A new monitoring system for Turkey's domestically produced, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "Bayraktar TB2" will be established in Ankara in the near future, according to Turkey's National Defense Minister Fikri Işık, who made the announcement during a planning and budgetary meeting in Parliament on Thursday.
The "Joint Coordination Center for UAV and Surveillance Monitoring Systems" will serve as a coordinating mechanism for the dispatch and management of the Bayraktar TB2, a domestically engineered surveillance drone used by the Turkish military since 2014. The drone is currently used in counterterrorism operations in Turkey's southeast.
The defense minister told Parliament, "Amid plans to create fast, sophisticated methods for providing intelligence information to the appropriate decision centers initiatives were taken to launch the'Joint Coordination Center for UAVs and the Surveillance Monitoring System,' providing a portal for speedy coordinated efforts between various public institutions and the dispatch and management of UAVs which are expected to be used in a greater number of counterterrorism operations."
"In this scope, we are taking initiatives to establish the said surveillance system, which is likely to be implemented in Ankara," Işık added. The center will provide real-time control of drone systems stationed in regions across Turkey while providing surveillance and assessment of intelligence information. As companies like ANKA, Vestel Karayel and Bayraktar continue to enhance UAV production, the success of Turkey's armed drone the TB2 is becoming more evident with each counterterrorism operation. Sources close to the government have reported that Turkey plans to enhance its armed drone production, underlining that the number of UAVs produced in the country will increase tenfold by the end of 2017. Turkey's armed drones have a range of more than 150 kilometers (90 miles) and can reach altitudes of 6,800 meters (22,500 feet). The drones are currently used in counterterrorism operations targeting pockets of the Qandil Mountains, the known headquarters of the PKK terrorist organization. UAVs armed with MAM-L laser-guided missiles produced by Turkish company Roketsan will be dispatched from control centers to designated PKK targets. As part of the counterterrorism operations targeting PKK terrorists, Turkey began actively using its domestically produced armed drone the Bayraktar TB2. Last week, 25 PKK terrorists across southeastern Turkey and in the mountains of Nirva Seytu and Asus in Northern Iraq were struck between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. on Nov. 12, according a statement from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Seventy-two PKK terrorists were killed within the first two months of UAVs being implemented, Turkey's defense minister said in late October.
The Bayraktar TB2, produced by Baykar Makina, is the first drone to successfully meet compliance standards set forth by the TSK Acceptance Test, and has passed tests in shooting accuracy conducted with integrated national missiles back in April. It is also a force multiplier in the fight against terrorism, 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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