European countries are lining up to purchase Turkey’s drones after their “publicized successes over three active war zones in 2020,” according to an article published on the website of American magazine Forbes.
The Monday article titled “Cheap And Combat-Tested: The Growing Market For Turkish Drones,” illustrates how Ankara’s combat drones will carve out a sizable export market, especially after its victories in Syria, Libya, and Karabakh.
“After several successive and well-publicized victories over numerous battlefields last year, Turkey’s locally built Bayraktar TB2 armed drones have gained several new export customers in 2021, with Ankara even exporting its drones to Europe for the first time,” the article reads.
Twenty-four TB2s with anti-tank missiles were ordered by Poland, as well as Ukraine, and it’s the “only major new warplane” Kiev has bought in three decades, highlighting the importance of the export.
Latvia and Albania have also hinted that they will be next to acquire Turkey’s affordable and “war-proven” unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Turkey will likely prove capable of carving out a sizable export market for its drones by continually promoting their affordability and combat successes, especially to country’s that cannot afford more high-end drones but recognize the growing importance of these weapons systems in modern wars,” the article went on to say.
In a corporate report prepared by the British Ministry of Defense titled “Defence in a competitive age,” Turkey’s role in NATO was highlighted and its use of drones in Libya and the Karabakh conflict served as an example for “imaginative employment” of new defense technologies.
The British military is expected to follow the example of Turkey’s success as it embarks on a new armed drone program with a focus on “cheaper and more effective” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) after Azerbaijan used Turkish drones to secure its historic victory against Armenia in Karabakh, according to a report by U.K. news website The Guardian.
Turkish drones cost between $1 million to 2$ million each, while the British army is said to spend over $20 million one one drone alone.
The Guardian report also cited a quote by Ben Wallace, the U.K. defense secretary, who said that Turkish TB2 drones were an example of how other countries were now “leading the way.”
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