Turkey launches rifles, aims for $100 mln in exports

Sarsılmaz Firearms Industry introduced on Monday the country's first domestically produced infantry rifles as well as new generation pistols.

Turkey launches rifles, aims for $100 mln in exports

World Bulletin/News Desk

Sarsılmaz Firearms Industry, the leading private producer of guns and rifles in Turkey, introduced on Monday the country's first domestically produced infantry rifles as well as new generation pistols, firearms with which the company is targeting to reach the $100 million export mark in the next three years.

The 133-year-old company invested TL 14 million in its new products and plans to increase its investment to TL 27 million in line with an expected increase in its capacity.

With an annual production capacity of 24,000 firearms, the company aims to export $30 million in the first year and $50 million in the second year, according to CEO Latif Aral Aliş.

He announced that they have already signed agreements with army forces in other countries and are in talks with another country for technology transfers.

Speaking at the press meeting, Aliş said the first and only domestically produced rifles and the new pistols, both of which have two different models -- one for use in the army and the other for law enforcement purposes, were developed with the support of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), Kocaeli University and Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).

“We started working on the design in 2009, which took two years, before a prototype was developed in 2011. Upon obtaining the license in January, we will begin production as of today,” he stated.

Noting that Turkey's defense industry has gained momentum in recent years, which has positively affected the company's expansion as well, Aliş told the press that the government's support and incentives were significant contributors in the project coming to life.

“By combining all of the company's facilities recently, we now have Europe's largest gun producing plant in the province of Düzce and plan on producing snipers and machine guns in the near future. Our role as a global brand will continue to grow and our newest products allow us to enter into the champion's league in the industry.”

“Introducing new products to the market also helps us to improve our technology and contribute to our country's defense industry so that it can rely more on domestic sources. While developing our newest products, we also established the country's only ballistic test center,” Aliş added.

The locally produced Sarsılmaz rifle has five world patents and its standards are approved by NATO. “With rapidly changing products in the industry, our rifle is one of the latest of its kind in the world. We are a tough rival for our competitors with our cost-advantage due to the low costs of production in Turkey and, at the same time, with our innovative products,” Aliş underlined.

According to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), Turkey's exports in the defense and aviation industries combined increased by 12.6 percent in April year-on-year.

With the increase, the value of defense and aviation exports in April totaled $114.2 million.

With a booming defense industry in recent years, Turkey's defense exports may well exceed the target of $2 billion, set by the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM), for 2016.

Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2013, 11:58
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