Turkey’s defence exports rose 30 percent in the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly on Friday.
The country’s defence exports for Jan-Feb 2016 are valued at over $255.9 million, a 30 percent increase compared with $196.4 million in the same period last year.
The US remained Turkey’s largest defence customer, buying imports worth $87.4 million, accounting for 34 percent of defence exports. This was followed by Germany at $30.4 million, and the United Arab Emirates which spent around $25.8 million on Turkish defence products.
The exports included aircrafts and helicopter parts, engines, armored land vehicles, speed boats, missiles, rockets, launching platforms, command and control systems, light weapons and electronic systems including transmitters, simulators, sensors, and military software.
Defence industry products make up only 1.3 percent of Turkey's overall total exports, which were valued at $20.4 billion in the first two months of 2016.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday that a new defence industry project worth $5.9 billion had been approved, following a Defense Industry Executive Committee meeting in Ankara.
"We will focus on domestic production [in defense industry]," Davutoglu stressed at a press conference in Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.
Pointing to improvements in Turkey's national defence industry, Davutoglu added, "We have given approval to a new defense industry project worth a total of $5.9 billion."
"$4.5 billion will involve domestic production," he said.
Davutoglu was also presented with the prototype of the national infantry rifle, which he said would be mass produced starting this year.