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Turkey signs R&D projects to boost domestic production of critical technologies

Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) signed on 18 February six new Research and Development (R&D) projects with various local companies to further boost domestic capacity to produce critical defence technologies, said a statement posted on the SSB website on the same day.

Ismail Demir, head of the SSB, said during a signing ceremony that the defence industry’s expenditures for R&D projects reached USD1.7 billion since 2002, [the year that the ruling Justice and Development Party came to power] representing a 34-fold increase, and comprising 15% of the total turnover of the defence sector.

A total of 104 R&D projects, both completed and underway, are being carried out in co-operation with universities, companies, research boards, and institutes, he stated.

The newly signed R&D projects include development of engine materials for aviation, and light and strengthened armour materials reinforced with graphene, as well as artificial intelligence-based vulnerability detection and prevention in software-defined networks.

The R&D projects mark the importance the SSB has been attaching to lessening reliance abroad, and to developing indigenous technology, while greatly contributing to increasing the country’s R&D and technological effectiveness, Demir noted.

“Key to full independency in the defence industry is to enable a fully local and national capability in critical and strategic areas,” he said.

Demir also said that the R&D studies developed in the defence industry should be co-ordinated with the SSB to avoid confusion.

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