ANKARA: Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has emphasised the importance of foreign companies aspiring to become suppliers of Malaysian military assets to assist the country in developing specific sectors to contribute to the local defence industry.

According to him, this is crucial for the country to build capabilities and capacities in the defence industry, ensuring that Malaysia’s reliance on foreign countries is not total.

“This is one of the efforts we are undertaking. Yes, we will make military asset procurement, but we do not want it to end there. Essentially, any company to be named later must have a roadmap and milestones.

“Mindef (Ministry of Defence) will assess whether it is worthwhile and truly beneficial to the country’s defence technology development,“ he told a press conference after visiting the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) here Sunday.

Mohamed Khaled is on a five-day official visit to Turkiye from Sunday.

Elaborating further, Mohamed Khaled said that Turkiye is among the countries genuinely willing to collaborate and assist Malaysia in developing its local defence industry.

“We can see Turkiye’s capabilities because they have successfully sold their defence assets to several other countries. This means they are on par with world defence technology-producing countries.

“Turkiye’s advantage lies in their willingness to share and transfer defence technology to our country, while our approach is not necessarily to produce complete products or equipment, as we can play a role as suppliers of the components of such products,“ he said.

During the visit, the delegates witnessed the advancements in defence technology demonstrated by Turkiye, indicating that the country is already in a league of its own.

The TUSAS area itself spans four million square metres and features various facilities including main assembly warehouses, tarmacs, runways for fighter jets and hangars.

The Malaysian delegation was also treated to a mini air show featuring the latest combat helicopter known as the T129 Atak, manufactured by TUSAS, and the lightweight fighter jet, Hurjet, which performed dazzling acrobatic manoeuvers.

Mohamed Khaled added that there is a proposal for Malaysia to be equipped with combat helicopters as well, but this matter has not been finalised.

“According to the Defence White Paper research, the country requires combat helicopters, not just helicopters for transporting goods and personnel,“ he said.