What is Defense Industry?

The defense industry is an industry responsible for the production and sales of weapons and military technology. When we look at the last century, Turkey is one of the countries that have developed the most in the field of defense industry. Turkish Defense Industry develops day by day with the investments of the government and companies. It also exports new technology products to many countries.

The defense industry provides research and development of equipment and facilities as well as military materials. Government institutions also contribute to the defense industry by trading weapons, ammunition and other military tools and equipment. The defense industry operates in logistics and operational areas as well as in the arms industry.


Development of Turkish Defense Industry

Turkish Defense Industry made a great breakthrough in the 1980s. The arms embargoes experienced in the 1970s were effective in this breakthrough. Moreover, meeting the needs of the TAF is the determinant of the developments. However, no effort was made to introduce the defense industry products that emerged in the 1980s to foreign markets. In the period that started in 2006, it created projects to provide support from all sections of the public in foreign sales.

After 2006, Turkey implemented “feasibility studies” in the defense. These studies include the use of domestic main contractors. It also developed projects in terms of performance, time and resources. Later, as the need could not be met, the risks that had to be taken were eliminated.


  • The first goal is to meet the needs in a safe and stable manner with national means.
  • Second is to establish a competitive, self-sufficient, flexible, defense industry system integrated with the country’s industry.
  • Moreover, to actively participate in international cooperation activities in the fields of joint production-design and R&D.
  • Finally is the acquisition of the necessary infrastructure and technological and managerial capabilities for these.


It is the primary duty of Turkish Defense Industry to meet national defense and security needs by developing effective domestic solutions. Thus, an attempt is made to establish a defense industry infrastructure with international competitive power. In addition, the defense industry plays an important role in the preparation for European Union membership. For this, supporting the defense industry exports and developing defense industry cooperation activities are among the tasks.


Developments in the Last Decade

In 2010, Turkey aimed to meet the critical technologies and design capabilities domestically to the maximum extent. Therefore, it focused on original design programs in the country. It managed industrialization, technology and procurement programs that would ensure the development of the country’s defense and security capabilities. In this direction, it has gained competence in defense and security technologies that will prepare the TAF for the combat environment of the future. In addition, it offered the technologies and equipment it produced to foreign markets.

The defense and aviation industry turnover, which was 1.3 billion dollars in 2002, increased to 6 billion dollars. Defense and aviation exports increased from $ 247 million to about $ 2 billion. R&D expenditures increased from 49 million dollars to 1.25 billion dollars. In addition, three Turkish defense companies have taken their place among the top 100 defense industry companies in the field of defense and security in the world.

Between 2014 and 2018, the defense industry gained a competitive structure. Defense system and logistics needs were met in integration with the country’s industry. With the use of appropriate technologies for civilian purposes, the rate of indigenousness increased. The share allocated to R&D has increased. In 2018, the Presidency of Defense Industries became stronger by organizing its establishment, duties, powers and responsibilities.

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