The Turkish defense industry will always back Azerbaijan with its unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), ammunition, missiles and electronic warfare (EW) systems, Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Chairman Ismail Demir said, noting the two countries are also set to work together on modernizing the existing systems of the Caspian country.
Demir made the statement via his Twitter account on Friday following a meeting with Ramiz Tahirov, Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister and the commander of the air force, and the Army commander of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Kerem Mustafayev.
Demir noted that at a time when the duo had to show the world that those brotherly countries are again in full unity, mutual work on the defense industry was also on the agenda, saying that the Turkish defense industry, with its knowledge, technology and capabilities in all fields, will always be ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan.
“In addition to bringing new systems to the Azerbaijani army, we will work together on the modernization of existing systems, maintenance and training activities,” Demir said.
Azerbaijan has recently been witnessing border clashes that have erupted between archfoes Azerbaijan and Armenia, which have killed at least 16 people on both sides since Sunday.
The two ex-Soviet republics have been locked for decades in a conflict over Armenia’s illegal occupation of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region. The territory was seized by ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1990s war that claimed 30,000 lives, though the recent fighting broke out on a northern section of their shared border far from Nagorno-Karabakh.
Earlier in June, the Azerbaijani government announced that it would purchase UCAVs from Turkey after receiving approval from its Parliament.
Speaking to a local TV broadcaster about the purchase of new weapons and military vehicles for the armed forces, Azerbaijan's Minister of Defense Zakir Hasanov said his country sought to purchase Turkish-made combat drones after their success was demonstrated in Syria and Libya. Turkey’s use of armed drones in those countries has also been dubbed successful in terms of the use of new technologies in an ever-changing environment of defense by several international media reports, along with officials abroad.
Turkey realized its program of developing and producing drones over a short span of 10 years. The Bayraktar TB2 armed drones, produced by the country's leading unmanned aerial platform developer Baykar, have been operationally used since 2015. They have continued to support Turkey’s fight against terrorism in other regions while providing effective surveillance, reconnaissance and fire support.
In 2019, Ukraine also bought six Turkish-produced reconnaissance and strike drones for its army, while purchasing another batch of drones from Turkey was again on the agenda, according to recent news reports.