Goal is to develop armed drones that can take off, land on aircraft carriers with short runways, says Turkey's President Erdogan.
Turkey has risen to the world’s top three in combat drone technology, the Turkish president has said.
“With our unmanned combat aerial vehicle Akinci, Turkey has become one of the three most advanced countries in the world in this technology,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the delivery ceremony for the Bayraktar Akinci combat drone in the northwestern Tekirdag province.
Erdogan expressed hope that the Akinci will strengthen Turkey’s “sincere efforts” to establish trust, peace, and justice in both the region and the world.
Underlining that Turkey is determined to become the leading country in combat drones, Erdogan said Turkey has to develop new technologies.
The nation’s goal is to develop armed drones that can take off and land on aircraft carriers with short runways for use in missions abroad, he added.
Erdogan also praised Turkey’s extensive use of home-sourced defence products, which in recent years leaped from 20 percent to about 80 percent.
Bayraktar Akıncı TİHA hayırlı uğurlu olsun. 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/ssLVszoxTW— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) August 29, 2021
Turkish drones in high demand worldwide
The level Turkey has reached in unmanned aerial vehicle technology shows the success of its capabilities in the defence industry, a feat recognised by the whole world, Erdogan said.
He added that Turkey’s principle is to present every technology that it develops for the benefit of all humanity.
Stressing that all the drones produced by Turkish defence companies are in high demand worldwide, he said new export agreements were signed with more than 10 countries, including NATO member Poland.
Several countries are waiting in line to buy Turkish drones, he said. “It is important that our national technologies contribute to the security of allied countries, but we make our decisions according to our own strategic priorities,” he added.
After observing Akinci’s taxing, takeoff, and low flight manoeuvring, Erdogan toured the aircraft control centre.
On July 8, the Bayraktar Akinci made Turkish aviation history by climbing to 11,594 metres (38,039 feet) – a new record – in a flight that lasted for 25 hours and 46 minutes.
The Akinci, which to date has made 874 sorties in test and training flights, hit its targets with full accuracy in a July 5 firing test with warhead ammunition developed by Turkish rocket maker Roketsan.