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UK interested in buying Turkish UAVs

21 October 2021 [17:42] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vugar Khalilov

Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank has said that the UK is interested in buying Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Yeni Shafak newspaper reported has reported.

“Britain is very seriously interested in Turkish UAVs. We offered them different options for UAVs,” Varank said.

Following Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Poland, England’s interest in Turkish UAVs is a new stage in the country's defence industry sphere, the report added.

In his interview with TRT Haber, defence analyst Hakan Kilic described the UK’s proposal over Turkish UAVs as an important step.

He noted Turkey’s UAV exports to NATO member Poland and said that the UAV sale to England would be a great progress for the Turkish defence industry.

One of the Turkish-made UAVs, Bayraktar TB2, was previously exported to Qatar, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Poland.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Morocco and Albania are also interested in Turkish UAVs.

The report also underlined that ANKA UAV by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) had been exported to Tunisia and Vestel’s Karayel UAV had been sold to Saudi Arabia.

Describing the UK interest in Turkish drones as an extraordinary event, Kilic stressed that the UK either makes its own defence industry products or buys them from the U.S.

“The UK is both an aviation giant and a country that does not buy weapons from almost anyone other than the U.S,” he emphasized.

The UK will receive an aerial platform, an unmanned aircraft from a different country other than the U.S, Kilic underlined.

He said that in fact, Britain owns the most powerful UAVs such as the Reaper and Predator in the world, which have large payload and technical capacities.

However, it is not convenient for the UK to use such expensive aerial vehicles for maritime surveillance-reconnaissance activities in the sea or to apply them in Afghanistan or in the Middle East, where British UAVs had previously served, Kilic said.

He added that the same activities even more successfully had been fulfilled by Turkish UAVs in the Aegean Sea, Syria, Azerbaijan and Libya before.

Moreover, AKINCI with its updated 1,500 kg payload capacity is the fifth UAV in the world, following the US-made AVENGER, MQ-9B, MQ9A and Russian-made ALTIUS-U in the list, Kilic stressed.

“In addition, we are among the top three in the world in UAV export and we are the country with the largest UAV fleet in Europe,” he added.

Kilic ruled out the possibility of selling critical information related to the production of UAVs to other countries while commenting on recent public debates on the issue.

“I don’t think they [Turkish companies] will give out utilities such as flight software and software that reflects reconnaissance images, that is, the source code that the public is talking about these days. It is expected that issues related to the sale of engines and similar plans for joint production will probably be on the agenda,” he added.

Kilic assured that “Poland or any other country cannot copy the original information we have or produce and sell a UAV itself".


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