Selçuk Bayraktar, the chief technical officer of Baykar Makina which manufactures Turkey's domestically produced armed drone, the Bayraktar TB2, said they have receive demand from five countries for their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
"We can only export our unmanned aircraft system under state control. The mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Bayraktar, is the first UAS exported abroad by Turkey. I hope that our large UAS, which is of tactical size, will be exported soon," Bayraktar said.
Bayraktar told Anadolu Agency that UAVs in the Turkish aviation sector are the most advanced and modern of their kind in the world due to their intelligent autonomous capabilities and automatic flight control systems.
"With the serious emphasis on nationality and determination put forward since the 2000s, especially in the defense industry, Turkey has eradicated its dependency on external imports thanks to the design of the UAVs. There are some components that we are dependent on from abroad on the basis of subsystems and very detailed components," the CTO said.
He pointed out that Turkey is now able to manufacture numerous products in the defense industry, adding that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is one of the most active UAS users in the world in the fight against terrorism.
Bayraktar further said that both military forces and the Turkish air force have used UASs successfully in both domestic and international operations. He explained that the Bayraktar TB2 has carried out over 15,000 hours of fly time to date in the scope of both internal and external security missions. "As we speak, dozens of UASs continue to protect our borders and our country in the air," he said.
Meanwhile, the CTO stressed that they have currently received demand from five countries regarding the sale of their UASs. Bayraktar also stated that there has been a serious awareness with regards to research and development activities in Turkey since 2000.
Highlighting that Turkey is one of the six countries that can design its own UASs and at the same time make intelligent ammunition, in a unique way, Bayraktar said that the incentives that the defense industry provides for R&D is much higher than in other industrial fields. He also suggested that they manufacture the best UAS of their kind in the world, utilizing designs all patented by Baykar.
"It's a race. UASs are constantly being upgraded and improved. We are focused on this field as Baykar in order not to get out of this race. We continue to do our best by maintaining our focus on developments in our field," Bayraktar added.
The Bayraktar TB2 has been used as a surveillance drone by the military since 2014. The project is part of Turkey's efforts to satisfy its military needs through domestically produced weapons.
Produced by Baykar Makina, the Bayraktar TB2 is the first drone to successfully meet compliance standards set forth by the TSK. Additionally, it passed tests in shooting accuracy conducted with integrated national missiles back in April of 2016.
It is also a force multiplier in the fight against terrorism and in regards to border protection and national defense power. The Bayraktar TB2 project also has a record-breaking local share in the defense industry, with a 93 percent participation rate.
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