Turkey corners terrorists with advanced drones, expert says
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARANov 18, 2019 - 7:32 pm GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Nov 18, 2019 7:32 pm
Significant advances in drone technology have strengthened Turkey's hand in clearing terrorists from its territory, according to a security expert. "After armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) emerged, the number of terrorists in Turkey dropped to under 500 as we continued our fight against terrorists within and outside the country," Abdullah Çavuşoğlu, director-general of Electronic Warfare Systems Engineering (EHSIM), a company established in 1998 that operates in the fields of electronic warfare and tactical command and control systems, told Anadolu Agency (AA). Çavuşoğlu stressed that armed drones carry out sweeping activities and prevent possible terrorist attacks in hot spots.
"Terrorists used to attack our police stations and martyred 10-20 police officers [in one attack] in the past. Now, we are preventing such attacks by using drones," he explained. He said drones could distinguish between the activities of terrorists and civilians through artificial intelligence (AI) mechanisms. "The cameras on drones help in detecting and reporting terrorist activities. For example, a drone could determine whether a farmer is planting seeds or a terrorist is jumping from one rock to another," he added.
"You provide the system with specific characteristics, and it could memorize them after undergoing a machine learning process," Çavuşoğlu said. "For example, we show [the drone] photos of 100 women who have long hair and are wearing earrings; then, we show photos of 100 men to the drone and it stores the masculine features of the men. "When you later show a photo to the drone, it automatically distinguishes whether the person is a man or woman. The same mechanism goes for detecting terrorist activities," he expressed. Drones not only detect terrorists but also set targets autonomously with the help of their useful payloads, Çavuşoğlu noted, referring to such things as their high-resolution cameras. We can observe land with the high-resolution camera that is attached to drones and eliminate the terrorists who use hit-and-run tactics in the mountains, he added.
"Observing the land from above provides a critical advantage. Even terrorists have started using the same tactic. But we have already taken the necessary measures against them," stated Çavuşoğlu. As drones are actively sweeping the border, terrorists become deterred in their activities, Çavuşoğlu said, stressing that Turkey's hand has been strengthened due to advances in military AI. He also noted that drones could prevent the loss of human lives since they have no pilots and there would, therefore, be no potential loss of life if they were shot down. He went on to say that we could see unpiloted fighter jets in the sky in the future. "A fighter pilot can do nothing in-flight if the necessary electronic warfare equipment is not defined in the system. The pilot is dependent on the maneuverability of the fighter jet," he said. Human factors cannot be totally set to zero, but robots will be used more frequently in the future, he underlined. Turkey has recently gained momentum with its developments in the defense industry, which is led mostly by the U.S., Russia and China, Çavuşoğlu said. "With its $2 billion in total sales this year, Turkey has maneuvered its way onto the list of the top 10. Within the next three years, Turkey will be one of the 10 most powerful countries in the defense industry," he added. He stressed that Turkey strengthened its position in the international defense market with foreign demand for its products and services. Turkey produces intelligent, reliable and target-driven systems as well as unique and authentic products, he added. Five of the world's top 100 defense companies are Turkish, according to the U.S.-based Defense News. They consist of Turkish defense giant ASELSAN, aviation firm Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), armored vehicle producer BMC, defense firm STM and missile producer Roketsan.