Turkish arms companies’ sales surge 24 percent in 2017, report says

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The combined arms sales by the two top Turkish defense companies — ASELSAN and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) — soared 24 percent in 2017 year-on-year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report published Monday.

The think tank attributed strong growth in Turkish arms sales to Turkey's "ambitions to develop its arms industry to fulfil its increasing demand for weapons and become less dependent on foreign suppliers."

SIPRI listed both ASELSAN and TAI in its "Top 100 arms‑producing and military services companies" rating for 2017. The annual report includes both domestic and foreign sales.

ASELSAN was ranked 61st, up seven places from 68th in 2016, while TAI also climbed seven spots to 70th.

The report said ASELSAN and TAI's sales in 2017 amounted to $1.42 billion and $1.22 billion, respectively.

SIPRI also listed Turkey in the "emerging producers" category, along with Brazil and India.

According to the institute, "emerging producers have expressed ambitions to develop their arms-production capabilities to higher levels in most arms-production sectors (i.e. naval, air, land, electronics and ammunition)."

Meanwhile, Russia has emerged as the world's second-largest arms producer after the United States.

Russia surpassed the United Kingdom, which had held the spot since 2002 and remains Western Europe's No. 1 arms maker.

SIPRI said the combined arm sales of Russian companies amounted to $37.7 billion in 2017, or 9.5 percent of a total $398.2 billion, recording 8.5 percent year-on-year growth.

Overall, the U.S. continued to dominate the list with 42 companies accounting for 57 percent of total sales, including the world's largest arms producer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Chinese companies aren't included in SIPRI's report because of unreliable statistics.

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