Samsun Yurt Savunma (SYS) signalled that it would take serious steps towards the USA during the SHOT Show in January, and later the company participated one of the important events in the country, National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings & Exhibits that was held between 27-29 May. The next stop for SYS in the USA will be the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 Annual Meeting & Exposition which will be organized in Washington, between 10-12 October.
SYS aims to present itself as an important actor in the defence industry once more to the American authorities. Thus, the company plans to present its .50-cal heavy machine gun CANiK M2 QCB, CANiK brand of handguns that are compatible with a very wide variety of accessories and the BOMBUS Gun Pod that is developed by its subsidiary UNIDEF for air platforms.
C. Utku Aral, General Manager of SYS expresses the general strategy that led them to attend three different fairs in the USA as follows: “As you might know, we have sold over 2 million handguns in the American market and our numbers continue to increase every day. As such, American market is our greatest market. The handguns we sell to the Americans make up 70 percent of all our handgun sales including Türkiye. In addition, SYS is the third biggest company that exports firearms to the USA. Our target audiance in the American market is state organisations like United States Armed Forces and security forces, distributors we sign yearly contracts for our various products and civilian users. With this in mind, AUSA, NRA and SHOT Show fairs are the best places we can meet with our stakeholders.”
AUSA: Biggest Defence Industry Event in the North America
Aral explains the importance of AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, one of the biggest land-based weapon and platform fairs in the North America, as follows: “At the SHOT Show at the beginning of this year, we exhibited our CANiK M2 QCB heavy machine gun for the first time in the US and outside of Türkiye, and right after that, CANiK M2 QCB took place in our booth in NRA fair. Now we have North America’s most important defense fair, AUSA. With our participation in this fair, we wish to express to the American government authorities and all platform manufacturers that received government tenders that SYS is a defense industry company; we want to show that CANiK can be a solution partner in all friendly and allied countries with its superior firearms. Alongside the CANiK M2 QCB, we will present the solution set we can offer to the attention of all concerned parties by exhibiting the BOMBUS Gun Pod solution of our subsidiary UNIDEF.”
Aral summarises their targets regarding AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition as follows: “As SYS, we were able to get into final four in the procurement programme of United States Customs and Border Protection agency for 800,000 handguns in 2018. This was the greatest achievement of a Turkish defence industry company in the USA as of that date. In addition, other than this agency and armed forces, many American state organisations also use handguns. All these agencies had completed their handgun procurement programmes in 2018. By 2023, five years will have passed since these programmes. As such, we expect these organisations to open new tenders in 2023. The latest requirements from American end users seem to be focusing on compatibility with handgun accessories. With our CANiK brand handguns compatible with almost all universal accessory brands’ products like optical sights, tactical flashlights, suppressors, and more, we will be in one of the strongest positions in these bids. We will also be showing this to our visitors and give them the opportunity to inspect our handguns in our booth during AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition.”
AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition is an event that sees contracts signed by American procurement authorities and end users and sector companies. The event will also host many presentations, panel discussions, and seminars on military and national security issues by United States Land Forces personnel. The event will be held in Washington DC and expected to host more than 33,000 visitors and around 700 companies from more than 80 countries.
Orders Received for 2022-2023 Period
SYS showcased its CANiK brand handguns with a focus on METE SFx, METE SFT, and SFx RIVAL models, MECANIK brand optics and various products in the CANiK Official Accessory Programme in the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits fair that was held in May. In addition, company held talks with its American distributors regarding the sales for 2022-2023 period.
Aral shared the following information on their participation to NRA event: “American market is a market that requires you to analyse it very carefully. The consumer tendencies must be examined thoroughly, and your action plans must be updated constantly. NRA is very important in this regard. NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits is one of the most important B2B events in huntsmanship and marksmanship fields. The companies attending this fair generally place their half yearly and yearly orders during this fair. CANiK brand has an extensive user base in the USA. We reach most of these users through our distributors, and as of this moment, all towns in the USA have a gun shop where you can buy licenced CANiK brand products. In this year’s NRA event, we held important talks for our CANiK brand handguns, spare parts and MECANIK brand products to be sold in these shops and received orders for the second half of 2022 and first quarter of 2023.”
2022 Success Started with SHOT Show
The first fair SYS attended with its CANiK and MECANIK brand products was SHOT Show 2022, held between 18-21 January in Las Vegas. The company presented many of its products in the USA for the first time during the event and received pre-orders for many of these. Foremost among these were the orders received for the export of the CANiK M2 QCB 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, which was exhibited for the first time abroad by SYS. The company also launched its SFx RIVAL competition handgun, MECANIK brand optical sights, and the airsoft version of its CANiK TP9 Elite Combat handgun that was developed jointly with CYBERGUN. The company hosted over 30,000 visitors in its booth during the fair.
M2 Heavy Machine Gun Returns Back Home
SYS met with delegations from Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Paraguay, and the Philippines during SHOT Show for the export of CANiK M2 QCB. Some of these meetings were directly with end-users while some were with SYS’ own representatives in these countries. SYS received an unannounced number of pre-orders after these talks.
Aral commented on these development as follows: “SHOT Show is more of a huntsmanship and marksmanship oriented fair rather than a defence oriented one. However, CANiK M2 QCB is a gun with outstanding export potential. Furthermore, the foreign delegations we met with during the fair had been sharing that they wanted to see the gun closely. As such, we utilised SHOT Show for this and showcased our gun during the fair. The visitors paid a great deal of interest to this gun and this interest quickly turned into pre-orders. In addition, presenting CANiK M2 QCB, a much more advanced version of the M2 heavy machine gun which was first developed during 1930s in the USA, under a Turkish brand on American soil is a source of pride for us.”
Sales Target is $95 Million
SYS aims to get more market share from the American huntsmanship and marksmanship market, currently estimated to be worth around $39 billion, and plans to increase its sales to $95 million by the end of the year.
While SYS was the 4th largest company in the world among the companies exporting handguns to the American market in 2020, it achieved 3rd place in 2021, rising one step. The company’s SFx RIVAL, METE SFx and METE SFT model handguns sold over 100,000 shortly after their American launch. SYS continues its comprehensive global marketing efforts, and it aims to participate in 18 fairs in 5 continents for 2022.
SYS continues efforts regarding its new factory, to operate in Florida, which is planned to become fully operational by the end of 2022, with an initial production volume of 150,000 handguns per year.