Turkey announced its first indigenous multi-role helicopter that can be used for both civil and military purposes.
The name of Turkey's first indigenous multirole helicopter T625 is “Gokbey,” meaning sky man, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday.
"We successfully carried Turkey to a growth spurt [in the defense field]," Erdogan said at the Turkish Defense Industry Summit in capital Ankara.
Gokbey helicopter has developed for the purposes of military transportation, piloting training, rescue operations, border security, and fire extinguishing missions.
The T625 is a new generation, twin engine, six-ton class helicopter developed in response to a growing market demand, according to the Turkish Aircraft Industries Corporation.
Turkey's leading defense companies Turkish Aerospace Industries(TAI) and ASELSAN jointly researched and developed technology to build this indigenous flying machine.
Under Turkish government's flagship 2023 Vision, named after the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the modern republic, Turkey has made progressive development in defense industry while dealing with various kinds of security threats.
"We will not stop until Turkey can develop and produce all the strategic needs of the defense industry," Erdogan stressed.
Erdogan noted that the indigenous battle tank, developed with new technologies, will also be available to Turkish Armed Forces.
He said Turkey will also strengthen its another homemade combat helicopter Atak, while the country's efforts to develop indigenous warplanes are ongoing.
Motives of Turkey
Turkey’s efforts to promote its indigenous arms rely on three main reasons: to stimulate the economy, support its army – which is the second biggest among the NATO countries – and self-sufficiency by 2023.
Turkey had spent billions of dollars to build and expand its army by importing arms, predominantly from the US and Germany, for many years.
With the Justice and Development (AK) Party coming into power in 2002, Turkey’s military expenditure had steadily gone down for a while. But from 2005, the governing AK Party’s program for investment in domestic arms projects slightly increased the country’s spending.
Exporting domestically manufactured arms led to an acceleration of the Turkish defence industry in the global market. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) data, Turkey substantially increased arms export by 145 percent between 2013-2017, having the highest percentage increase in the world.