Varank: The world will talk about our fighting UAVs, not F-35s


Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, stating that Turkey is one of the few countries that invest in combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, said, “Make sure when we launch our fighting UAVs to the market, the world is not F-35s, but the fighting UAV developed by Turkey. will talk about them.” said.

Varank spoke at the opening ceremony of the Efficiency and Technology Fair held at ATO Congresium with the participation of Vice President Fuat Oktay.

Pointing out that the common goal in industrial revolutions has been the increase in productivity since the past, Varank pointed out that the emphasis on efficiency was more pronounced in the 4th industrial revolution.

Pointing out that the increase in global trade and international economic competition make it necessary to use resources, labor and time efficiently, Varank said, “Efficiency is an indispensable reality for sustainable growth as well as affecting the competitiveness of countries and companies. Assuming that there is much faster digitalization in the world with the 19) epidemic, the way to maximize efficiency now passes through ‘advanced technologies’, which is also the theme of our fair.” made its assessment.

Referring to the social and economic consequences of Kovid-19, Varank stated that despite all the negativities, Turkey is one of the countries that has adapted to the process best.

“We have mobilized all our resources”

Emphasizing that they took fast and appropriate decisions with the result-oriented approach brought by the Presidential Government System in this process, Varank reminded that Turkey grew by 7 percent in the first quarter of the year and was one of the most growing countries among the G-20 countries.

Drawing attention to the contribution of the manufacturing industry to growth, Varank continued as follows:

“Our manufacturing industry, which grew by 12.2 percent in the first quarter, became the sector that contributed the most to the increase in gross domestic product. In this way, 338 thousand registered employment increased in our industry sector in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter. What is important is that this growth performance is healthier and more permanent. and making it sustainable. The way to do this is by investing in efficiency and advanced technology. We have mobilized all our means to become one of the competitive countries in these areas. While providing this, we take care to act in an innovative way.”

Stating that they do not perceive innovation as just thinking outside the mold, Varank said, “In addition to thinking outside the mold, we strive to find the solution to the deficiencies, if any, within ourselves, not outside. Being a Turkey that develops, produces and exports its own technology, we have to achieve this with our own resources and our own engineers. ” he said.

“Our roadmaps are nearing completion”

Reminding that they prepared the 2023 Industry and Technology Strategy in line with the vision of the National Technology Move, Varank explained that they prioritized accelerating the technological transformation of the industry, being a producer of critical technologies, and increasing the share of R&D in national income.

Noting that they aim to invest in qualified manpower and develop smart products and services to be used in every corner of the world, Varank used the following statements:

“We have been able to achieve this, especially in technology-based initiatives. Recently, ‘Getir’ has become a 7.5 billion dollar company with an investment and is currently the second most valuable company in Turkey. While 100-year-old companies could not achieve this success, they started with only one idea A 5.5-year-old company named Getir can achieve success. In order to achieve these, we need to turn to new generation technologies that will lead to groundbreaking transformations in technologies that are already widely used. In technologies such as digitalization, space, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, it is not a follower of the world, but a trend setter. We aim to become a country. We have prepared our National Space Program with this vision. The targets we set in the program will clinch Turkey’s capabilities in advanced technologies and open the door to new studies in this field. Mobility vehicles that offer great opportunities for Turkey, smart life and health, digital transformation, artificial roadmap in intelligence and 5G titles We are about to complete our iterations. We will soon share the details of our National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which we prepared with the Presidency Digital Transformation Office, covering the period 2021-2025, with the public.”

“We will make new calls”

Pointing out that the Ministry has redesigned the support and incentive mechanisms to be compatible with these topics and to work most efficiently, Varank stated that they encourage SMEs to produce technology and provide support to increase the number of SMEs using them.

Noting that they contributed 158 million TL to 396 projects focused on digital transformation only in 2020, Varank stated that KOSGEB opened the last project call of KOBI-GEL in the field of digitalization, and that they will announce the businesses that are eligible for support in this context in July.

Explaining that they carry out the “R&D, P&D and Innovation Support Program” in order to strengthen the production capacities of the enterprises and make them more efficient and competitive, Varank said:

“Through KOSGEB, we have created a resource of 889 million liras for approximately 10 thousand SMEs in the last 2 years in support programs that prioritize technology level and domestic production. Within the framework of the Technology Oriented Industry Move Program, which we started to implement in this period, advanced technologies and products that we have a current account deficit with can be used with domestic opportunities and capabilities. We opened the first call for the “mobility” sector in 2021. Due to the intense interest, we extended the call application date to June 22. In 2021, we also added ‘Structural Transformation in Production’, ‘Health and Chemical Products’ and ‘Digital Transformation’ calls. We will continue to provide support that will increase productivity in every field and increase the production of advanced technology.”

“We are gearing up to be the leading country in advanced technologies”

Emphasizing that while supporting the industry and technology ecosystem in this transformation process, Varank made the following assessments, emphasizing that they have stepped up in every field to become the leading country in advanced technologies:

“Ten years ago, we were trying to import UAVs by ‘bringing water from a thousand and one creeks’, and then we were waiting for someone’s pleasure to repair and maintain them. Praise be to you, Turkish SİHAs developed by Turkish engineers are counting the days to fly in European skies. Previously, we were a country that followed other countries’ work in the field of technology with envy, as if watching a movie. But today, there is a Turkey that plans a mission to the moon, can conduct research in the field of space, and can produce. Turkey’s Car project will be a success story of Turkey, which has beaten its bad luck.”

Drawing attention to the importance of investing in the right technology at the right time, Varank said:

“Currently, the world is talking about the technologies of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by Turkey. I am constantly asked my thoughts on the F-35 Program. The F-35 is a really successful aircraft, but we are developing its equivalent with the National Combat Aircraft project together with TAI. But beyond that, Turkey is currently one of the few countries that invest in combat UAV technology. I hope that when we launch our combat UAVs, the world will be talking about the combat UAVs developed by Turkey, not the F-35s. To do all this is not only possible with resources, opportunities and budgets. With a little heart. It’s about people. That’s why we attach great importance to our qualified human capital.”

The mock-up of the National Combat Aircraft, the 5th generation multi-role fighter aircraft that can replace the F-16 aircraft, which is planned to be phased out in the 2030s, is also on display at the fairground.