Turkey to buy hundreds of locally-made drones - Defense News
Turkey's government plans to buy hundreds of potentially armed drones for surveillance and other security missions, Defense News reported.
Turkey’s procurement authority, SSB, has launched a competition to purchase 499 multi-rotor drones and more than 20 local companies have expressed interest. SSB said the drones would be used in homeland security missions such as search and rescue, surveillance and reconnaissance, remote sensing and mapping.
“The level of interest and potential competition during the race reflects the vibrancy of Turkey’s fast-growing drone industry,” Özgür Ekşi, an analyst with defence industry specialist C4Defense.com, told the military-focused news outlet. “Especially when you think that only a decade ago there was not a single drone maker in the country.”
Turkey has long prioritised the development of unmanned systems for its military and for export. The Turkish military was largely dependent on the Israeli-made Heron drone in its fight with Kurdish insurgents in the early 2000s, when the government-controlled Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) started working on the Anka, Turkey’s first indigenous drone.
The Anka paved the way for private sector players. Kale-Baykar, a consortium, has successfully developed its Bayraktar TB-2, which comes in unarmed and armed versions.
The Bayraktar can fly at a maximum altitude of 24,000 feet. Its communications range is 150 km and it can carry a payload of up to 55 kg.