A nation has six major elements of its nation-oriented power
that are based on politics, economy, psycho-social issues, military
capability, manpower and the geostrategic location. These bring
more flexibility in countries' regional strategy and add value
for superiority in its region.
In today's world, illustrating the national power chain
starts with sustainable political power that reflects to welfare in
economy that affects the psychosocial condition of a society. These
elements are either directly or indirectly support the
well-qualified manpower which is a crucial component of military
Turkey's history and geostrategic importance has led the
Turkish governments to develop its military capabilities. Starting
from early 1980s, Turkey's involvement to offset and industrial
participation projects together with F-16 project has brought out
qualified manpower in research and development. Therefore the
government's focus on military capabilities in 2000s unveiled
this huge economy to private sector in contrary to the past
practices. Today, Turkey as a developing country through
technological advance strategically merged the national resources
of technology assessment and review and is counted as one of the
target countries by sellers and the suppliers of offsets.
Especially in the last three decades, government policies in
defense industry have also developed the capabilities of staff at
armed forces as they have been educated in U.S. and Europe in
military technology for years. After 80's Turkish Armed Forces
built some technology and R&D centers were steps to establish
the companies of ASELSAN, HAVELSAN, ROKETSAN and TAI (Turkish
Aerospace Industry). Furthermore the Scientific and Technological
Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and the Machinery
and Chemical Industry Cooperation (MKE) were reorganized.
The results was satisfactory especially in national naval, air
and land platforms, national artillery, rockets and missiles,
national sensors, software and logistics as Turkey also saved the
effective gunnery, C4I, missile and the other systems. Moreover the
development made a great contribution to its national budget that
returned as an added value to the country.
According to the research of Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI) conducted in 2013 Turkey's military
expenditure is USD 19.1 billion in 2013 and spends 2.3% of its
gross domestic product (GDP). With this expenditure, Turkey has
been ranked as 14th with its costs and 9th according to its GDP
between the top 20 defense spending countries.
Turkey still increases the defense budget, but the coverage
ratio of national defense technology also increases. This ratio was
25% in 2003, 41.6% in 2007 and 54% in 2011.
Today Turkey is very well known by global market with its
projects rather than purchasing capabilities. For example; the
MILGEM Project (National War Ship) as the pioneer in naval forces ,
saved almost USD 240 million per vessel. In consideration of the
whole project the forecasted total savings will is around USD 1,5
One of the other national projects is Milli Tank (National Tank)
Altay project. The cost of world's leading main battle tanks
varies between USD 2-11 million. Each Altay Tank costs to Turkey
USD 5.4 million and Turkey plans to build 1000 main battle tanks in
the future. This means that total cost is USD 5.4 billion.
Ratios show that Turkey is also among the defense industry
exporting countries. As reported by Defense and Aerospace Industry
Exporters' Association; Turkey export volume in defense
industries was USD 600 million in 2008, USD 1.2 billion in
2012, USD 1.5 billion in 2013 and the country targets to be
counted among top ten defense exporters with its USD 25 billion
export volume in 2023.
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