Turkey announced a new strategic plan to increase its defense industry production and is aiming to crack the top ten worldwide producers in five years. This is a big step up for Turkish arms makers, and it goes beyond the production of traditional Turkish arms like tanks to include drones, anti-tank missiles, and air defense systems. Not coincidentally, Turkey used to purchase drones, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank missiles, and air defense missiles from Israel, but the Israeli Defense Ministry has cancelled or is reviewing most of these sales. Most recently, Israel canceled a $140 million contract with the Turkish air force for airborne intelligence gathering systems. The fact that Turkey has decided to expand its own production over a five year period does not bode well for the resumption of defense agreements between Turkey and Israel, and neither does the fact that Turkey is moving into new areas that are Israeli strengths. For those who were hoping that resumed defense cooperation and trade ties were going to be the hooks that led to a Turkish-Israeli rapprochement, this is not an encouraging sign.

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