UPDATE WITH MORE COMMENTS FROM PRESIDENT ERDOGAN
By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) – The name of Turkey's first indigenous multirole helicopter T625 is “Gokbey”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday.
"We successfully carried Turkey to a growth spurt [in the defense field]," Erdogan said at the Turkish Defense Industry Summit in capital Ankara.
The T625 is a new generation, twin engine, six-ton class helicopter developed in response to a growing market demand, according to the Turkish Aircraft Industries Corporation.
Erdogan noted that the indigenous battle tank — developed with new technologies — would be available to Turkish Armed Forces.
"Indigenous Kasirga, Bora and Som missiles are now in the mass production phase and our works are continuing for new models," he added.
The president also said that Turkey will get an upper hand by producing indigenous long-range missiles of which test-fires have been completed.
"We will not stop until Turkey can develop and produce all the strategic needs of the defense industry," Erdogan stressed.
Turkey pursues 650 defense industry projects worth total of $60 billion, he said.
On Turkey's another indigenous aircraft, he said Turkey will improve combat helicopter Atak and the country's efforts to develop indigenous warplane are ongoing.
"Having money based only on natural resources or trade doesn't guarantee your freedom if you haven't reached a certain level in the defense industry," he asserted.
Saying that Turkish private sector produced unmanned and armed air vehicles, he underlined it will go further and produce more powerful ones.