By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR :Turkey's dynamic and versatile defense industry is putting on a grand show at the Defense Services Asia 2022 (DSA) show in Kuala Lumpur.

The country’s defense industry has not just grown but prospered under the policies implemented by the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fact that is on full display here with a range of impressive products on offer.

While Turkey's drones have made headlines for having changed the balance of power in several recent conflicts, the country of course offers a variety of other defense and security systems, from high quality pistols and rifles, precision munitions and a variety of aircraft.

With over 60 companies present, the Turkish delegation is the largest present, with well-known brands such as munitions producer Roketsan, small arms manufacturer Canik Arms and aerospace giant Turkish Aerospace featuring prominently among others.

Turkey’s defense industry has boomed in the last decade. In 2010, Turkey had one company on the list of Top 100 Global Defense Companies. Presently it has seven—more companies than Israel, Russia, Sweden and Japan combined.

The country has transitioned from importing 70 percent of its military hardware to 30 percent. Concurrently, the Turkish arms industry grew from $1 billion in 2002 to $11 billion in 2020, more than $3 billion of which were exports, making Turkey the fourteenth largest global defense exporter.

With such a variety to choose from, a sampling of the major manufacturers and some of their products will help highlight some of the exciting developments underway.

Turkish Aerospace

Nothing captures the imagination like military aviation and Turkey, after having developed and exported a variety of effective drones and putting the final touches on its own domestically developed supersonic advanced trainer and light combat aircraft.

A representative of Turkish Aerospace explained why of all systems, achieving self-reliance and independence in military aviation is among the most crucial for any country seeking to have freedom of action in today's increasingly complex geopolitical climate.

"Turkey recognises that the best way to secure it's national interest is to develop a strong domestic defense and security industry. With the policy implemented by the government, we have seen the positive results and now Turkey makes a range of products on its own, for domestic use and export. This has been a success.

"But now we need to take it further and focus on aerospace which will allow Turkey to develop and produce key technologies in the sector," he said.


Naturally no army can hope to fight a war if it has the most cutting edge defensive and offensive weapons systems if it lacks the munitions for those systems to be able to carry out their tasks.

Incorporated in 1988 to establish the nation's industrial base on missile technology, Roketsan Roket Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S. better known as Roketsan has quickly risen to become one of Turkey's top 500 industrial corporations and has built an impressive and extensive portfolio of munitions.

These range from small-diametr precision guided bombs delivered by drones such as the MAM (Mini Akıllı Mühimmat, meaning Smart Micro Munition) family of GPS/INS and laser-guided smart munitions to the J-600T Yıldırım (Thunderbolt), a conventional ballistic missile system, some variants of which can rech out to strike targets 2,500 km away.

Roketsan also is developing and protruding surface to air missile systems such as the HİSAR (Fortress) is a family of short, medium and long-range surface-to-air missile systems and the Cirit is a laser-guided 70 mm missile system, which is fired from attack helicopters and ground vehicles used against armored targets and enemy infantry.

Canik Firearms

Small arms are the backbone of any military force, the weapons that soldiers around the world carry on their person whether to defend themselves or attack the enemy. It is unimaginable that any military force would not be equipped with these, the most basic of the tools used in warfare.

Having long developed a reputation for quality and innovation, Canik produces a variety of firearms but its fine line of pistols are what draws the eyes of professionals whether as training accessories, competition and sporting applications, civilian self defense and naturally for military service.

Canik’s TP series are some of the finest side arms available, not only incorporating new alloys and other materials but as a sign of the times, are factory built to accept optical sighting devices such as red-dots as well as sound suppressors.

Light, durable and handy, these weapons have been adopted by a variety of military and police units in Germany, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland and Canada just to name a few. With many of these countries being manufacturers of their own firearms including small arms, the capability of Canik’s pistols cannot be denied, having beat out local competition