Turkish-made drones Bayraktar TB2 and ANKA have once again showcased the capability of Turkish defense industries,- manufacturer like the Roketsan, Aselsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries have proven global standard in terms of design and building sensors, munitions and drones. Recently, Anka-2 and Bayraktar TB2 are efficiently neutralizing Assad regime elements in Syria’s Idlib. Operation Spring Shield is the fourth Turkish military operation in northern Syria.
Recent video footage on social media showing Turkey’s mostly locally produced armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) striking everything from tanks to howitzers owned by the Bashar Assad regime in northwestern Syria’s Idlib has been noted as examples of the level of defense capabilities that the country has achieved.
Turkey’s massive retaliatory strikes and artillery shelling in Idlib were prompted by a regime attack on Thursday that killed 33 Turkish soldiers and injured tens of others in the area.
At least 2,200 Syrian regime troops, a drone, eight helicopters, 103 tanks, tens of howitzers, two Pantsir-S1 and one Buk-M1 air defense systems were neutralized, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday.
Among the clips that went viral on social media, an apparently active Russian-made Pantsir S-1 air defense system mounted on its eight-wheel-drive truck can be seen sitting placidly as the MAM-L smart ammunition projectile, developed by leading defense company ROKETSAN and fired from a domestically developed ANKA armed drone, barrels toward it.
The footage showed the Buk and Pantsir air defense system’s radar was active moments before the impact, indicating that the system failed to detect the incoming missile or possibly the drone that was flying over the range of the fire control radar.
A number of other clips show Turkey’s UAVs striking tanks, armed vehicles, ammunition depots, heavy machine guns, as well as Assad’s military personnel.
The Turkish military launched Operation Spring Shield in Idlib in response to a brutal regime attack on February 27. Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians as part of a September 2018 deal with Russia, which prohibits acts of aggression in the de-escalation zone set up around Idlib.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country. The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
Turkey on Oct. 9, 2019, launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG terrorists from the area east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Besides the Operation Peace Spring, Turkey carried out two cross-border operations west of the Euphrates River, Operation Euphrates Shield in August 2016 and Operation Olive Branch in January 2018, to drive out terrorists, including the YPG and Daesh, from its borders. Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces entered Afrin town center and liberated it from terrorists on March 18.
In all these operations, Turkey managed to deploy a variety of domestically manufactured air and defense platforms, all of which emerged as a result of successful and custom-made projects the country carried out over the last year to diminish the dependency on imported products and platforms. The country has come to a position where the national input ratio in the industry has reached 65%.
Particularly homegrown drones, Bayraktar TB2 and ANKA, have both played a significant role and displayed the long way Turkey has come in the nationalization process in defense industries.
The video footage showing UAVs in Idlib has also displayed the pin-point accuracy of precision-guided munitions, namely the Smart Micro Munitions MAM-L and MAM-C, both of which were developed and built domestically by Turkey.
Carrying a price tag of $75 million, the Pantsir S-1 is currently used by 12 countries and it was also reportedly deployed in Libya by Russian mercenary firm Wagner Group. With the recent developments, Turkey became the second country to destroy such a system after Israel. Though the Pantsir S-1 point defense system and Buk ADS are not the best in its class, it gained a particularly bad reputation since Israel’s repeated success in dealing with it.
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