Speaking at the delivery ceremony of TCG Anadolu, President Erdoğan said: “TCG Anadolu is the first UCAV carrier in the world. Our Bayraktar TB-3 UCAV, Kızılelma unmanned fighter jet and HÜRJET light attack aircraft will be able to take off and land on this ship.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech at the delivery ceremony of TCG Anadolu and steel cutting ceremony of the new MİLGEM frigates in Istanbul.
“We see this ship as a symbol which will reinforce our position as an assertive country in the world and a leader in our region in the Century of Türkiye. Today we are also cutting the steel of three new frigates of the MİLGEM İSTİF-Class that we will set sail for the Blue Homeland. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the construction of TCG Anadolu and everyone who will take part in the construction of our frigates,” President Erdoğan said.
“TCG ANADOLU WILL ENABLE US TO CONDUCT MILITARY AND HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS ACROSS THE WORLD”
Noting that TCG Anadolu is the world’s first warship in its field where the largest and heaviest helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles can land and take off, President Erdoğan said: “TCG Anadolu is the first UCAV carrier in the world. Our Bayraktar TB-3 UCAV, Kızılelma unmanned fighter jet and HÜRJET light attack aircraft will be able to take off and land on this ship. Also, thanks to the tanks and armored amphibious assault vehicles it carries, this ship has the features that will enable us to conduct military and humanitarian operations in every corner of the world when necessary.”
Stating that the project has a very high indigenization rate of approximately 70 percent, President Erdoğan said: “Thanks to TCG Anadolu, we will be able to easily deploy a battalion-sized force to crisis zones in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea without needing main base support.”
“With the delivery of our amphibious assault ship, we have taken a major step towards the production of our national aircraft carrier. I believe that our shipbuilding industry will also be capable of producing our national aircraft carrier. Today, we are also cutting steel for the 6th, 7th and 8th ships of the MİLGEM İSTİF-Class frigates and starting their construction. The target of constructing three ships simultaneously at a private shipyard and delivering them to our Naval Forces in a period of approximately 36 months is a project that has no precedent in the world,” President Erdoğan said.
“It was not easy for our defense industry to become the rising star of a strengthening Türkiye. When we came to power, we saw that strong diplomacy on the ground and at the table was only possible with a strong defense industry. In this understanding, we set our goal as fully independent defense industry,” President Erdoğan underlined. “With the decisions we took at the Defense Industry Executive Committee in May 2004, we started the era of domestic and national projects instead of foreign procurement. As a result of the developments that started after this decision, the number of defense industry projects in our country has increased from 62 to 750, and the number of defense industry companies from 56 to 2,700. When we came to power, defense projects with a budget of approximately $5.5 billion were being carried out, today this figure has risen to over $60 billion.”
“We are now increasing our defense industry budget to $75 billion with the projects that are currently being tendered. This expansion will bring about new breakthroughs in every field, from the number of companies to exports,” President Erdoğan underscored.
“WE HAVE REACHED A VERY GOOD LEVEL IN REDUCING OUR FOREIGN DEPENDENCY”
Underlining that the sector has also worked very hard to reach this point, President Erdoğan said: “
The fact that the budget allocated to research and development in the defense industry has increased from $49 million to over $1.5 billion annually is a sign of this. The fact that the sector’s exports have reached a record level of $4.4 billion by 2022 from $248 million is also a sign of this. Thanks to our firm stance and determination in the domestic and national defense industry, we have reached a very good level in reducing our foreign dependency. Increasing our indigenization rate from 20 percent to 80 percent is a historic achievement, the importance of which will be better understood in the future. Today, the Turkish defense industry has reached a level where it can meet the needs of our security units in every aspect, from design to development, from research and development to innovation and mass production.
“We are particularly pleased that our defense industry products, which are successfully used by our security forces in their operations at home and abroad, have started to take their place in the inventories of friendly countries,” President Erdoğan said.
“The security of the Blue Homeland has become even more important in this critical period. This need is behind our efforts to ensure that our country has a more powerful and deterrent navy,” President Erdoğan noted.
“We had set 2023 as a milestone for many projects in the defense industry. As is the case here today, we have started to realize our grand projects scheduled for 2023 one by one. DERYA, our Sea Supply Combat Support Ship, which will be the second largest ship of our country, our Piri Reis Submarine, and ISTANBUL, our first frigate of the İSTİF-Class, will enter service this year. We are ahead of schedule in projects that will bring our air power to the top, especially our National Combat Aircraft, and air defense systems. In the coming months, we will have many more good news for our nation in this field. Everyone should recognize and accept the fact that the security of a strengthening and growing Türkiye begins beyond its borders. In this understanding, we will continue to increase the number of such projects in order to protect and develop the interests of our country in international arena. We will achieve building the Century of Türkiye by moving forward on the safe path that our defense industry has paved for us,” President Erdoğan said.