Turkish drone maker announces plans for new military UAVs

Turkish company Baykar has announced plans to produce an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of lifting a one-and-a-half tonne load by 2019, and unmanned combat aircraft by 2023, Daily Sabah reported.

The announcement was made by Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's sonüin-law,  Selçuk Bayraktar, at the company’s Istanbul headquarters on Monday.

Baykar already supplies the Turkish military with UAVs, the use of which Bayraktar said had contributed to reduction of terror incidents in Turkey since 2015 and which have also been deployed by the Turkish military in operations in Syria.

Bayraktar also discussed how Turkey’s ability to build its own UAVs has contributed to Turkey economy, saying domestic production of such aircraft had saved the country “billions of dollars.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip  Erdoğan has regularly expressed pride in Turkish produced drones, noting that Turkey's allies have declined to sell such equipment to the country, forcing Turkey to rely more on domestic production and develop technological expertise.