Turkey’s arms spending in 2011 is scheduled to increase by 10% with $4.5bn to be spent on arms procurement, a senior procurement official has said.

“This year, we have a major payments schedule for ongoing and starting programmes, and we expect procurement spending to rise gradually in the upcoming years,” the official added.

Turkey’s major procurement programmes for the next ten years include the purchase of 100 F-35 joint strike fighter Lightning II aircraft, 30 F-16 block 50 fighters and the fleet modernisation of F-16s.

The procurement programme also includes the purchase of utility and attack helicopters, building long-range air and missile defence systems and development and production of a national battle tank, according to Hurriyet Daily News.