Turkey to seek self-sufficiency in defense: PM

PM says important that new aircrafts join air force during conflicts and instability in region.

PM says important that new aircrafts join air force during conflicts and instability in region.

KONYA - Turkey aims to be almost completely self-sufficient from the foreign defense industry by 2023, Turkey’s Prime Minister said Friday.

"We have full confidence in our engineers, technicians and companies, and therefore started strategically important projects for land, sea and air systems in Turkey,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during his speech at the “Peace Eagle” aircraft’s delivery ceremony at Konya`s Air Force Command Center.

Not only is the "Peace Eagle” Turkey`s first airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C), it is superior to other such aircrafts due to its newer technology, Erdogan added.

Turkey purchased four warning and control aircrafts from aviation giant Boeing, and the fourth will arrive in 2015.

An AEW&C can fly non-stop for eight to ten hours on average, and its flight duration can increase up to 20 hours with one stop for refueling.

“It is very important that our aircrafts are joining our air force in a period of conflicts and instability in our region,” the Turkish PM said. "The events in our region show it is very crucial that our defensive abilities are high, even more than ever.”

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