company has offices in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia.
  • MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Company) is the state organization that meets all the weapons, ammunition, rockets, tools, and equipment needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. As of January 1, 2016, the Agency has 5548 employees and exports to more than 40 countries in the world. MKEK’s turnover target for the year 2020 is 1 billion dollars.
  • STM (Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş.) was established in 1991 by the decree of the Defense Industry Executive Committee. The company is to provide system engineering, technical support, project management, technology transfer, and logistics support services for the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Under secretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).
  • OTOKAR is a Koç Holding subsidiary that produces minibusses, buses, armored vehicles, trailers, light trucks, and off-road vehicles. Otokar is a 100% Turkish-owned company and the leader in the bus sector, the defense industry, and motor vehicles in Turkey. Otokar has served as the prime contractor in Turkey’s national main battle tank Altay Period-1.
  • HAVELSAN was established in 1982 to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces in the field of Software Engineering. In 1985, the company had separated from its foreign partners and had become an organization, 98% of which belongs to the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation. Havelsan has developed itself in C4ISR, Homeland Security, Simulation and Training Simulators, and Information Management Systems. This branch of the CASA CN-235 aircraft produced for pilot flight training simulator and simulator has been exported abroad as a first in the country’s history.

Some important projects in the aerospace and defense industry

TF-X fighter jet project

The total cost of the agreement signed with British BAE Systems is about 125 million dollars. According to the agreement, BAE Systems will work with TUSAŞ to develop TF-X National War Plane of Turkey. Rolls Royce has demanded to be the manufacturer of the engines of TF-X warplanes, which will be produced under the partnership of Turkish and British companies. BAE Systems has signed a framework contract with TAI for the first step of the plane’s designs. For the production of the TF-X’s engine, KaleAero is also aspirant.

ATAK Multirole Combat Helicopter project

T129 ATAK Helicopter is a joint production of TUSAŞ and AgustaWestland. Two engines by Rolls Royce and Honeywell joint productions are used in the helicopters. System designs were made by ASELSAN and TÜBİTAK. In February 2019, Defence Industries (SSB) signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) to develop a heavy class attack helicopter based on the ATAK. The new helicopter will be called ATAK-II.

UAV – ANKA Project

Turkish Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – TUSAŞ engineers designed ANKA, and they have been manufactured with the support of many subcontractor companies. The vehicle was rolled out from the hangar in TUSAŞ facilities on July 16, 2010. Their radar systems were produced by ASELSAN, and ROKETSAN manufactured the weapon systems.

Ranking of Turkish Companies in the world lists

The major players of the Turkish aerospace and defense industry have found their place in the world’s top 100 defense companies, and since 2009 they have been climbing up in the list. ASELSAN has been on the list since 2009, and the company entered the list from 93rd place, and in 2017 they rose to 57th place. TAI has also started from the 83rd place, and in 2017 they rose to 61st place, and ROKETSAN entered the list in 2017 from the 98th place.

Partnerships in the sector

Although the Turkish companies have been working perfectly well, developing and maintaining important projects on their own, they also have been working as partners with many local and international companies as well. In the table below, you can see the most significant partnerships of Turkish companies with their domestic and international partners, which are created to sign much larger projects together.

If you would like to read more about the sector, you can take a look at our article about the aviation and defense industry in Turkey.

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