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Turkey approves $5.9 billion defense projects

Staff writer |
Turkey has approved $5.9 billion worth new defense projects of which $4.5 billion will consist of domestic production.

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"We today approved $5.9 billion worth of new defense projects. Around $4.5 billion worth of these projects will consist of local production," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was quoted as saying by Reuters.

He noted Turkish defense industry exports rose 35 percent in the first two months of the year and that the country had made significant progress in developing weaponized drones, when elaborating on the latest developments in the county’s defense industry.

"The mass production of our locally-developed infantry rifles will start by this year. We also assessed the latest developments regarding the production of the joint warplane.

"Our air defense system project will continue without any interruption. Plus, we have reached a great point in drone production as we do not need foreign technologies anymore," he said.

In 2013, Turkey selected, over European and U.S. rivals, a Chinese contender for the construction of its first long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

Last November it scrapped that competition, saying two local companies would instead build the air defense system. A couple of months ago, it invited the same bidders to cooperate with the Turkish companies for the development of the system while unofficially courting for the purchase of a different system.

The Anka, a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone developed by Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI), made its debut flight in February, according to officials.

TAI has also been working on another drone and there are other local companies which have reportedly focused on long-endurance drone production, including Baykar, Kale and Vestel, among others.

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