Baykar Technologies releases conceptual design images of its new aircraft system for the first time.
The Turkish defence firm on Tuesday released images of its conceptual design for an unmanned combat aircraft system.
The images were released by the company, Baykar, on the first day in Turkey of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of the Sacrifice.
"We wish our nation and the entire Islamic world a healthy and happy Eid al-Adha," the manufacturer said on Twitter.
Baykar, established in 1984, produces armed and non-armed drones, control systems, simulators, and avionics systems.
Turkey has become the world's fourth biggest drone producer after the US, Israel and China. The Turkish government invested energy and resources in drone innovation after being snubbed by the US, which not only refused to sell attack drones to Ankara in 2010 and 2012, but also delayed the delivery of Patriot, a surface-to-air missile system, forcing its NATO ally to purchase S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
The Bayraktar TB-2 drone entered the inventory of the Turkish army in 2014 and is currently used by several countries including Ukraine, Qatar and Azerbaijan. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in March that Saudi Arabia was also interested in buying the drones.
The military grade drones produced by the Turkish defence technology company Baykar have given Turkish security forces an advantage, especially in cross-border, anti-terror operations.
In the last five years, Ankara deployed its drones in several crossborder military operations: Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, and Spring Shield. The main aim of the Turkish army was to liberate its Syrian border from terrorist entities with a minimum number of its forces on the ground.
Turkish drones have also changed the course of the Libyan civil war by helping the UN- recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and defeating warlord Khalifa Haftar on various battlefields across the country’s crucial western and central territories.
Turkish drones are far cheaper and their transfer much smoother than US drones. Washington's Foreign Military Sales(FMS) program has made the transfer of drones subject to the cumbersome process of reviews and re-transfer assurances and congressional reviews.
During last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkish drones managed to pin down Armenian forces, who lost at least 200 tanks, 90 armoured vehicles and 182 artillery pieces.