Turkey will employ indigenous armed drones to fight terror.
Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar briefed the country’s political leadership on indigenous attack helicopters and armed drones, as well as updates on the army’s fight against terror during a cabinet meeting on May 2, Hurriyet quoted unnamed sources as saying Tuesday.
Turkey will begin to employ indigenous armed drones in the fight against terror, Hulusi reportedly told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Turkey’s top defense procurement official and head of the Under secretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), İsmail Demir, recently told daily Hürriyet that armed drones could be employed for the protection of Kilis.
“It is difficult to detect and fight with them [rockets] technologically ahead of their firing. There are several countries which are in an active fight with such early systems, but even their systems reach partial success. The best method is to develop and have a capability that will monitor the region which is under threat and to hit this target immediately. Armed drones constitute a good example here,” Demir said, during an exclusive interview at the protection hub of Turkey’s Roketsan.
“The point is here to be able to make products with the capability of destroying and monitoring with receptivity of higher quality at home. Our aim is to reach 100 percent locality in such products, as the dependability on foreign sources in these fields is always a problem,” he added.
Indigenous armed drones, which are being produced by two different companies, have reportedly performed well in recent tests and will soon be employed in armed forces operations. The drones will be introduced step-by-step, according to sources.
Meanwhile, reports claimed the locally-made drones were superior to the unmanned aerial vehicles of the United States in terms of their performance during unfavorable weather conditions. Turkey currently employs four US armed drones based in the İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana for use in its anti-terror operations.
Previous reports said long-range anti-tank UMTAS missiles were put on both wings of the indigenous drones, each weighing some 37.5 kilograms, and successfully hit targets eight kilometers away from an altitude of 16,000 feet (around 5,000 meters).
Armed drones have recently attracted increased attention, as the south-eastern border province of Kilis has been hit by a series of rocket attacks originating from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held territories in northern Syria.