Selçuk Bayraktar, technical manager at the BAYKAR Makine unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturing company, announced that the company will produce jet UAVs with a takeoff weight of 4.5 tons that are faster and five to six times larger than Bayraktar UAVs and that can fly at higher altitudes.
As part of Turkey's home grown efforts in national weapons and defense systems, companies are set to launch more advanced UAVs, one of the most important steps toward achieving the 2023 vision goals concerning national defense systems. UAVs, which have an effective role in national defense systems, are being effectively used in the fight against terrorism. Currently, some 10 to 15 UAVs are serving in terror zones. And companies are accelerating work to develop these systems.
At present, 30 Bayraktar UAVs continue to operate in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces and General Directorate of Security. Also, 16 unmanned armed Bayraktars will be delivered. These figures will increase in the coming period.
In June, Bayykar delivered six more unmanned aerial vehicles to the Land Forces Command of the army as the company expands its fleet of domestically made drones. With the latest deliveries, the number of Bayraktar TB2 drones for the Land Forces engaged in a difficult fight against terrorism reached 18.
Costs in production, transportation, training and logistics have significantly decreased thanks to the UAVs, which have been manufactured with domestic resources compared to those imported from abroad. Since the software and hardware design of the systemic units and the manufacture are carried out using domestic resources, the demand to improve existing UAVs is increasing.
Domestic UAV systems are considered an important export item for Turkey given their high added value. According to experts, both Bayraktar Tactical UAV and ANKA Operative UAV have chances to be exported. Reportedly, negotiations have been held with African countries, Gulf States and some Turkic republics for the sale of the UAVs.