Turkey on its way to becoming drone superpower - Eurasian Times

Turkey is quickly climbing the drone production ladder as it continues to produce lethal, battle-tested combat UAVs through its utilisation of a Britain-based manufacturer, the Eurasian Times news site said on Wednesday.

Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey is inching towards becoming the newest drone superpower, it said, exerting itself in the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa.

Leading the way is Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2, a medium-altitude, long-range tactical unmanned drone that had a crucial role in Turkey’s military support to Libya’s internationally-recognised government. The country has also used the killer drones in its operations against Kurdish-led forces in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

“What we are seeing is countries like Turkey becoming a major player in drone usage, which is, like the US, prepared to engage in targeted killing outside its own borders,’’ the Eurasian Times cited the Director of Drone Wars U.K outlet. Chris Cole, as saying.

Baykar Makina produces the TB2, and largely supplies the Turkish army. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Selçuk Bayraktar, is married to President Erdoğan’s younger daughter, Sümeyye.

Baykar was supplied with the Hornet missile rack during the crucial development stages of production, the article said citing  a report filed in 2016’s Jane’s Defence Review. But the company has denied reports of importing any technology from the U.K.

Turkey’s defence industry has rapidly grown under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has green lighted a number of ambitious procurement projects including domestic production of fighter jets, tanks and military drones.

Five of the world’s top 100 defence companies are Turkish, the annual rankings list published by Defense News in July.