SEBERANG PERAI, July 30 — Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said today Malaysia is looking at a collaboration with Turkey to develop its defence industry.
He praised Turkey, as part of the Nato alliance, for its advancement in the defence industry, following Putrajaya’s official visit to the republis last week.
“When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and I met with their president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he expressed their interest to collaborate with us to develop our defence industry,” he told reporters after attending an event at his alma mater SMK Bukit Mertajam.
He said Malaysia can look at collaborating with Turkey in terms of technology for equipments needed for the industry such as military transport vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
He said the details of the collaboration is yet to be finalised, so he could not confirm if it would also include weapons.
As for whether Malaysia would buy military equipments from Turkey, Mohamad said there were no plans for that yet, as the country could buy these equipments from various other countries.
Mohamad accompanied the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in an official visit to Ankara and Istanbul last week.
The Malaysian delegates were given a tour of the sprawling Turkish Aerospace Industries complex, before an air show featuring its T129 Atak attack and reconnaissance helicopter, Hurkus trainer combat aircraft, and the Anka medium-altitude long endurance UAV.
This comes amid Turkish’s growing ambition to ramp up its defence industry and exports, with UAV production reportedly a key focus of its plan.
Following the visit, Dr Mahathir said Turkey has pledged to offer Malaysia whatever it needs in order to develop a defence industry, but Putrajaya still needs to consider the jump into the field as it would cost money.
The prime minister also vowed that Malaysia will not waste the opportunity to take up Turkey’s offers for collaboration in trade and manufacturing, especially in aviation and UAV.
He said it was Ankara itself that has offered its hands in such areas, and the offers have solved Putrajaya’s problems of trying to achieve technological transfers from other reluctant countries.