The defense industry is becoming Türkiye’s flagship industry

by time news

2023-11-30 22:56:19

It was a surprising wish that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had with him on his recent visit to Berlin: the purchase of 40 Eurofighters. The fighter jets are a joint effort between Great Britain, Spain and Germany. Berlin has a veto against sales and is not afraid to use it, as it recently did against Saudi Arabia. Erdoğan knows this and has already said: “Turkey has alternatives if Germany blocks the sale of the Eurofighter.” What he didn’t say: The technically up-and-coming country, which relies on military self-sufficiency, does not yet have its own successor for its American F-16. Fighter aircraft.

Andreas Mihm

Economic correspondent for Austria, East Central and Southeast Europe and Turkey based in Vienna.

The first Turkish stealth fighter jet with the programmatic name “Kaan”, which means “ruler of all rulers”, has so far only moved on the ground. The maiden flight of the twin-engine stealth jet could take place in December, the CEO of the manufacturer Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Temel Kotil, recently announced to journalists in Ankara. But it would take until the end of this decade before the Turkish Air Force took it into service. There it is intended to replace aging F-16 aircraft of American origin.

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