Mar 07 2018

Turkey boosts funds for unmanned military vehicles

Turkey is planning to increase its funding for a new generation of unmanned military vehicles, analyst Burak Bekdil wrote for Defence News.

“A new generation of (unmanned) vehicles — land, naval and aerial — will further strengthen our arsenal,” he quoted Ismail Demir, Turkey’s chief defence procurement official, as saying. “Those systems will earn the military strategic capabilities by providing it with intelligence imagery, fire support and ammunition transport.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself has pledged to move the drone programmes further and even produce unmanned tanks, Bekdil said.

“It makes perfect sense to carry out operations against asymmetrical threats with fewer troops,” he quoted an unnamed Gendarmerie officer as saying. “The more unmanned systems should integrate into the (military) network and more (unmanned) platforms are available for deployment, the fewer soldiers will take part in cross-border operations.”

Turkish military companies including Katmerciler, Nurol, Bayraktar and Aselsan were already leading the way in remote-controlled military vehicle manufacture, Bekdil said.