Saudis eye Turkish military drones

Saudi Arabia is planning to acquire six military drones produced by Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) an official from the company has disclosed to Defence News.

The Saudi – Turkish negotiations have been ongoing since 2013 but no official contract has been signed yet. The Saudis had some requirements regarding the reconnaissance issues and we are still negotiating this part of the agreement.

Görkem Bilgi, a TAI official, was quoted as saying, referring to the Saudi demand for technology transfer as part of the deal.

The unmanned military aircraft, called Anka, had its first mission flight last year in Turkey, remaining air-bound for four hours and reaching 19,000 feet, according to Defense News.

Turkey has two more companies competing for the armed drone programme, Vestel's Karayel project, which is in development stage, and Kale-Baykar joint venture Bayraktar which is already in service, used solely by the Turkish Armed Forces during military operations.