Turkey’s annual Anatolian Eagle exercise, held in Konya, has brought attention to the country’s capabilities in the aviation industry. The exercise, which is one of three centers in the world where tactical flight training is given, is significant as it is the only international air exercise center in Europe. Among the participants this year was a Soviet-made SU-25 Close Air Support Aircraft belonging to the Azerbaijan Air Force, which took off with Turkey’s domestically developed Winged Guidance Kit (KGK) signed by TÜBİTAK SAGE and successfully fired. This development indicates that Turkey has overcome the issue of system integration and NATO-standard ammunition can be integrated into Soviet aircraft, such as the SU-25.
Defense Industry Researcher Anıl Şahin emphasized that Turkey plays an active role in the market due to the market gap created by Russia and Ukraine’s conflict. Also, he mentioned that Turkey entered the field of ensuring precision-guided ammunition, which is not common in Russian/Soviet warplanes. Turkey had been investing in smart ammunition since 2014 when it developed a competent inventory of this type of ammunition, showing that its product is just as good as its US or EU manufactured counterparts.
Therefore, this development creates an opportunity for Turkey to open new doors to the defense and aerospace industries. The use of precision-guided ammunition has already been preferred by many countries, and Turkey is on the way to being the preferred supplier. By entering into this unique area, Turkey aims to increase the export footprint of the defense and aerospace industry.