ANKARA - Turkey´s Ares Shipyard, located in the country's coastal Antalya province, is to build 17 high-speed coast guard boats to protect Qatar´s coastlines.
The agreement was signed at the fourth Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference on Wednesday between the company and Qatar´s Coasts and Borders Security Department.
Under the deal, the company's biggest order for maritime ships, Qatar will buy two 46-metre vessels, 10 33-meter ones and five 23-meter versions.
Advanced composite materials are to be used in the vessels' construction.
Kerim Kalafatoglu, Managing Director of Ares Shipyard, said: “Ares is a well-known company in the region. We can say that the contract is the biggest one for the military ships category in the region.
- Desire to succeed
“Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense has been helping us show our products in the show. After all these efforts, we have agreed to supply 17 high-speed coast guard boats.”
Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Murad Bayar said Turkey would increase its defense exports to US$2 billion in the short term and US$25 billion by 2023.
“Turkey wants to succeed in exporting its important projects in the defense industry,” Bayar said.
Twenty-five Turkish firms have exhibited products at the conference, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, displaying the results of US$1bn of government investment in research in the defense sector last year.
The event is the Middle East’s key international exhibition for maritime and naval defense equipment.
More than 184 companies from 54 countries were at the fair, which was supported by the Qatar Armed Forces and hosted by the country’s navy.
- New products
Products from several of Turkey’s major defense companies were on display, including: aerospace technology; naval shipbuilding; tracked and wheeled armored vehicles; specialized textiles; armaments and munitions; missiles and rocketry and advanced defense electronics.
Turkish companies exhibiting included Aselsan, Havelsan, Roketsan, Timsan, TUBITAK BILGEM, Meteksan, ODTU Teknokent, Gate, Transvaro, Baykar, Milsoft, Bites and Yakupoglu.
Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Murad Bayar was also scheduled to meet high-ranking officials from several countries.
Turkey's defense industry has gained momentum in recent years, which has seen an expansion of local producers.
More local firms have been introducing new products to the market, contributing to Turkey's goal of relying more on domestic sources than imported products.
According to data from the Defense Industry Exporters' Union (SSI), Turkey's exports in the defense and aviation industries combined reached US $1.39 billion in 2013.
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