Aircraft and spacecraft production in Turkey has reached approximately 1.8 billion dollars as of 2019. It is predicted that the market will double its size in 10 years, with an annual average growth of 8.6% until 2030. Turkey plays a key role in global defense industry production. Our country has made remarkable progress in the defense and aerospace industry in the last 15 years.
Total personnel employment in the Turkish defense and aerospace industry is 67 thousand people. The fact that the employment in the sector is dominated by engineers at the rate of 24 shows the intensity of technological production, design and development activities.
Defense industry exports are one of the fastest growing areas in Turkey. Turkey’s export revenue per unit in this area is well above the average export unit value. While Turkey has an export volume of approximately 2 billion dollars in the sector, nearly half of this is carried out to our deep-rooted trade partners, the USA and Germany.
With the National Space Program, the doors of a new era in the Turkish aviation industry were opened. Together with the defense industry, which has shown a rapid development in recent years, the aviation sector, which has created an important knowledge and technology accumulation with projects such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), armed unmanned aerial vehicles (SİHA), domestic and national helicopter GÖKBEY, domestic and national missile HİSAR, is now is preparing to produce and export space technologies.
Space studies gained momentum in Turkey as space became the top political and economic agenda in the world. Having gained important capabilities in this field with communication and earth observation satellites in the 2000s, Turkey has turned to the goal of creating an ecosystem in this field with domestic and national policies. In 2018, the Turkish Space Agency (TUA) was established under the Ministry of Industry and Technology. With the National Space Program announced in the past days, reaching the moon with a national and original hybrid rocket at the end of 2023 in the first stage, and landing on the moon with national rockets in the second stage were determined as targets. The tenth and final goal of the program is to send a Turkish citizen into space.
East Marmara Machinery Manufacturers Specialized Organized Industrial Zone (DOMİ OSB), whose establishment activities continue in Sakarya, has determined its main field of activity as space and aviation. Making a statement on the subject in the past few days, Sakarya Governor Çetin Oktay Kaldirim announced that DOMI OSB, which will be established on a total area of 315 hectares and will become the new production center of strategic sectors, will include especially defense, aviation and space cluster companies. Kaldirim said that they aim to provide employment for 15 thousand people with an investment of approximately 14 billion 700 million TL in more than 200 industrial parcels in DOMİ OSB.
It is foreseen that Turkey’s aerospace ecosystem will expand rapidly in the coming period and many investor companies will start working in this field. This means that industrial zones such as HAB OSB and DOMİ OSB will become widespread throughout Turkey, and new investments in this field will come one after another. TEKNOHAB IS ESTABLISHED In Turkey, steps are being taken to accelerate the technological development of the space and aviation industry and to establish the R&D infrastructure. TeknoHAB Technology Development Zone, which is planned to be established within HAB OSB, is planned to be the technology base of the aviation and space industry. TeknoHAB, which will be established on an area of 203,535 square meters with the partnership of SSTEK, ASELSAN, TUSAŞ, HAVELSAN, HAB OSB and Gazi University, is considered one of the most important steps in the creation of the space and aviation ecosystem in Turkey. In TeknoHAB, where R&D, software and design activities will be carried out, the Production Technologies Center of Excellence (ÜRTEMM) and the Additive Manufacturing Technologies Application and Research Center (EKTAM) will be implemented.
On the other hand, while many companies, large and small, develop projects in the field of aviation and space industry in technology development zones, the number of which exceeds 80, the leading companies in this field are establishing their own R&D centers. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), one of the leading companies in the sector, launched its R&D center in the ULUTEK Technology Development Zone, affiliated to Bursa Uludağ University, in 2019. ASELSAN, whose number of approved R&D centers has increased to 7, also has studies on air and space technologies. ROKETSAN’s Satellite Launch Space Systems and Advanced Technologies Research Center, which was established last year, is an important infrastructure for the aviation and space industry.
According to the statement made by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), the company, which delivered the first finished product in 2014 in the process that started with the shipment of detailed parts for the «Airbus A220 Fixed Trailing Edge» in 2012, has delivered a total of 200 aircraft kits to Spirit so far he did. TAI aims to deliver a total of 1770 aircraft sets within the scope of the project.
TUSAŞ General Manager Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil said, «We have added a new milestone to our deliveries that we have realized within the framework of our cooperation with Spirit, one of the catalyst brands of the world aircraft structural sector. We are excited to deliver the 200th critical parts for the Airbus A220 aircraft. Our strategic cooperation with Spirit goes back many years. I congratulate all my colleagues who have contributed to both Spirit and TAI and wish our strategic cooperation to continue increasingly.»