BEIRUT — At just four years old, the Turkish defense firm Askeri Fabrika ve Tersane Isletme A.S., known as ASFAT, is already starting to climb the ranks of the biggest defense firms in the world, and making a name as a key player in the Turkish industry’s push to export its defense wares abroad.
ASFAT, a defense contractor affiliated with the Turkish ministry of defense, develops and manages 27 factories for defense production along different sectors from air, to navy, to land as well as three shipyards in Turkey. While much of its biggest projects have come from the naval sector, it is hoping to become a hub in aircraft maintenance and overhaul for Europe, Asia and Middle East countries next.
In addition to working with the Turkish military, the company’s largest ongoing project is with the Pakistani military, a $1.5 billion deal to provide four ships for Islamabad’s navy. ASFAT also has projects with Azerbaijan and Burkina Faso, for MEMATT minesweepers, as well as a transport aircraft retrofit agreement with Airbus. The company has its eye on the defense horizon too, as interest in tech like unmanned systems has skyrocketed.
On Oct. 20, Breaking Defense spoke with ASFAT’s director of strategy and business development, Sinan Topuz, about the company’s ongoing projects and the firm’s role in Turkish defense exports and production.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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