Turkey

Hottest Item in Global Defense Market: Turkish Drones

Qatar reportedly joins the countries with Turkish “game changer” armed drones in its military inventory


The hottest topic in the world about the global arms sales could be Turkey’s purchase of Russian s400 air defense system but the hottest item on the global defense market has certainly been Turkey’s “game changer” armed drones. Gas-rich Qatar has become the latest country to join the club by reportedly purchasing Turkish made Bayraktar TB2’s which have been annihilating Russian arms most recently in Karabakh but also previously in Libya and Syria.


After Turkish drones took the stage in Syria during Turkey’s offense against the regime positions in February in north Aleppo and Idlib, dozens of Russian air defense systems as well as other heavy arms had been destroyed. Turkey’s armed drones have also changed the course of the war in Libya after the NATO-recognized government invited Turkey over to fight the insurgency led-by cupist Moscow-backed general Haftar. Turkey’s new air power dramatically turned around the events for the Libya’s legitimate government, repelling Haftar forces from the outer banks of the capital to all the back to Surt. Then came the war in Noghorno Karabakh which has been under Armenian occupation since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Turkey’s famed drones ended the 3-decade long Armenian occupation on several cities in Karabakh bringing a quick victory for Azerbaijan to partially end one of the longest unsolved territorial global issues.  Three consecutive success turned the Turkish made drones into one of the most desired items on the global arms market.

Bayraktar TB2 in a Qatari military facility

Qatar has recently joined the club of the several countries by reportedly acquiring Bayraktar TB2 drones. Although recent developments suggest that the gulf state is about to end the regional blockade on her imposed by a group of states led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar would effectively eliminate any possible future invasion attempt by having Turkey’s game changers in its inventory.

Mainly operating against Russian-made arms in Syria, Libya, the Turkish drones first attracted Ukraine whose land Crimea has been invaded by Russia before the eyes of the western powers. The European Union could do nothing but to impose some financial sanctions on Russia with little effect for invading its prospective territory as Kiev has been a candidate to join the union while Trump administration simply looked away. Ukraine has purchased last year 12 Bayraktar drones which can be integrated with a payload of precision weaponry, such as the Turkish defense industry’s Roketsan-made MAM-L smart munitions. Kyiv plans to purchase 5 more Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) next year, local media reports said.

Azerbaijan has already accomplished an historic triumph with the help of the Turkish drones but there have been other clients of Turkey’s drones. Tunisian Ministry of Defense has reportedly signed an $80 million contract with Turkish Aerospace Industry to buy three ANKA-S Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and three Remote Pilot Station (RPS). Turkey will also train fifty-two Tunisian pilots and maintenance personnel as part of the deal.

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Kazakhstan has also been planing to ditch Chinese-made drones and purchase Bayraktar TB2 instead. The interest is believed to stem from the drones’ performance in overwhelming Armenia’s Russian-origin air defense systems in the Karabakh war with Azerbaijan, Russian media claimed. Last month, a delegation from Kazakhstan’s ministry of defense visited Turkey’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Base Command in the southeastern Turkey.

In early October, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has also said his country is negotiating to buy the Turkish UAV, even though the European nation had already seen the arrival of Chinese CH-92A armed drones in July

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