Turkey has seen ups and down in growing its domestic defense industry. Fed up with boycotts by other countries, ballooning costs, and weapons orders that never materialized turkey, at last, turned to its own military industry for solutions. Once a client and now an exporter, turkey’s defense exports have soared over the last few years and now feels it has a competitive edge.
According to Ismail Demir, Turkish Presidential Defense Advisor
“We are on the table not as a seller but as a partner, partner in true sense and true means we are just holding up our purposes and also cost and quality parameters we put these two together. I guess we can offer the best in the world”
The best known of these new weapons is the Bayraktar TB2 combat drone. It’s not the fastest and it’s not the most powerful weapon of its type but not all military forces can afford the high-end technology sold by the United States. A cost-effective weapon is needed and turkey has filled this niche for unmanned aerial vehicles.
As per Janes Weapons editor Shaurav Gairola
“TB2 is an example of the progress they’ve (Turkey) made in the UAV sector. TB2 is a potent weapon. It’s proved itself in combat with precision strikes and so it’s got an intelligent munition package. It’s got long-endurance, day-night operations so all these factors make it a very very effective and potent weapon system”
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It’s not just a weapon its cameras provide real-time intelligence that can be used to spot targets for artillery and missile strikes. It can also destroy targets by itself filming all these strikes to advertise its effectiveness.
The TB2 has seen action in Libya and it’s been successfully used by Azerbaijan and featured in its military victory parade. It has now been flying in the skies over Ukraine reportedly destroying Russian targets effectively.
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The TB2 has proven itself to be an effective combat drone and Turkey now sets its sights higher as it enters the arena of advanced fifth-generation fighter jets. It has recently signed an agreement with Pakistan to develop an advanced combat jet. Similarly, reports suggest that Pakistan has already acquired TB2 drones from Turkey while it is considering other Turkish UAVs for its forces.