Turkish Aerospace looking to make Malaysia its base in Asia Pacific
07 Jul 2022
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is hoping to realise its plan to build a manufacturing plant for aerospace products such as jets, helicopters and unmanned vehicles in Malaysia within a year and make the Southeast Asian country its Asia-Pacific base.
TAI president and chief executive officer (CEO) Prof Temel Kotil, however, said in order to start production, the company needed some business in Malaysia first.
“We nèed to have some business in Malaysia. It’s natural. When we come to Malaysia for production, we will work together to produce the best machines in the world,“ said the former Turkish Airlines CEO.
Among the products that it plans to produce in Malaysia are the locally-developed Anka unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), training aircraft, Gokbey helicopter, and the Hurjet light attack jet, which is expected to be unveiled next year, he said.
Kotil also said that TAI, which has opened an office in Cyberjaya late last year, was looking to work closely with Malaysian companies to open the plant and support Malaysia’s aerospace industry with its experiences.
“First, we need experience on that and we have that as we train 1,000 engineers and 1,000 technicians a year. We will have about 100 engineers in Malaysia by this year and about 20 Malaysian engineers are already training here,“ he said.
Speaking to the Malaysian media after the visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to its sprawling facility on Wednesday, Kotil said that being a major player in the global electrical and electronics chain with an immense amount of talents, Malaysia should be able to produce its own aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
Located outskirt of the capital, the TAI production plant covers an area of five million square metres with an industrial facility of 150,000 square metres under its roof.
It is the largest defence and aerospace firm in Turkey, focusing on indigenous product development. The company aims to be one of the world’s top 10 firms in the industry by 2028 with US$10 billion (US$1=RM4.42) in revenue.
TAI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Negeri Sembilan’s Norfolk Southern Corp for the development of NS Aerospace Valley (NSAV) and unmanned vehicle valley (UVV) in the state.
The collaboration will see the development of aerospace component manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, as well as skilled workforce development and technology transfers.
Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) joint chairman (industry) Tan Sri Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the technology think tank is working closely with TAI to transfer the aerospace technology from Turkiye to Malaysia.
“They want to build a plant in Malaysia to build helicopters and others. This will certainly benefit our aerospace industry and provide work opportunities for local engineers and technicians,“ he said.